A number of developments have ocurred since the publication of our post on July 19th, “Build It and They Will Come”. Apparently, opposition to tearing down City Hall in order to build a new Triple-A baseball stadium has led to new efforts related to the Quality of Life bond as well as groups looking to petition a referendum on the entire issue. Some of the stories:
- New PAC to promote quality of life bond, Opposition to Downtown Ballpark speeds up plan— Organizers are accelerating efforts to form a political action committee to back the proposed $468-million quality of life bond, concerned that growing opposition to a new Downtown ballpark might spill over into the bond election. Story by Bob Gray, El Paso, Inc. July 29-Aug 4, 2012.
- Petition seeks vote on ballpark, quality-of-life plans–A petition submitted to the city on Tuesday by a local group is proposing an initiative that could have ramifications for the $50 million Downtown ballpark approved earlier by the City Council.The group, Quality of Life Voters for Democracy, was spurred to gather signatures for the petition by the lack of involvement in the decision to approve the Downtown ballpark.They submitted more than 2,300 signatures to the city clerk and ask that all quality-of-life projects get voter approval before the City Council funds them. The petition also states that change be retroactive to June 26, when the Downtown ballpark was approved by a 6-2 City Council vote.–Story By Evan Mohl El Paso Times, 08/01/2012
- Paul Foster: Baseball almost a done deal—Events surrounding El Paso’s efforts to bring Triple-A baseball to the city are moving fast. This week, the city received formal notification from the Pacific Coast League that it had approved MountainStar Sports Group’s purchase of a team. Though the team has not officially been named because the parties are bound by confidentiality agreements, it is known that MountainStar is attempting to buy the Tucson Padres for $20 million and bring the team to El Paso and a stadium the city has committed to build–Story by David Crowder, El Paso, Inc. July 29-Aug 4, 2012
El Paso very close to Triple-A baseball—City manager: Deal is ‘moving forward’–The sounds, fun and excitement of Triple-A baseball is close, very close, to coming to El Paso.
On Monday, the Pacific Coast League, one of three leagues that play Triple-A baseball, informed the city that the league had approved the sale of a team to a group of local investors known as MountainStar Sports Group of El Paso.
The letter sent to City Manager Joyce Wilson says, in effect, that the sale of a team to the El Paso group is all but a formality.
“Basically, they’ve given approval to close the transaction,” Wilson said. “It’s pretty clear the next phase is kind of a formality. It’s moving forward.”–Story By Bret Bloomquist El Paso Times, Aug 1, 2012
A final note: A careful view of the artist’s rendition of the proposed stadium shows that the fans along the first base line are in for an additional treat–that section of the stadium apparently sits directly over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks! Should make for an interesting afternoon and/or evening.–Paul Maxwell