More than three years ago, Emma Acosta was one of the elected members of City Council who publicly opposed tearing down City Hall to build Southwest University Park. Despite the team succeeding in their new downtown ballpark, Acosta has remained quiet on the issue until now. She added the El Paso Chihuahuas ticket increase to the agenda at tomorrow's City Council meeting, because she wants the public to know why MountainStar Sports Group raised prices. Before this topic goes to City Council, let's take a closer look at the ticket prices issue that is in question.

When the Chihuahuas hosted their first ever game at Southwest University Park nearly two years ago, their cheapest ticket in the left field lawn was priced at $5. That price still remains today. What the Chihuahuas did incorporate this season was a separate ticket price for Saturday night games. Those games all feature a fireworks show and they are always sell outs.

The Chihuahuas tickets have been broken up into three categories: Sunday through Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and Saturday games. If fans purchase their tickets in advance, they will save between two and three dollars each on tickets the day of the game. Lawn seating remains $5 regardless of day of game. The team also added a standing room only ticket, which is $10 for every game but Saturday ($12). Other than lawn seating, the best bargains for Chihuahuas baseball is for Sunday through Wednesday games. There are six options priced at $12 or less and eleven different options priced at $15 or less if tickets are purchased in advance. Reserve seats start at $9 for Sunday through Wednesday games. There are six different ticket options for Saturdays under $15 if the tickets are purchased in advance.

Despite the slight ticket increases that have received headlines in the media, nobody seems to pay attention to the fact that the Chihuahuas gave $321,792 in local donations last year or that they employ between 575-600 people annually. The team purchased 1,700 hotel rooms last season and their popular mascot, Chico made over 500 appearances, including hundreds of charities and schools in the region. Last year's Winter Banquet raised more than $14,000 for the Special Olympics and their Paws for Presents Campaign collected more than a 1,000 toys for kids during the holidays. The Chihuahuas do not brag about all their contributions because they do not have to. However, it is important that people understand the facts involved with a local ownership group running a Triple A team that does so much good in and around the community.

Over the last three years, we've seen our utility bills rise, and the same thing has happened to the Chihuahuas and MountainStar Sports. I know that City Council would love to see ticket prices for the Chihuahuas never increase, but that is not realistic. I would love to watch a matinee movie for $5. That matinee ticket price is now $7.25. A regular movie ticket is now $9.50 for adults and $12.50 in 3D. When you compare dollar for dollar, the Chihuahuas have always branded themselves as affordable family fun. That statement is as true today as it was on Opening Night in 2014.