'Play Ball' rally attempts to send message to city
Proponents of the stadium say there's support for the ballpark and they have the numbers to prove it. Hundreds rallied Monday afternoon in Cleveland Square, hoping to send that message to the city.
The rally was organized by the Mountain Star Sports Group and through hundreds of Facebook invites, ads, and fliers. They managed to attract about 400 people to today's event, but all that media also attracted the opposition who were all too happy to speak out too.
“You have a food stand you're going to set up in there?” said an attendee to another.
“No absolutely not. My food stand that has been open for three years -- my restaurant --- employees ten people in downtown El Paso. I've been working trying to make downtown better -- what have you done to try to make Downtown better?” responded another attendee.
Little arguments like these were heard in every corner of Cleveland Square at the “Play Ball” rally.
“We're trying to raise our quality of life,” said MountainStar Sports Group partner Josh Hunt. “We're trying to revitalize our downtown, and we believe that is what this is going to do."
Looming above the live music, food, fun and games was tension. MountainStar Sports Group organized the rally for the sole purpose of proving support for the ballpark was not only alive and well, but passionate and proactive.
“We want to show El Paso that there are people excited about baseball and do want good things for this town,” said organizer Monique Poessiger.
But the best thing for El Paso, according to Quality of Life protestors who were quick to crash the pro-baseball rally, is saving the city money.
“Can they really demonstrate that the taxpayers are going to benefit from this or just the promoters?” asked Quality of Life lawyer Bill Aleshire.
In the sea of yellow signs in support of Triple-A baseball, stood opponents warning this story could have a bad ending for the city.
“I don't think it’s wise for the city to be spending money this way for a deal that can be much better negotiated for the city,” said ballpark opponent Ron McGinnis
But while defining what's wisest for the city was very clear for rally supporters, it’s arguing apples and oranges to opponents.
Opponents say they have a right to vote on the future of the city, while proponents say they're just no time. The fate of the stadium lies in the hands of nine elected officials on Tuesday.