Over the past couple of weeks, new developments have made the Borderland one of several potential destinations for the San Diego Padre's Triple-A baseball franchise, which may go up for sale soon.
But only if a ballpark can be built in Downtown El Paso.
"It's probably the closest El Paso has been to an affiliated baseball team since 2004," said Steve Kaplowitz from El Paso's ESPN Radio. "The people that I've already spoken to about this, they really believe that this can happen if the team is put up for sale in the next, let's say, one to two months."
The team played the 2011 season in Tucson, Ariz., while waiting for a new stadium to be built in Escondido, Calif.
If the franchise becomes available, as expected, a new ballpark would have to be built, and Kaplowitz says talk is that ballpark would have to be downtown.
"I think right now a downtown ballpark, if it's done properly and they build an entertainment district around it kind of like Reno and Oklahoma City, it could totally change the way we look at Downtown El Paso," Kaplowitz said.
A couple of possible sites for a downtown ballpark include the current City Hall site and the Union Depot site, which Sun Metro is scheduled to move out of by next year.
"Downtown would be option No. 1," said City Rep Steve Ortega, who indicated that the discussion has centered on private money to acquire the franchise and public money to build the ballpark, on a site downtown already owned by the city. "Maybe down the road if those discussions are fruitful, we may have a public vote at City Council in terms of how much support the city wants to give to the baseball initiative."
Kaplowitz said things are moving fast and the potential ownership group should know within the next six weeks about whether they'll have a shot at buying the team.
As far as the cost of a downtown ballpark goes, the figure being bounced around is $40 million.
"Triple-A baseball is a step below the major leagues," Kaplowitz said. "So it would be a huge opportunity for El Paso should they get it."