Quebec to build NHL-style arena

QUEBEC -- Quebec City says it will begin construction on a new NHL-style arena in September.

Mayor Regis Labeaume says the $400 million arena will hold about 18,000 people, saying it would be comparable to the Pittsburgh Penguins' new building.

"Today, the dream becomes a reality," he said at a news conference Sunday.

The arena is expected to be completed by September 2015.

The Quebecor media group has the naming rights for the future arena and was granted exclusive rights to manage the facility.

If the city gets an NHL team, Quebecor would pay $63.5 million for naming rights, plus $5 million in annual rent. Without one, the company would pay $33 million for the rights and an average of $3.15 million annually for rent.

"There are no more obstacles ... no more uncertainty about the construction of the amphitheater," Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau said at the news conference.

Labeaume says the city can proceed with the project after finalizing an agreement with Quebecor before a March 31 deadline.

The province and Quebec City have pledged millions in taxpayer money for the project.

Quebec lost the Nordiques in 1995, when they left to become the Colorado Avalanche.