Posted May 23, 2019 08:17:29The Montreal Canadiens and the National Hockey League have been working on a new stadium in the city of Montreal for years.
Now, the NHL is moving forward with plans to build the new stadium on the site of a former hockey rink, a development that has been the subject of intense controversy.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and Montreal’s Sports Minister Pierre Dorion have repeatedly denied that the new arena is part of the NHL plan to relocate the Montreal Canadiens from Quebec City.
They are also the ones who first pushed for the relocation of the Canadiens in 2018.
According to a report by the Montreal Gazette, the new plan would see the new Montreal stadium built on land purchased by the city.
That site is currently home to the Jean Drapeau Centre, which was demolished in 2017 and replaced by the new, larger arena.
The plan would include an expansion to the existing Montreal Sports Arena, as well as the construction of a new $2.5 billion arena that will be the home of the new Canadiens.
The new stadium is set to be built in phases, starting with a $1 billion expansion in 2020 and a $2 billion renovation in 2021.
The news came just days after the Montreal city council approved a $5.4 billion tax increase for the city, which has been under a state of emergency since the 2016 riots that killed four police officers.
The city council also approved a 10-year plan for the sports arena.
The tax increase, which will take effect in 2020, will pay for $3 billion of the cost of the arena and the development of the adjacent park, according to the Montreal Daily News.
The tax increase is the first step in a plan to build a new arena in the heart of the city as the city prepares to host the 2019 Winter Olympics.
The stadium plan was first revealed last October.
The NHL said at the time that it was considering a location for the new hockey arena in Montreal, but the announcement of the plan was a surprise to many, including Coderres.
The mayor of Montreal was not in attendance at the council meeting, but Coderret did say in a statement that he was disappointed to learn that the city was still waiting on the NHL to complete the construction.
“The decision to proceed with the NHL plans is a significant one, given the history of the project, and I have always maintained that Montreal would never be considered for a new NHL team, and that the team should not be moved to Quebec City,” Coderren said.
The new plan was also met with criticism, particularly by local politicians.
Montreal city councillor and former NHL player Paul Gauthier said the new plans were a betrayal of the efforts of the people of Montreal to help save their city and its citizens from the rioters.