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El Paso City Council To Vote on Building Downtown Ballpark on Tuesday

El Paso City Hall and Insights Museum is the likely sight of the downtown ballpark.

After a nearly decade long drought, affiliated baseball could be headed back to El Paso.  On Tuesday, city council will vote on a proposal to build a downtown ballpark to lure a AAA team to El Paso.  The item was posted on the council agenda this afternoon.

The funds to build the ballpark would be independent of the quality of life bond issue that is set for a November vote.  The ballpark would likely be funded by certificates of obligation.  Certificates of obligation are repaid with tax dollars but do not require voter approval.

The likely site for the ballpark would be where city hall and Insights Museum currently sit.

Here are the four baseball-related items placed on the City Council agenda just now:

  1. Discussion and action on a presentation of the Downtown Sports Complex Study as developed by Urban Design+.
  2. Discussion and action on a presentation of the financial impacts of a downtown stadium.
  3. Discussion and action on a Resolution that the City Manager be authorized to sign the Term Sheet as agreed upon by the City of El Paso and Mountain Star Sports Group, LLC, in order to signal the creation of the public/private partnership and the intent of the City Council to construct a public sports facility (“Ballpark”) in the event the investors are able to purchase a Triple-A Minor League Baseball Franchise and relocate it to El Paso; that the City Council intends to locate the Ballpark on the site currently occupied by City Hall, Insights Museum, the Community Garden and the supporting parking area fronting on Franklin Street and authorizes the City Manager to take measures to complete the planning for the redevelopment of such site and to take steps to make the site available for the construction, including termination of leasehold interests, and to move forward to formulate long term and short term execution plans for the relocation of City operations from the City Hall site to other locations in the downtown area for the construction of the Ballpark; that the City Manager be authorized to proceed with proposed financing plan to include the possible use of (i) a venue hotel occupancy tax if approved by the voters at a duly-called election; (ii) lease revenue bonds issued by a local government corporation formed by the City; and/or (iii) other debt obligations issued by or on behalf of the City for the construction and development of the Ballpark; and that the City Manager or her designee be authorized to negotiate a contract containing the terms and conditions set forth in the Term Sheet for the construction and future operations and maintenance of the Ballpark and to present it to City Council for consideration upon completion of the negotiations.
  4. Discussion and action on a Resolution providing for the planning, acquisition, establishment, development and construction of a sports and community venue project and designating the method of financing the project pursuant to Chapter 334 of the Local Government Code.

For more check out Cindy Ramirez’s report on elpasotimes.com

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