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El Paso ballpark plans could fizzle with City Council meeting

By Matthew Smith
Published On: Sep 15 2012 02:23:13 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 14 2014 04:16:37 PM CST

ABC-7's Matthew Smith reports

EL PASO, Texas -

Sept. 15 afternoon update: MountainStar Sports Group announced Saturday afternoon it was making concessions in the contract with the City that could impact Tuesday's City Council vote. Read about the concessions here.

Previous story from early Sept. 15: Tension continues to mount over Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Ten items remain on the meeting agenda that could make or break the future of baseball in Downtown El Paso.

ABC-7 spoke with Emma Acosta on Saturday, following days of speculation that her vote could flip.

In the past, Acosta hasn't been ready to say she'll change her vote, but last week she said she wanted to look at more information.

Acosta said Saturday that after comparing the contracts of several cities and minor league baseball teams, she has spotted several red flags.

Reporter Matthew Smith asked Acosta if she were put on the spot, what would her answer be to the ballpark.

"I would still vote 'no' on the two items that I voted 'no' on before, which was the 10 cent surcharge, which I thought was just too low, and the other one was the non-compete clause. ...Those two items, you know, they stay in there and they can't take those out, then the answer is going to be 'no'," Acosta said.

This could be a bombshell for the decision of the ballpark moving forward.

Acosta represents the sixth vote, and with the mayor toying with the idea of using his veto powers to stop the deal, this could catapult that move from a ceremonial decision, to one of real consequence.

Another development in the ballpark decision broke Saturday morning as well.

City Rep. Steve Ortega got married today.

As a result, he said in a text message that he won't make the Tuesday meeting. Instead, he'll be going on his honeymoon.

With these changes, the breakdown of the Tuesday vote could be affected.

Acosta's vote moves the majority from 6-2 in favor of the park to 5-3.

With Ortega absent, the vote will be 4-3.

As long as no one else flips, the measure still passes.

However, with Acosta's potential flip that leaves just five representatives to overturn the decision.

That's only one vote shy of the six required by council rules.

With all the potential shifts, baseball in El Paso could fizzle in only three days.

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