City councilors defer vote on potential lease agreement for new United Stadium

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque city councilors voted 5-4 Monday night to postpone a vote on a potential land lease agreement with New Mexico United.

The deal would have paved the way for a new soccer stadium to be built at Balloon Fiesta Park, which would’ve been mostly funded by private investments.

The lease contract requires a $30 million investment from New Mexico United to build the stadium.

“They [New Mexico United] have identified and raised, according to them, over $30 million,” said Albuquerque City Council President Pat Davis. “Legislators in Santa Fe have allocated $13 million for some of the infrastructure like the water and the sewer and those things that have to go to a stadium.”

New Mexico United would pay an annual lease of $35,000 to the City of Albuquerque. But Davis said the city would benefit from gross receipts tax and get a cut on parking costs.

“City taxpayers, if this lease is approved, would be the landlord. We would get money every month and every year from United for the use of the land. Plus we’d get a share of parking revenue, we’d get to use the facility for Balloon Fiesta which, anyone who was there this weekend knows we need more space and more parking,” said Davis.

The agreement would be for 30 years, with options to extend.

Peter Trevisani, owner of New Mexico United, said the team plans to sell the stadium to the city, whenever that time comes, for just $1.

If the lease is passed by council on Monday, the next step will be up to the team. The design and plans would need to be submitted and approved to make the infrastructure dollars available.

The contract sets out several benchmarks for progress over the next two years.

City councilors are expected to address this issue again sometime in the next 30 days.