Ballpark debated at town hall meetings

ballpark meetings

EL PASO, Texas - There were four town hall meetings held tonight by representatives for and against the stadium. City Reps. Steve Ortega, Dr. Michiel Noe, Cortney Niland and Susie Byrd held meetings to explain the ballpark. Rep. Eddie Holguin, who opposes the stadium, met with others who want to stop construction before it starts.

East El Paso resident Martin Pinon was more than happy to attend city Rep. Eddie Holguin's town hall meeting tonight. Like many others, he wants to know if there's still a chance to stop the ballpark construction. 

"There wasting all these millions of dollars and they want to bring down the City Hall," Pinon said. "They want to bring down City Hall, and they're not telling us the real plan. And as taxpayers, we want to feel we count in their decision."

I asked Holguin if the taxpayers against the Triple A stadium had a fighting chance. He isn't confident that they do, but says at least they can speak their minds.

"There's really not a lot you can do if the city council is not willing to listen to the constituency," Holguin said. "The people are obviously upset, they're obviously picking up signatures, they're obviously circulating petitions and council refuses to listen to the citizens.

Across town, representatives Steve Ortega and Michiel Noe held their own town hall, answering questions such Why is Cohen Stadium not an option? How much does this cost? And why downtown? They say the park will bring 436,000 patrons to downtown per season. That number was derived from previous statistics from Cohen Stadium, which was just more than 300,000.

It's estimated that people will pay an average of $41.17 per game. That includes tickets and concessions -- an average the city got from other league statistics.

But those are just estimates, and the city is hoping it will come to fruition. It's a risk, yet East El Paso resident Ignactia Ramirez says, it's worth it.

"We've been asking for this for years and when they decide to do something there are a few that are just stuck in the middle ages," Ramirez said. "We have to move forward. I think it would be worth it for them to raise our taxes a little bit, yes." 

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