Retrovision – What’s Wrong With El Paso?

This was one of El Chuqueño’s first posts. It originally appeared on 28 August 2012.

I like El Paso. What about all those people saying it’s not good enough for them?

Those baseball fanatics, god bless ‘em, say those who oppose the unsanctioned sellout of real assets for speculative pipe dreams don’t love El Paso. They say we need development to make El Paso livable, and knocking down buildings and starting from scratch is the way to go. They say otherwise our children and grandchildren will move somewhere else to make their futures, because the only thing standing between them and a four bedroom ranch style home in the suburbs is Triple A baseball in downtown El Paso.

I’m not sure how a Triple A baseball team will change El Paso into an economic dynamo, but those baseball fanatics seem convinced that this is a necessary first step in the process.

It’s the next steps that they’re a little shaky on. It’s like alchemy. First we build a ballpark, and then the streets are paved with gold.

I’d be more convinced if they could illustrate the process. We build a Triple A ballpark, and then what? Fortune 500 companies beat a path to our door? The bulk of Americans will overcome their latent xenophobia to embrace quinciñearas and Chico’s Tacos?

Anyone who thinks that the lack of a Triple A baseball team has been holding El Paso back seems to me to be a little out of touch with reality. And to suggest that anyone who opposes the current shenanigans is less of a loyal El Pasoan than those who support sticking the city with unproven benefits for unmeasured costs probably can’t balance their checkbooks.

Some of those baseball fanatics say that the reason we are where we are now is because El Pasoans aren’t forward thinking enough. They say that the naysayers, to borrow their term, are the reason that El Paso is where it is now.

Well I like El Paso. I’m not apologetic about El Paso. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I’ve never been confronted with a lack of things to do in El Paso. I’m usually overwhelmed by the options. Maybe those people who say that there’s nothing to do in El Paso should sell their teevees. Maybe they should meet their neighbors, and the people that aren’t their neighbors. Maybe the people who think Triple A baseball is a safe alternative to television sit-coms should get a real life, because El Paso is one of the most culturally rich and culturally diverse cities in the world. And it’s the safest city in America.

Somehow, Triple A baseball will fix all that.

I read in the paper where that sweet lady rep from the Eastside said that once we build that tax base, then rates can come down. Does anyone remember the last time tax rates came down? I don’t.


  1. “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Reading this today (04/29/2022), is like deja vu all over again. And, City Council still clings to the idea that we actually want a downtown arena. Maybe there’s something in the water over there on the far west side of town?

  2. Downtown El Paso is nothing more than a tax abatement Mecca for millionaires, and one billionaire. Also, a trolley car graveyard with ghost ridership exist from downtown El Paso to UTEP.

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