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El Paso Proceeds With Arena Plan for Duranguito

Arena Digest

Despite the controversy surrounding the plan, El Paso is moving forward with a proposal to construct a new arena in Duranguito

The Duranguito neighborhood emerged as the leading contender for the arena site last fall, but quickly became a source of controversy. Many residents and businesses feared that they could be misplaced by the arena’s construction, and some criticized a vote that authorized the city to use eminent domain in acquiring properties for the project.

El Paso officials then discussed building the arena as part of a project at the nearby Judson F. Williams Convention Center, which prompted criticisms from the business community that the arena’s construction could limit the venue’s ability to attract events.

That made Duranguito the leading contender once again, and it seems that it is maintaining that claim. On Tuesday, the El Paso City Council rejected a motion for a new feasibility study on the arena, which could have given the city more site options. Officials cited the study’s cost as a reason for voting against the proposal. More from the El Paso Times:

The city is moving forward with its original plan to build the Downtown arena in the Union Plaza area, leaving the controversial Duranguito neighborhood as the preferred site.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted against hiring an outside firm to conduct a feasibility study to identify alternate locations for the $180 million arena. City Rep. Cortney Niland was not at the meeting.

City representatives said they were not willing to spend taxpayer dollars on an additional site study when at least four have been conducted over the past several years.

“Not another $200,000 or another dollar on another study for the same subject,” city Rep. Carl Robinson said. “I’m not in favor of that.”

El Paso voters originally approved a new arena as part of a 2012 quality of life bond referendum.

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