There was this story from KVIA about the ballpark:
It is year five for the El Paso Chihuahuas, and we are a long way removed from the contentious fights of 2012 before the ballpark was approved.
But the ballpark is still a long way from being paid for, and the numbers are constantly evolving.
To this day, taxpayer money is still being used to pay off the debt incurred building the ballpark. So far, the City of El Paso has had to dip into its general fund and use about $2.2 million in taxpayer money over the course of four seasons of Chihuahuas baseball.
The City also recently approved $1.2 million in capital improvements to Southwest University Park. The City will have to foot that bill. Part of that will be paid for in rent MountainStar Sports Group, which owns the Chihuahuas, pays to the City each year. But not all of it will be covered by rent payments.
Current estimates have the City dipping into the general fund for another $480,000. That would bring the total in taxpayer support to around $2.7 million. MountainStar maintains this was expected from the beginning.
Here are some other numbers: the El Paso Chihuahuas are averaging 7,407 fans per game this year, the lowest of any of their five years. Their peak year was 2015, when their attendance averaged 8,154 per game. It’s been a steady slide since then.
I wonder if a steady decline in attendance was also “expected from the beginning.”
I’m old enough to remember when the Hotel Occupancy Tax was going to pay for the ballpark. That was back when they were selling it to us. But like they say, “the numbers are constantly evolving.”
So are the stories they’re telling.
[Susie Byrd says] that the ballpark isn’t just about dollars and cents, but about pride in the community.
“I have a really good friend of mine who’s about my age who said, ‘You know what, I feel like this is the first generation of El Pasoans who are really proud to be from here.'”
See, that’s the problem. We let people who don’t know how to love El Paso make decisions for El Paso. They want to put the city in a prom dress and get her to start turning tricks on a street corner.
El Paso doesn’t have to wear a prom dress for me to love her. I loved her when she wore boots and blue jeans.