TERMINATE THE EL PASO SPORTS ARENA PROJECT

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In response to the worst health and economic crisis in El Paso’s history, the City has implemented austerity measures, but the costliest tax-funded project—the proposed sports arena—has not yet been eliminated.  Why the wait?  City Council—CANCEL THE ARENA NOW. 

Because of its high indebtedness and the shutdown of the economy, El Paso is in grave financial danger, as Moody’s has pointed out.  The current recession can trigger a default, while a depression would bring about bankruptcy.  We cannot let that happen.

It is estimated that the controversial arena would cost at least $250 million, and perhaps as much as $500 million.  This is a far cry from the $180 million originally earmarked for the project.  The City says that no money is being spent on this item, but Dr. Max Grossman has calculated that the City has already spent an estimated $44.5 million on the arena initiative, to include interest payments, real estate and related expenses, and court costs.

El Paso cannot afford such extravagance when hundreds of local businesses have closed, thousands of people have filed unemployment claims, and untold numbers struggle to survive as they seek help from food banks to feed their families.

Construction of the arena has been on hold for years because of litigation arising from the deceptive way the City promoted the project in 2012 as a “multi-purpose performance and arts center,” rather than a sports facility.  The City intentionally misled the voters.

Please support the proposal made by representatives Alexsandra Annello and Claudia Rodríguez for the City to terminate the arena project and instead renovate the Abraham Chavez Theater.  This move will save a significant amount of money--and preserve Duranguito, the birthplace of El Paso. (Photo courtesy of The Prospector).

Please sign the petition, share with others, and contact your city representatives (especially from districts #1, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8).