Molson coy on future plans for Laval arena
Published Monday, November 26, 2012 10:25PM EST
Geoff Molson was in Laval Monday to promote the much-anticipated Place Bell, slated to be built by the end of 2015.
While the Montreal Canadiens CEO spoke about what the new $120 million sports complex will mean for the city, many were on the edge of their seat, hoping to hear the word “Bulldogs.”
Some Laval residents are pushing to see the Canadiens’ farm team, the Hamilton Bulldogs, move to the new Laval arena.
Molson said, however, he's not necessarily focused on bringing his farm team closer, but instead focused on bringing any team that can attract huge crowds to Place Bell, helping fill its 10,000 seats.
Seeking to pique the interest of Laval's 400,000 residents, Molson teased a crowd of hundreds of business people, only saying that professional hockey will one day come to the city.
“With a stadium as big and as important as we're participating in here with 10,000 spectators per game, it’s going to take a team that can play at a high level and can attract Laval residents to want to come,” he said.
When asked if he was referring to the Bulldogs, he replied, “No, not necessarily. We're talking about a team. The bulldogs would be one of those teams that has the potential to be here -- but a team at that level for sure.”
Set to be located near Montmorency metro station, construction begins in September 2013
While in Laval, Molson also commented on the NHL lockout.
On Monday, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association agreed to allow mediators into negotiations, a move that could help bring an end to the labour dispute.
Molson said as a hockey dad, he gets to watch plenty of hockey, but misses the NHL season.
He said he also empathizes with the impact it's having on businesses.
“As a business man, I feel for the employees at the Bell Centre who are working fewer hours and making less money,” he said. “I feel for the bars and the restaurants that surround us. They're all impacted as well. Hopefully it gets solved as soon as possible.”