Quebec City to pay $730K for Videotron Centre shortfall

Quebec City will have to provide $730,000 to Quebecor to help make up for part of the Videotron Centre's budget shortfall.

Arena ran an operational deficit of $1.4M after opening in September 2015

(Louis Hamel/Radio-Canada)

Quebec City will have to provide $730,000 to Quebecor to help make up for part of the Videotron Centre's budget shortfall.

The $400-million arena opened its doors to the public last September and ran an operational deficit of $1.4 million in its first four months.

The contract states that the city has to pay 50 per cent of the operational deficit incurred by QMI Spectacles, an affiliate of Quebecor, up to the amount of the arena's rent.

'That's not profitable'

It was the opposition at Quebec City that revealed the numbers during a presentation of financial statements by city officials Monday afternoon. The financial records of the Videotron Centre are not available to the public as they are protected by a confidentiality agreement.

"If we project this over one year, it's a $2.2 million dollar deficit," Paul Shoiry, the leader of Démocratie Québec, said.

"That's not profitable."

Mayor Régis Labeaume defended the operational deficit of Quebec City's arena. (Jacques Boissinot/CP)

Mayor Régis Labeaume stood by the Quebec City's deal with Quebecor, adding that he wouldn't be surprised if the city had to pay up again next year.

"We can't think that during the first four months of its existence that a company will make a profit," Labeaume said.

The city also made $448,000 from the Videotron Centre during the same period from the sale of tickets and parking costs. Quebec City incurred a deficit of $281,000 related to the arena.

With files from Radio-Canada