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New Arena Location Upsets Some Downtown Residents — How Do You Feel?

A new sports and entertainment venue for El Paso is a little closer to reality but, some aren’t happy about the proposed location.

The multi-use arena would be built between San Antonio Street and and Paisano Drive.

Photo, Google Via El Paso Herald
Photo, Google Via El Paso Herald

The area is loaded with businesses and homes, many located in historical buildings. Buildings that would be destroyed and families that would be uprooted, some after decades upon decades there. An area, mind you, not far from Chihuahuita which was recently placed on a national list of endangered, historic areas.

The city says they’ll negotiate fair purchases of property but, residents aren’t buying that. Most don’t want to move at all. One resident, Gilbert Guillen, pointed out that the areas diverse culture and historical value were once used to garner funding. He told the EP Times:

Building the arena in Union Plaza would be a waste of millions of dollars spent in recent decades on streetscaping and other renovations for what has slowly grown into a successful mixed-use area. It is also an insult to possibly force residents to move since it was the demographics of the working-class neighborhood that helped secure past funding.

He added:

“It’s (expletive) that we use the neighborhood for their demographics to get this funded and then we kick them out the door and we say, ‘Thank you, bye, we’ll see you.”

There are other locations where the venue could be built in or near downtown. For example, there has long been talk of moving the railroad yards farther east and using that land for something big. What do you think?

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