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Is new downtown Albuquerque arena back on agenda?

A proposed 12,000-seat downtown Albuquerque arena, put on the back burner after the economic meltdown, may be back with the arrival of a new mayor.

With a new mayor slated to take office at the beginning of the year, proponents of a 12,000-seat downtown Albuquerque arena think they have a fresh shot at finding $350 million in funding for the project.

Outgoing Mayor Martin Chavez was for the project but could never put together a funding plan. Now, incoming Mayor Richard Berry says he's putting together a new team to push for a new arena and establish a funding plan. One option is to cut back the price tag, either by a redesign or recasting of financial projections, as the bad economy may yield some unexpected cost savings. 

The original proposal called for a WNBA team to potentially serve as an anchor tenant; pro hockey may be back on the agenda after the CHL team in nearby Rio Rancho folded operations.

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