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Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 10:28pm
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — City council agreed to contribute a little more than $52 million, but not a dollar more to build the ballpark in El Paso. When investors asked for extra money for more amenities, they quickly realized they would have to foot the bill.
They rolled out a design plan and envisioned a ballpark with four levels, super suites, and other buildings attached for more events and activities. The investors for the Triple-A stadium project realized those extras would cost them more than expected.
"If they said they would build the ballpark for a certain amount, I mean, they should back their word," said Omar Cuellar.
The MountainStar Sports Group says they will back their word and pay the additional $12.1 million needed to fund amenities promised to El Pasoans for their ballpark, and they say it won't cost El Pasoans a dime.
"I want to congratulate them for stepping up to the plate and finding a way that we could make this not just a Triple-A baseball stadium that would meet the requirements of Triple-A but to go beyond that and make it a showcase," said Mayor John Cook.
MountainStar will double their annual rent payment to the city from $200,000 to $400,000 a year, and extend their lease term from 25 to 30 years.
But that wasn't enough to convince some El Pasoans we spoke with.
"It's a lot of money and it's going towards a ballpark that I don't really feel is going to be used," said Irving Cuellar.
"Some people didn't want it in the first place so I mean, those same people still, would not want it there," Eric Romero.
City council will consider approving MountainStar's new lease contract on June 18th. If it's approved, the city will also have to borrow $8 million more. Officials say it'll be repaid using HOT tax, team, and team-generated revenues from the ballpark.