Football stadium field gets the shoe

The New Mexico United soccer team plays in Isotopes Park. On Tuesday, voters rejected a bond measure for the city to invest millions in a stadium for the team. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Voters have firmly rejected the idea of ​​investing the city millions in a new multi-purpose football stadium.

The measure — which would have generated $50 million in gross income tax bonds for the location — lost by a margin of nearly 2-1, with all districts partially reporting. The results are unofficial.

In a statement, New Mexico United, a second-tier professional soccer team that would have served as the venue’s main tenant, acknowledged the bond measure’s defeat, but said it has not given up on a stadium.

“While United will continue to pursue a multi-purpose facility that will allow us to bring a professional women’s soccer team and other community-driven programs to New Mexico, we will not actively pursue the proposed locations, including South Broadway and Barelas, David Carl, the team’s spokesperson, wrote in a statement. “United have said from day one that we will only support a venue where the local community is behind the project and the stadium can elevate everyone, not just a few. That work starts immediately.”

The team had pledged to contribute $10 million upfront to the stadium’s construction costs and pay $900,000 annually to use it.

And United put a lot of money into an advertising effort to promote the band. The team was the sole donor to a pro-stadium political action committee that spent $871,026 on the campaign, primarily on TV commercials and mailings.

Mayor Tim Keller also supported the measure.

On Tuesday evening, he said his government will respect voters’ decision not to fund the stadium. Results posted at 10pm showed that 65% voted against, compared to 35% who voted in favour.

“When considering a public, multi-purpose stadium for affordable fun for families in Albuquerque, we felt it was important to allow voters to choose whether to support unions that would not raise taxes,” Keller said in a statement. “We appreciate everyone, from both sides, who has participated in the vigorous conversation over the past few months and showed up to decide on this important issue for our city.”

The stadium came into public discussion in late July when the city released a 356-page stadium feasibility study.

The next day, Keller announced that he wanted to send a $50 million stadium bond to voters.

The company that completed the feasibility study, CAA ICON, had targeted two downtown locations – Second Street/Iron and Coal/Broadway – as “preferred locations” for the project, although the city declined to commit to a site prior to the launch. election. The group had recommended a 10,000-12,000 seat location and estimated it would cost at least $65 million to build, not including land acquisition and any visitor parking.

While stadium supporters had said it would create jobs — most through construction — and serve as a potential catalyst for Downtown’s revitalization, the idea sparked almost immediate backlash.

Critics of the project had expressed concern that a stadium could praise existing residents of historic downtown neighborhoods. Others believed the city should use the money to tackle problems like homelessness, questioning why it would invest heavily in a site that won’t be used by a private team until its third year of existence. .

In a press release, the Stop the Stadium group that advocated housing rather than the facility said the defeat sent a message that “working-class neighborhoods will not be relocated for the sake of profit.”

“The stadium bond was a clear attempt to replace the workers of Albuquerque with more affluent people, all in the interest of profit,” the press release said. “Tonight Albuquerque voted against gentrification. By voting against the pro-corporate stadium development project, Albuquerque residents also made it clear that they want to use public funds for other community and social priorities, especially to respond more effectively to this city’s severe housing crisis, including housing for all ( not just some) of those who are homeless.”

Leave a Comment