Neighbors Living Near Ballpark Voice Construction Concerns

City ballpark managers and team ownership still at odds on opening day

EL PASO, Texas - Construction crews are forced to pick up the pace as opening day for El Paso's triple-A ballpark nears.

MountainStar Sports Group, the owners of the El Paso Chihuahuas, maintain the team will play its first home game on April 11.

The City's project managers say they are only obligated to have the stadium ready-for-play "sometime in April."

The contract between the team's owners and the City state the stadium must be ready for games by April 28.

City ballpark project spokesman Martin Bartlett said in Tuesday's project update for neighbors living in the adjacent San Francisco Historic District, that the City could not guarantee the ballpark's readiness by April 11.

"I would be foolish if I bet my life on anything," Bartlett said. "Our construction crew is working around the clock to get this ballpark ready on time."

A spokeswoman for MountainStar Sports said the team is expecting to play ball on April 11.

Neighbors said they are concerned with the prospect of round-the-clock construction from now until opening day.

Some said their apartments shake; other said they cannot find parking spots outside of their complexes when they get taken up by construction workers; one man said his truck had been ruined by paint from the ongoing work.

"My truck got a nice coating of white paint over the windows, and then I got up to get a look closer and it's all over my truck," San Francisco Historic District resident Bruce Kacho said. "They'd said construction workers weren't going to be parking on our street. You've got to fight for parking."

Teams of construction crews totaling around 350 workers will soon be working around the clock on the project, Bartlett said.  He said overnight work would include quieter tasks, such as painting, in an effort to keep things peaceful for neighbors.

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