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Kings travel to Salt Lake City (without public funding) just before landing in Quebec City
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
The Los Angeles Kings will be renovating their arena during the off-season. What this means is that the Los Angeles arena will not be available for summer use.

But since the renovations will be completed in the fall, that means the club won’t be able to play any warm-up games in L.A. in 2024. So we had to find solutions to this problem.

One of them, as you know, is to play in Quebec City. As you know, the Kings will be settling in the capital for a few days, playing two preparatory games in the process.

But more importantly, you’re aware that it’s going to cost taxpayers between five and seven million dollars to see the Kings get paid for a few days in town.

It’s all very well for us to believe that “it was the only way” to attract them to the city, but we all know that normally, when a team goes elsewhere to play preparatory games, it doesn’t get paid by the government.

Mind you, I’m not saying it’s free. There are ways to make money (including taking over the arena lease for the day, including revenues)… but it’s not on the backs of taxpayers.

But hey. All this to say that the Kings (who are in a bad way, I remind you) will also have to go somewhere other than Quebec City to play games. And we’ve just learned that Salt Lake City will be a destination for the California club.

And guess what? It won’t be at the public’s expense.

So, as reported by La Presse and journalist Julien Arsenault, the Kings will be in Utah for ten days before landing in Quebec… and it won’t be publicly funded.

Quebec, which has already paid $2.5 million to the Kings, was therefore unable to take advantage of a time when the Kings needed help not to pay – which is, in any case, normal, as I said.

Does this give any clue as to whether Salt Lake City is better seen in the eyes of the NHL for an expansion process, or for hosting the Arizona Coyotes someday?

For a number of reasons, yes.

Clearly, Salt Lake City is a popular destination right now. In both baseball and hockey, the Utah city is seen as a favorite to get a team… to the detriment of cities like Quebec City (NHL) and Montreal (MLB).

It’s worth noting that, as part of a multi-year agreement, the preparatory matches will once again be held in Salt Lake City. Over there, they call it the Frozen Fury.

Does this mean that the Coyotes won’t necessarily be moving to Salt Lake City any time soon if a multi-year agreement is extended to include pre-season games? Good question.

At the same time, I figure there’s always a way, as they say.

But the main thing to remember is that it’s much easier to attract preparatory games there than in Quebec City… and that the government doesn’t have to reach into its pockets. But I don’t think that surprises you.

In bursts

– That’s one way of looking at it.

– The Rocket must be better on the road. [98.5 FM]

– Happy reading.

– It was predictable.

– What will the Stars do?

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