Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume names adviser to keep arena costs on target

QUEBEC – Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume has appointed a special adviser to help avoid cost overruns in the construction of a new arena.

Businessman Claude Rousseau will look to trim costs to keep the project within its budget.

Labeaume says he is concerned because the budget is limited to $400 million.

Quebec City has until March 31 to decide whether the arena can be built within its budget. Labeaume is hoping the arena will help the city attract an NHL franchise.

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The project hit a snag last week when it was estimated it would cost up to $40 million to have the proposed site of the arena decontaminated.

Labeaume wouldn’t discuss speculation that a more realistic cost for the arena is about $550 million.

Quebec City has been without an NHL franchise since the Nordiques left for Denver in 1995.