City, Union Pacific working on land swap as part of ballpark construction

POSTED: 12:50 PM MST Mar 06, 2013 
EL PASO, Texas -

They say the devil is in the details and we're getting a better sense of those important details in the construction process of the ballpark - from land to parking.

The City right now is trying to go full speed to tie up all of the loose ends of the ballpark construction. One of those loose ends is with Union Pacific.

Turns out they need some land that belongs to the railroad.

Another major detail is parking, which City Rep. Carl Robinson is particularly concerned about after he says he was stuck in some pretty serious congestion this weekend.

"Getting out of Downtown to get back on the freeway was a major problem," Robinson said. "You can imagine ... multiply that number of people you will potentially have at the baseball game and you may have an event at the convention center and the Plaza Theatre."

City engineer Alan Shubert said "I can't tell you for sure we won't create congestion. We hope we create congestion. We hope we get people to park and walk around Downtown. That's part of the goal, but we certainly don't want them spending hours trying to get home."

"You have just probably witnessed one of the best dog and pony shows you'll ever see in El Paso. That you will not have traffic problems, you will," an El Pasoan said from the podium.

The City said that in their initial review of ballpark sites they discovered there are more than 4,300 parking spots within a five-minute walking distance of the stadium.

But before the stadium is built the City needs some City Hall land owned by Union Pacific - and it turns out - Union Pacific wants land the City owns at the train depot.

"What they're trying to accomplish is faster trains and what we need is air rights over the trainway and the property required to build the ballpark," Shubert said.

Union Pacific and the City are working on a land agreement. The ballpark will have more than 7,000 seats and the City estimates there are more than 4,300 parking spots in the area. They said that makes sense because on average - there are about three people per car.