How Much Would the “Arena” Cost today?

Tomorrow, City Council will vote on whether or not to tell City Manager Tommy Gonzalez to come up with a current estimate of the cost to construct the controversial arena in Duranguito.

The item was placed on the agenda by District 6 Representative Claudia Lizette Rodriguez.

No brainer, right? Better information yields better decisions. The vote should be unanimous, 8-0, to approve the updated estimate.

You’ll remember, as part of the 2012 Quality of Life bond package, voters approved $180 million towards some vaguely worded proposition that included what the bond proponents later construed to mean a state of the art basketball arena.

Today, back of the envelope construction cost estimates have pushed the cost of the arena to closer to $500 million.

The whole $473 million bond package was never supposed to push the City’s share of property taxes over 61 cents per $100 valuation, according to the City’s Chief Financial Officer at the time. Currently, the City is sticking it to the taxpayers to the tune of 90 cents per $100. Immediately following passage of the bonds, the El Paso Times reported that “As a result of passing both propositions, homeowners will pay about $41.42 more a year for a home valued at $100,000 through 2030.”

Wouldn’t that be nice.

Ninety cents per $100 valuation is a lot more than they promised, and another half a BILLION dollar debt is going to hurt us even more.

Turns out the City has been playing hide the pickle with the taxpayers the whole time.

If you’d like to help persuade City Council to approve the motion to find out what the arena would cost today, please sign up to speak on Agenda Item 22 at https://www.elpasotexas.gov/city-clerk/meetings/city-council-meetings.

7 comments

  1. And just to note, NO ARENA was approved by voters in 2012. The bond included IMPROVEMENTS for a “multi-purpose performing arts and entertainment center.” The ONLY such entity is the Chavez Theater!!! Quite possibly the Powers that Ruled had in mind all along an “arena” and came up with this catchy language instead, but “arena” was not on the ballot.

  2. Meanwhile, we face ever rising costs for electricity from the greedy monopoly that has us by the short ‘n curlies, you know a yuge increase in water bills is coming for the raw sewage mess on the West Side. We are seriously considering a move, but just can’t figure out where to go at our age!

  3. I saw that the council voted 4-3 to not find out the cost of the arena they want to build. Can you tell us who voted which way? Thank you

    1. Representatives Svarzbein, Hernandez, Salcido, and Rivera voted to deny the cost estimate.

      Representatives Annello, Molinar, and Rodriguez voted for the estimate.

      Representative Lizarraga left the meeting before the vote.

  4. I am not sure why this is still being discussed when a soccer stadium over I-10 is what Foster really wants.

    1. Can’t play basket ball in a soccer stadium. The CC’s Mountainstar Alliance continues to rule us, it seems. Don’t let the peasants know what we got them into, just build the goddam thing.

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