Arena Could Be Built Outside Downtown El Paso

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) - El Paso city officials said at a special council meeting Monday that the arena doesn't need to be built within 1,000 feet from the convention center.

“It doesn't have to be within the 1,000 foot, necessarily,” said City Attorney Sylvia Borunda Firth.

However, if it is, then the city could apply for $25 million worth of incentives that would come from a state tax rebate. Officials said those funds would go directly to the city.

During public comment, one of the speakers asked city officials why the arena had to be built close to the convention center in Downtown El Paso, if that wasn't written on the ballot when voters approved the $180 million project back in 2012?

Borunda Firth explained that while the downtown location wasn't specified on the ballot, it was written in an ordinance council voted on when it called for the bond election.

The City Attorney also said if council wants to place the arena outside of Downtown El Paso, it's possible, but it'd require extreme legal measures.

City Rep. Lily Limon asked the city attorney’s office to look into how much it’d cost to build the arena elsewhere.

“So we keep hearing over and over again that perhaps Cohen Stadium is the best location for it. Then, let's look at Cohen Stadium, city-owned land, and put a term sheet as well," Limon adds.

Limon also asked the city attorney’s office to include the state tax incentives the city may receive from building the arena at a place like Cohen Stadium. 

Borunda Firth said if the arena location ends up being downtown, but a little outside the 1,000 feet radius from the convention center, the city could still qualify for the $25 million in state incentives.

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