QUEBEC -- Quebec City will have a new NHL-calibre arena and the official announcement will come within a month, a top city official said Friday.
Richard Cote, vice-president of the city's executive committee, told radio station CHOI Radio X the municipality is going ahead with a plan to finance the construction of the arena without a significant investment from Ottawa.
"If we wait for the federal, we'll wait forever," Cote said.
He noted local officials still hope Ottawa will eventually foot part of the bill for a proposed 18,000-seat arena that the city hopes will help lure an NHL team back to Quebec City, which lost the Nordiques to Colorado in 1995.
Cote said the city is working out details of the financial plan which is likely to include more funds from the municipality as well as investments from the private sector -- notably by selling the arena's name. "It's a done deal. We'll have a new Colisee," Cote said, making a reference to the current outdated arena, known as the Colisee, constructed in 1949.
"Give us three to four weeks," he said when asked about the official announcement.
Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume declined to comment Friday on Cote's remarks.
The provincial government has promised to cover $175 million of the expected $400-million cost.
The city has so far committed $50 million.
Federal Minister Josee Verner said this week Ottawa has not ruled out chipping in to finance the new arena, but stressed it would have to be part of a national program to fund professional sports facilities.
-- Postmedia News