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It Sounds Like El Paso Wants to Stay Small Forever – Who Finds These Politicians, Anyway?

El Paso Ballpark
Courtesy of Populous

So the biggest political news locally (aside from the public corruption, which I’m not going to comment about) recently has been about this new ballpark downtown and the moving of CIty Hall. Is it a good idea? Will it generate money? Is it just a scam for city leaders to get a new building? Why do we need a new ballpark? Why do we need anything to come to El Paso?

Before I get started, I should preface this with: “The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone, so don’t go crying to the bosses that our company is evil. Just me.

I’m not the most politically active individual, but one thing bothers me about these new “concessions” that have been worked out with the city in order for the ballpark to move ahead: It’s going to now directly cost us. I’m not sure some of our leaders have El Paso’s best interests in mind.

There, I said it.

Before, there would have been a small (2%) increase for out-of-towners on their hotel bill. Now, things are a little more at home. Our city leaders have gotten greedy, for whatever reason, and now have added things to the agreement. They want more money guaranteed to the city, with raises in rent, parking and ticket surcharge fees on a regular basis.

Check out the press release sent to 600 ESPN El Paso this weekend about the concessions:

In addition, the MountainStar Sports Group has agreed to increase the ticket surcharge from $0.10 per ticket to $0.50 per ticket starting in year one of the lease. Finally, the ownership group has agreed to increase the base rent, ticket surcharge amount, and the parking fee by 10% every five years throughout the life of the lease to account for inflation over time.

via 600 ESPN El Paso

What does this mean? It sounds like a higher price for tickets up front, with regular ticket price and parking price increases for us. If they DON’T raise ticket prices, then that would cut not only into the teams’ bottom-line, but would also reduce the money they’d be able to donate to charity, as per the original details of the agreement. How is that a win?

This city’s management has a long history of small-town thinking, with fiascos dating back a long time. Anyone else remember when Six Flags wanted to build here and our brilliant leaders turned them (and all that revenue for El Paso) down? I don’t care if Six Flags wanted to rename the city Six Flags, Texas, you get them here! Do you understand how much money would have come through the local businesses?

What about when the city wanted to squeeze Western Playland, until the owner said, “Screw this! I’ll just move somewhere else!” And he did.

How about all those times when investors wanted to build event venues in various parts of town and our genius leaders would bring out their downtown arena plan, wave it around long enough to get El Pasoans to vote against the investors. Then they’d quietly shelve the downtown plans again.

Or how about the changing of the deal with the Diablos a while back, that led to the loss of the double-A team, the renevue and the stimulus for northeast El Paso?

Are they really working for us? Vote below.

Get more information on the ballpark and the process with 600 ESPN El Paso. Also, learn more about some of the upcoming bond issues that affect all of us here in El Paso, from Our City, Our Future.

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