The “Arena” Looms Large

This week the El Paso Inc. tries to demonstrate that El Pasoans knew all along that the Multi Purpose Performing Arts Center was going to be an arena.

The crux of the argument is that the city deliberately duped the voters into voting for an arena. But was the wool really pulled over our eyes?

While opponents argue that the word arena was left off the ballot, I believe voters deserve a little more credit.

However, an April, 2006, email from Joyce Wilson, in the bond validation lawsuit that the City filed in Austin, tells a different story:

Arena: I’d downplay this as a longer term issue as it is probably the lightning rod for tax increases for folks.

Focus on how to engage and neutralize the losers.

Are El Paso Inc. readers representative of El Paso voters? Wouldn’t one of the dailies be a better source to demonstrate that the voters were informed?

Or, do articles by El Paso’s best investigative reporter (that’s you, David Crowder) that mention the “arena” several times demonstrate that the arena was not generally known, and the arena was newsworthy?

Don’t forget, when I wrote this article in December, 2013, I thought I had figured something out.

The case moves through an appeals court at this very moment. Let’s see how it plays out.

Ostensibly, the Inc.’s article this week was to highlight their new paywall. I guess they got tired of me using their old articles against the plutocrats. You’d think they’d like the eyeballs.


  1. El Paso Inc does a good job of telling the absolute facts with axe grinding. Sometimes, as you will admit, the facts are difficult to pin down. The City knew it was going to build an arena for soccer at the same time they knew the ballpark was going up. The Times as a daily has lacked integrity in accurately reporting what the City or County was doing for sometime. The City meanwhile has employed smoke, mirrors,magic, lightning and all other manners of concealment from the public as to whether there would be an arena, a sports park, or what, when they tear down Duaranguito and the rest of South El Paso. It is probably the first time someone from the media (in this case, El Paso Inc) can definitively point to a document and say, “Yup there’s gonna be an arena.”

  2. As Mike Schwartz says, “Yup, there’s gonna be an arena.” But, it is not what was voted on, and it is pretty obvious by now that this is *not* what the people of El Paso want, or need.

    1. I agree John. The challenge is stopping it dead in its tracks, stopping all funding related being spent and calling to task the Mayor, City Council and probably half the City Manager’s Office. This, like so many other public waste of money projects, was timed so elections were not imminent, recall petitions would be too late, court actions would be many and prohibitively expensive, but sustainable and profitable for the sports partners. What we need is a zombie apocalypse to suddenly halt all such transactions.

  3. “Engage and neutralize the losers”? That’s a bit bone-chilling, especially the “neutralize” part. Is that a synonym for “lobotomize”?

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