The LA Kings will return NHL ice hockey to Québec City, a former home of a franchise, after announcing it will play two 2024 pre-season games at the Centre Vidéotron.
The Kings will hold the final leg of their training camp at the Videotron Centre from October 2. There the team will play the club’s final two preseason games, facing off against the Boston Bruins on October 3, and the Florida Panthers on October 5.
The games will come more than five years after the NHL’s last visit to Québec City, for an exhibition game between the Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals on September 20, 2018. The NHL’s Nordiques played in Québec City from 1972 to 1995 before the franchise relocated to Colorado and was renamed the Avalanche.
Kings president and Hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille, a native of Montreal, said: “I know how passionate Québec City fans are about the game. We will be very proud to play here next fall. Fans will be able to see our stars and watch young players compete for a spot in our 2024-25 line-up.”
Centre Vidéotron opened in September 2015 and was developed chiefly to aid Québec City’s bid to regain an NHL team. Québec’s Finance Minister, Eric Girard, said the government is awarding a subsidy of between C$5m (£2.9m/€3.4m/$3.6m) and C$7m for the two games.
“I have the benefit of seeing all the subsidies that the government grants to sporting and cultural events, and I can confirm that we are on the right scale,” Girard said, according to the Canadian Press news agency.
“There will be a celebration of hockey. To hold this event, there will be a subsidy, and it’s the same for the Presidents’ Cup in golf, Formula 1 and the Mosaïcultures. The government is often involved in cultural and sporting events.”
The announcement coincides with the Kings’ inability to play home preseason games in advance of the 2024-25 season due to the final phase of renovations taking place at Crypto.com Arena. These enhancements are scheduled for completion prior to the start of the regular season, and the Kings will return to hosting two preseason home games at Crypto.com Arena for the 2025-26 season.