What’s It For?

Why are we still trying to build an arena?

MountainStar’s not hot on it anymore. They’re worried about their soccer stadium. Do you think they can convince the voters to build them a soccer stadium if an arena is hemorrhaging money? The taxpayers are already funding their ballpark.

The pressing need for an arena has never been justified. We have no anchor tenant. The concert business isn’t what it used to be. Ice hockey fans can’t even fill the Coliseum Annex.

Here’s a clue, delivered via District 4 Representative Cassandra Hernandez, as quoted in the El Paso Times:

“I supported the rejection of Mr. Grossman’s settlement offer because millions of Quality of Life dollars have already been spent on the acquisition of land and legal fees to fulfill our obligation to build the multipurpose center. I understand that there are legal repercussions to the city if his offer is accepted. And, frankly, I’m tired of Mr. Grossman’s belief that he can unilaterally change and attack the plans for the MPC and overturn what citizens of El Paso voted for in 2012.  I’m confident that the city will prevail in the lawsuits.”

Aha! The old Sunk Cost Fallacy. Representative Hernandez thinks that we should keep throwing away good money after bad. After all, it’s not her money.

And “legal repercussions”!

Like what? Are the voters going to sue the city? How will they prove which way they voted?

Besides, we don’t have to kill the arena. We can just wait till the arena makes sense. Till taxpayers stop running away from El Paso like it was a burning building. Till we get some of that “economic development” the bond advocates promised us.

The only reason I can imagine that City Council would be so stubbornly adamant about the arena is if maybe they had friends with a financial interest in its construction. Like people with a construction business that could pull it off. Or maybe that could handle the Construction Management end of it.

Maybe Rep. Hernandez should get out and meet her constituents, and ask them how they feel about property taxes going up every year.

But maybe Rep. Hernandez doesn’t give a rat’s ass care about her constituents.

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