Public Meeting Tonight About the Arena

There is a public meeting tonight at 5:30 to discuss the economic impact of the downtown arena. The meeting will be held on the 17th Floor of the Blue Flame Building in Room C.

The San Francisco architecture firm Gensler and Associates is being paid nearly $800,000 to justify the economics of putting that arena in Duranguito. The City’s not paying them that much to say it’s a bad idea, even though it’s a bad idea. Gensler will probably come up with some fanciful scenario where the arena even makes money. Eight hundred grand can buy a lot of twisted logic, and once the check clears, Gensler can distance themselves from their study.

Gensler is no stranger to El Paso. They did the interior design of WestStar Tower at Hunt Plaza. Curiously, that project has disappeared from their website, but the firm still gets a nod for their contribution on


  1. I’m here AMA. They picked the least accessibility location of course. The building closed to public access at 5:30 so it was a hassle to get in let alone figure out how to work the elevator

  2. I wonder why they are holding this downtown in the Blue Flame building? Is this because they know that the majority of people will not go downtown?

  3. “Gensler will probably come up with some fanciful scenario where the arena even makes money.”

    They’ll hire Ms. Fuzzy Math (now from Dallas) to run the numbers like she did for the AAA stadium and QoL and EPISD bond projects.

  4. The consult attending online (Bonnie something) described her expertise as “listening to people” but after Debbie Nathan’s questions admitted she’s not fluent in Spanish, couldn’t really hear because of tech issues, and didn’t answer the follow-up on whether those who speak Spanish were able to understand the English-speaking consultant team without professional translation and individual headphones.

    So $800k for a glitchy PowerPoint, a steering committee that is unnamed, unrepresentative of the residents of the neighborhood, and not transparent about who and how these people were nominated. Consultants are all external, unprepared to serve a bilingual population, and will only assess feasibility of plans that center on the current site (so no to improving current convention center). It’s a data driven process, but no the public doesn’t get to see all the data we just get some report at some point before the other 2 public hearings (which probably won’t be well advertised or accessible either).

    Kudos to the city for hitting all the buzz words though. For an arena that they’re not sure is feasible, they sure have a lot of design principles and ideas. If I never hear “data” again it will be too soon

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