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Quebec City report card Add to ...

NHL history

Quebec Nordiques(1979-95) moved to become the Colorado Avalanche.

Potential owners

Quebecor Media Inc. (CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau)

Demographic snapshot

Metro Population: 754,000

Median Household income: $54,047 (Canadian Average $59,090)

Average Household disposable income: $46,615 (Canadian Average $55,541)

Average Household net worth: $212,078 (Canadian Average $351,282)

Percentage of population aged 25-39: 21.1 per cent (Canadian Average 20 per cent)

Index for watching NHL Hockey on Television: 107 (Canadian average 100)

Economic snapshot

Number of Head offices: 85

Unemployment rate: 5.5 per cent (Canadian average 8.1)

Number of businesses with 100+ employees: 454

Number of businesses with $20+ million in sales: 561

Number of businesses with 100+ employees and $20+ million in sales: 225

Population rate of growth: 0.8

GDP Rate of Growth: 2.2 per cent

Retail Sales: $11.3 Billion

Sports Competition in market: Quebec Les Capitals (Can-Am League baseball), Quebec Ramparts (QMJHL)


Proposed publicly funded $400 million, 18,500-seat arena built to NHL business standards.

Has going for it

A greater appetite for hockey than other markets and a strong economic turnaround characterized by more private business and low unemployment. Proposed arena appears to have the backing of local and provincial governments, as well as the business community. Potential owner would have the incentive to support the hockey business for synergies with media holdings.

Has going against it

Would be the NHL's smallest market, making vulnerable to a downturn in the economy or a dive by the Canadian dollar. Has a relatively small number of large companies and head offices. Per capita wealth and disposable income is below Canadian average.

What they're saying

"Something is missing in town. It's the spirit about our national sport. It would be good for the community. More than that it makes the city more attractive. I'm trying everything I can to make this city more attractive. We're going to have big events here so I need a hockey team to be equal to Montreal." - Regis Lebeaume, Quebec City Mayor.

What Gary Bettman says

"I've spoken to the Mayor, I've spoken to the Premier, and they seem to be hopeful to confident that there will be a new arena, perhaps in conjunction with an Olympic bid. But the arena is essential. I'm glad people are enthused … There are a lot of hockey fans there. With the right ownership group, with a new arena, and the economic system we have - which is different than the one we had when the team left - I believe a team can be well supported in that market."

Professor Norm O'Reilly's Scorecard

Market Attractiveness





Market Size


Corporate presence


Overall Market Attractiveness Grade


It has one of North America's lowest unemployment rates, an economy less reliant on government than 15 years ago, and an income per capita that has surpassed that of Montreal. But with just three-quarters of a million people its market is small by NHL standards, as is its corporate presence, although early indications are it would hungrily get behind NHL hockey.

Franchise Viability

Potential Ownership


Arena and Location


Competition and Barriers to Entry


Quebec City's NHL dreams are predicated on a new $400 million arena which has broad support from politicians, the public and the private sector. Media giant Quebecor and its CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau would love to own the team and an NHL team would face no sports competition within the market

Final Grade for Viability


With a small but enthusiastic market, Quebec City's size would make it potentially vulnerable to a downturn in the Canadian dollar or the economy in general. It would need a shrewd and savvy management team. But assuming the new arena is built and the owner steps forward, it's a very attractive place for the NHL.

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