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El Paso Arena Hearing Getting Underway

Arena Digest

Monday marks the beginning of a two-day hearing concerning a proposed El Paso Arena, with the case heard by a Travis County 201st Civil District Court judge. 

The issue in El Paso concerns the city’s proposed arena–which has been billed as a multipurpose cultural and performing arts center–and its targeted location. Amidst opposition from residents of the Duranguito neighborhood where the venue would be constructed, the city is seeking to validate that bonds approved by voters in 2012 can be used for the arena’s construction and that its development can take place at its proposed site.

For those on the other side of the case, among the contentions have been that area residents will be displaced by the arena’s construction, the potential to tear down historic buildings in the process, and the question of if the city is properly following the ordinance language. With the hearing set to begin, the two sides are taking their arguments to court. More from The El Paso Times:

“We are just sitting tight,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said.

The city is asking for an expedited declaratory judgment to validate its position and fend off any legal action against it. Travis County 201st Civil District Court Judge Amy Clark Meachum will hear the case.

Meanwhile, opponents of the arena’s site are gearing up for their day in court.

“My biggest hope is that the judge finds the city cannot demolish Duranguito and put the arena there,” said University of Texas at El Paso history professor Yolanda Chavez Leyva, a community advocate who had been working with neighborhood residents.

The proposed arena site is near several major amenities in El Paso, including the Abraham Chavez Theatre and Southwest University Park, home to baseball’s El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League).

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