City reps at odds over new ballpark
Updated On: Jan 17 2014 03:09:46 PM CST
While the City Council discusses whether to approve a new ballpark to be built where City Hall currently sits, some opposition has been expressed.
If approved, the will city will partner up with the newly formed Mountain Star Sports Group, LLC, which is looking to buy the team and have it relocate to El Paso. The new ballpark will be built where City Hall, Insights Museum and the Community Garden are currently located.
Today's vote also hinges on whether Triple A Baseball as an organization approves El Paso.
El Paso city Rep. Eddie Holguin has already said he will vote against the ballpark. On Tuesday, he even apologized to the Tiguas, who own the El Paso Diablos.
The Diablos, which play at Cohen Stadium in Northeast El Paso, face the likelihood of being sold or dissolved.
City Rep. Carl Robinson, who represents the Northeast, still believes Cohen is adequate for a Triple-A baseball franchise.
Other representatives and local officials, however, expressed support for the ballpark.
El Paso city Rep. Susie Byrd said, "I'm kind of giddy about the whole thing."
El Paso County Judge Escobar, who also attended the meeting said, "If we choose not to do this, we are repeating the unfortunate era of the past. Now is the time to make a change."
Also Tuesday, council will also vote on a resolution to raise the hotel occupancy tax in order to pay for the stadium.
City Rep. Emma Acosta, who said she supports the Triple-A and the proposed site, will not support raising the Hotel Occupancy Tax two percent in order to cover 70 percent of Ballpark construction costs.
Voters will have the final say on the increase to fund construction in November.
City Rep. Mike Noe, who also supports the team, said, ""This is a really big decision. It could be the biggest thing to ever happen or it could be the biggest boondoggle in history."