I don’t really blame the local multi-millionaires for buying City Council. I blame City Council for letting them.
Money gives you opportunity, and a lot of money lets you leverage a lot of opportunity.
Jim Scherr thinks a vibrant downtown will make El Paso more attractive. And he thinks he can make some money building a vibrant downtown.
There’s nothing wrong with doing well by doing good. Nobody likes to lose money, no matter how much money you have.
I’m not sure if Mr. Scherr thinks he needs an arena to guarantee the success of his new hotel, or if he’s just opposed to closing the Civic Center. Closing the Civic Center would be a subject of legitimate concern for the hotelier. The arena is a different fish all together.
Maybe all those hoteliers think they need the arena to attract conventions. That’s hard to fathom. How many arena concerts are there these days? Is a One Direction concert going to draw a convention?
The most popular arena acts are dwindling. Some are literally dying. The acts baby boomers would go see are playing casinos these days, and the baby boomers go to bed early, anyway. The other arena acts are aimed at tweens, and they don’t do conventions.
I guess there are still a few country acts, but that window is slowly closing, too.
The music industry is changing. There are more bands catering to more niche audiences. A record deal used to be a big thing, but now cualquier pendejo can cut an album in his mom’s garage.
So what? Sports? Will a D League basketball team attract a convention?
Not likely. And the D League basketball season is only 50 games, and only half of those are played at home.
If the arena attracted every show that’s currently playing at the Coliseum, and the Don, and the Pan Am Center, it would still be dark more than, what? Three quarters of the year? Five sixths? Eleven twelfths?
And the Coliseum and the Don and the Pan Am Center aren’t going to go quietly into that dark night.
All for the bargain price of $180 million, and destroying a cool neighborhood, and kicking some abuelitas out of their homes.