Aug 10, 2017

El Paso Arena Battle Set to Go Back to Court

Members of the El Paso City Council are ready for battle.

After a Texas Appeals Court Judge ruled that El Paso cannot use funds from its 2012 Quality of Life Bonds to build a sports arena, the council voted 6 to 2 to begin the legal process of appealing that decision.

Judge Amy Clark Meachem of the 201st Civil District Court made her ruling in response to months of legal skirmishes between the City of El Paso and a combination of preservationists and community activists working to stop the planned construction of the $180 million arena in Duranguito neighborhood.

Opponents claimed the building of the new arena would not only destroy a historic neighborhood, it would also be contrary to the ballot language for the Quality of Life bond which did not specify that the arena would be used for sports.

In her ruling, Meachem said El Paso could not “expend proceeds generated from the sale of the bonds” to design or build a facility that might be used for sporting activities.

She added that “no funding from other sources may be used to modify, complete or enhance the facility to make it suitable for a sports arena.”

Despite Meachem’s ruling, city officials have said they will continue to work on property acquisition for the site and are moving on to the design phase of the project.


By Garry Boulard

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