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Rumor: the Lions are for sale

There’s been a lot of talk about the Canadiens and the Rocket in recent days, but what about the Trois-Rivières Lions?

They didn’t make the playoffs, and the bad news just keeps on coming. Éric Bélanger left the team at the end of last year, and on the ice, the product isn’t there, unfortunately.

Over the past week, a big rumor has been circulating: the Lions might be for sale.

Le Nouvelliste’s sports director, Steve Turcotte, looked into the matter.

To verify the rumor that’s been on almost everyone’s lips in the Trois-Rivières region, Turcotte sent a text message to Lions owner Dean MacDonald. MacDonald denied the rumours, however, and replied that the Lions would be playing in Trois-Rivières next year.

Obviously, he wasn’t about to say yes, he was in trouble, which is why it’s important to ask the question, “should we be worried?”

In 2022-2023, the Lions finished among the three worst teams in terms of attendance per game. The Colisée Vidéotron welcomed an average of 2,617 spectators per game. Only the Wheeling Nailers (2115) and Iowa Heartlanders (1851) did worse.

In his article, Turcotte makes a good point: as the club-school of the club-school, it’s hard for fans to have a sense of belonging, because the players are always changing. The best players are recalled, and in 2022-2023, in both Laval and Montreal, there were (too) many injuries.

That’s one of the reasons why Trois-Rivières didn’t get the boost it was hoping for.

Another problem facing Pascal Rhéaume’s troupe is the lack of subsidies. In Trois-Rivières, the Aigles (baseball), GP3R (car racing) and Festivoix (music festival) are heavily subsidized. The Lions, on the other hand, receive less. To use their amphitheatre, they even have to cough up $600,000.

The challenge of making operations profitable is titanic. – Steve Turcotte

A case to follow, but it doesn’t look good for the future. At least Nikita Scherbak could come to town…

In gossip

– The goalie has returned to Germany.

– Question marks ahead of game four.

– We wish him the best of luck.

– Too bad.

– Bravo.

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