Lawmakers start preliminary talks with NM United officials about new stadium | KOB 4
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Lawmakers start preliminary talks with NM United officials about new stadium

Patrick Hayes
Updated: November 14, 2019 10:34 PM
Created: November 14, 2019 06:25 PM

SANTA FE, N.M.— Lawmakers met with New Mexico United officials Thursday to talk about the possibility of building a new soccer arena.

New Mexico United had a huge impact on and off the pitch.

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"You know New Mexico United means something different for each of them and that's exactly what we're all about so to hear all those points of view was really tremendous,” said Peter Trevisani, the team’s owner and president.

He’s using the offseason to pitch lawmakers on a new soccer arena.

According to Trevisani, the team needs room to grow after leading the league in merchandise sales and attendance.

"At 12,600 plus people per game -- that's not just great for the USL. That's better than the Chicago Fire MLS, that's better than the hockey teams in New York and Canada," he said.

The New Mexico United spent their first season playing in Isotopes Park, which was publicly financed about 16 years ago.

Team leaders did not say how much money they are looking for, but suggested they would want help from the city and state.

One idea included using money from the capital outlay fund, which some lawmakers said they would support.

Officials also the city’s deal with the Isotopes.

Under that agreement, the Isotopes pay the rent and gives them a percentage of their sales. The state also defers charging customers taxes on goods and services inside the park.

Lawrence Rael, the city’s chief operating officer, said the city used 20-year bonds to build the stadium, but he thinks it’ll be paid off a couple years before schedule.

Meantime, Paul Gessing, president of the Rio Grande Foundation, told KOB 4 he doesn’t want the state or city to overspend.

"If the franchise comes up with an attractive deal for the legislature I think they will get their money but if they overreach, say 75% of the cost of the stadium on taxpayers, I think they'll probably wind up going back to the drawing board."

Ultimately, no decision was made and the United have a home at the Lab for another year.

But everyone agreed they would want a soccer stadium that could host other events like concerts year round.


 


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