Why, you are probably asking yourself, would El Paso need a downtown arena? I mean we’ve got the Don Haskins Center, the Coliseum, and the Civic Center in El Paso. So why on earth would we need to spend $180 million to duplicate those facilities?
I was curious myself, so I asked my Ouija board.
“D League basketball,” the Ouija said to me.
D League basketball?
“The NBA’s developmental league.”
But wouldn’t the Don work for D League?
“Concessions. MountainStar needs the concession money to make money off of D League.”
But where will they put the arena?
“You haven’t heard? Behind City 1. In the railyard.”
What about parking?
“Are you kidding me?” I sensed that the Ouija board thought I was dense. “Didn’t you see that RFP for a Public Private partnership for a parking garage in front of City Hall? What did you think that was all about?”
A Public Private partnership? I asked.
“You know,” the Ouija said, “where the public gets the costs, and the private sector keeps the profits.”
So why are we doing it? Economic development?
“Economists agree that stadiums and arenas don’t have a significant economic impact.”
What about all that development downtown since they built the ballpark?
“Bars and apartments? You think bars and apartments are economic development? If they weren’t built there, they’d have been built someplace else.”
Hmm. But won’t City Council do what’s right for all El Pasoans? Surely they won’t cave to their campaign donors.
“Man,” the Ouija said. “You really are a dumbass.”