Quebec City plans for new arena

KARINE GAGNON, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 11:52 AM ET

Quebec City -- Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume jumped on the offensive yesterday to secure a new amphitheatre in the city, without which the dreams of having a new NHL hockey club there would be just that: dreams.

In order to secure a new facility, Labeaume has asked the various levels of government to move the construction of a new stadium to the top of their priority lists and invest $350 million for the project, which is expected to cost over $400 million.

"We're at a crossroads," said Labeaume, adding that there has been plenty of talk about the city's desire to host a future instalment of the Olympics. "The truth is our city can't even pretend to be a serious and credible Olympic candidate without a modern amphitheatre."

Yesterday, Labeaume presented a study done by SNC Lavallin, the firm involved in the construction of the Bell Centre in Montreal, which outlines the costs associated with such a large-scale project. Including a vast parking lot, building the new stadium will cost about $421 million, based on the designs for an 18,000-seat, LEED concept amphitheatre. That is an all-inclusive estimate, which figures in taxes and price indexing for a project that would take three years to complete. Labeaume said he hopes that construction could take place beginning in early 2010 until the end of 2012.

Labeaume is looking to Quebec City to pitch in $50 million, with the rest coming from the other levels of government. He points out other investments made by the federal government -- $1.23 billion for the Vancouver Olympics, for example -- in justifying the request.

"Our turn has come," said the mayor. "We want to do business with the government."

Win and your in ...

PHOENIX -- Looking to fill seats, the beleaguered Phoenix Coyotes are offering free tickets.

The NHL team unveiled a promotion yesterday that will see it give away tickets if it wins on certain nights. The first such game comes on Oct. 24 against Los Angeles -- one of five this season that includes a Dec. 5 game against Ottawa.

The Coyotes have labelled the promotion "join the pack" and hope it strengthens the relationship between the organization and its fans.

The bankruptcy proceedings over the summer severely hampered the team's ability to market itself and sell tickets.

The Coyotes managed a sell out in their home opener when all tickets were sold for $25 or less. The team's second home game on Thursday drew an announced crowd of just 6,899.

Franzen out four months

DETROIT -- Red Wings forward Johan Franzen has undergone successful surgery to repair a ligament in his left knee.

The team said Franzen is expected to miss at least four months because of the injury sustained Oct. 8 during Detroit's 3-2 victory over Chicago, in which he scored the game-winning goal.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock also said Pavel Datsyuk will sit out Saturday's game against Colorado with an upper-body injury sustained Tuesday against Buffalo.

Stars lose Ott

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars have placed centre Steve Ott on injured reserve with a rib-cage muscle injury.

The move yesterday came five days after Ott injured an oblique muscle against Vancouver. He has one assist and nine penalty minutes in four games this year.


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