Stop the Stadium: Community members gather to voice concerns

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The top two locations the city is looking at for a new soccer stadium are both in historic neighborhoods downtown.

On Wednesday morning, residents from South Broadway, Barelas and other community members announced their campaign to "Stop the Stadium." They also encouraged others in the metro to vote against the city’s proposed $50 million bond next month.

Community members gathered to voice their concerns about a new soccer stadium, including the multi-million dollar price tag. Many said that money would be better spent tackling issues like crime and homelessness.

They also worry the facility will drive up the cost of living in the area.

"The fight to stop the stadium is part of a larger struggle to keep Albuquerque affordable for working-class people," said Karina Rodgers, a representative from the Party for Socialism and Liberation. "We are fighting development that will push us out, and bring people with more money in."

Other speakers said they are not happy with where the money is coming from. If voters approve the $50 million bond, that funding will be covered by taxpayers.

There is also the issue of location. Campaign supporters stood on the porch of a home that was built back in 1881. It sits right across the street from the Rail Yards, one of the proposed stadium sites. The owners of the house told KOB 4 it was built by the railroad superintendent himself.

Some residents worry about the impact a stadium would have on the historic Barelas neighborhood. "Barelas is a real nice, old-style community,” said Barelas resident Susie Knoblauch. “Many people know each other for a long time, and people don’t want big money in here."

City and community leaders say a stadium would benefit Albuquerque’s economy, bring in more business from out-of-state and provide hundreds of new jobs, but it all comes down to the public vote on Nov. 2.

‘Stop the Stadium’ is planning a rally on Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. That is happening the day before the vote takes place. Residents will march through the Barelas neighborhood, starting at Triangle Park on 4th and Barelas.

You can find more information on upcoming events on the ‘Stop the Stadium’ Instagram page.