Comments Off on MountainStar Sports Group offers to commit additional $12.1 million toward construction of El Paso’s Downtown Ballpark
On May 28, 2013, El Paso City Council directed City staff to limit the City’s financial commitments required to construct the Downtown Ballpark. Since receiving council’s direction, City staff has met with representatives of MountainStar Sports Group, LLC – the local ownership group bringing Triple-A Baseball to El Paso – to discuss the status of the project and changes needed to bring the budget in line with Council’s directive.
As a result of these discussions, MountainStar is prepared to commit $12.1 million in additional revenues to fund the construction of El Paso’s new Downtown Ballpark. This allows the city to construct the state-of-the-art facility, including all envisioned amenities, without burdening El Paso property taxpayers or substantially increasing the City’s direct contribution beyond the original commitment. The additional revenues would be generated by the following:
o Doubling MountainStar’s annual lease payment to the City of El Paso from $200,000 to $400,000 a year.
o Extending the term of MountainStar’s lease from 25 to 30 years.
o Extending the term of MountainStar’s non-relocation agreement from 25 to 30 years.
In order to formalize this commitment, Mayor John Cook will ask City Council to consider approval of the following items at the June 18, 2013, City Council Meeting:
Amending the Bond Authorization Parameters Resolution: If City Council approves, the City of El Paso Downtown Development Corporation would be authorized to increase its borrowing capacity from $52.8 million to $60.8 million. This would allow construction of the ballpark as presently designed and envisioned. Some of the project cost would be funded through revenue generated by favorable interest rates on the bond market. Sources of funding to repay those bonds include the following:
o $48.7 million would be repaid through Hotel Occupancy (HOT) Tax Revenues, as approved by voters in November 2012.
o $12.1 million would be repaid with MountainStar’s additional funding commitment.
o $0 would be repaid by El Paso property taxpayers.
§ Amending the Lease Agreement to extend the term and non-relocation clause: Over the 30-year-term of the lease, these provisions would generate the additional $12.1 million from the following:
o Additional Rent due to annual increase: $7,715,610.
o Additional Rent due to 5-year lease extension: $1,610,510.
o Parking: $1,057,377.
o Ticket Surcharges: $1,742,374.
Amending the Development Agreement: This amends the development agreement to be more precisely aligned with the final construction plans and documents.
Amending the Construction-Manager-at-Risk contract: This allows the city to align the construction budget with MountainStar’s increased financial commitment.
Amending the Design contract: This allows for the increased level of effort of the designers to align with MountainStar’s increased financial commitment.
“Take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowd, buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks, I don’t care if I never get back…” Yep, you guessed it, the Ballpark Stadium and purchase of the San Diego Padres farm team – a Triple A – professional squad will soon make its debut in El Paso after El Paso Mayor John Cook decided to not veto the contentious issue and allow the city to knock down city hall and relocate to disparate parts. What parts? Parts is parts. So, are you ready for some baseball? Well, some are, but, many are not. The Save the Diablos group, headed by Ray Rojas, Stephanie Townsend Allala, and others, got their wish in that their Diablos will be allowed to remain in El Paso and will be allowed to compete for the publics’ heart against the El Paso Padres. But, they didn’t get their wish to save City Hall. Oh, well, can’t win them all.
But, wait, there’s more. An even more contentious issue is whether El Paso voters, many of whom have been angered because of the passage of the new baseball stadium along with tearing down City Hall, will have their say come November. The Quality of Life Bond Issue, being promoted by City Hall means a higher tax rate for home owners, but, not that high say supporters – a mere $40 more for a $100,000 house by the year 2023. Still a long way off, you say? Well, time passes fast, especially when you’re having fun. But, in all fairness, El Paso does need to improve its image, it needs to provide amenities for its citizens. The old refrain that there’s nothing to do in El Paso, rings only too true. Oh, sure, we have our Carlsbad Caverns, our White Sands, our Cloudcroft/Ruidoso spots where El Pasoans can go for a weekend, or a special event. But, those are too far from the madding crowd.
Even visitors to El Paso say that there’s nothing to do here. Once upon a time they could go to Juarez, to see bullfights, to see and hear famous singers at La Fiesta Restaurant, or to get a quickie divorce. But, even then, there was little to do in The Sun City – famous for its great weather. But, did or does the city have an Olympic-sized swimming pool? No! Did or does the city have enough soccer fields to satisfy youngsters and oldsters who clamor for more of the same? No! Does the city have a world-class children’s museum, or a state-of the arts and cultural center? No! So, what do visitors and, especially, citizens have to keep them in El Paso? Absolutely nothing. Yet, they stay.
Wait, the city could do something for visitors. For example, a shuttle service could be provided for out-of-towners to visit those sites already mentioned, sites and locations that are conveniently located in the state of New Mexico. Those visitors could stay at our excellent hotels, they could eat at our excellent restaurants, and they could see some of the sights that the city does provide. Not enough, you say? Then, how about hotels and restaurants getting together and paying for that shuttle service. In the evenings, bring them back to El Paso. Since those sites mentioned don’t have airports, this might be the next best thing. It could work.
But, El Paso citizens say, “what about us?” It’s no secret to El Pasoans, that they can visit those sites on special occasions, but, what’s here – in El Paso – for them? No matter how hard the city works to promote itself, denizens who live here are not forming part of the equation. But, much work needs to be done. Will voters approve the bond issue? Will they vote to provide amenities for those who live here, those who live here and who love this city? It will be up to the voters. The controversy over building the new stadium and of having an almost professional baseball team in the city is not because the naysayers didn’t want the ballpark, rather, it was because of the way it was shoved down their throats. They wanted to have a say in it, they wanted to show their support for it, they wanted to vote for it. But, guess what –maybe they weren’t allowed to vote on the new stadium or voting to tear down city hall, but, come November, they will be allowed to vote on the so-called Quality of Life Bond Issue. Which way will voters go? Let’s wait for November, because, only time will tell. Our take is that El Pasoans should vote for the $473 million bond issue. That’s the only way we’ll ever get anything done. Let’s do it for us. Case closed!
Comments Off on Are you Ready? Sun City Music Festival Hits El Paso
For the first time in history, El Paso will host a large-scale music festival boasting over 30 of the world’s most famous electronic music artists on three stages this Labor Day weekend. The festival will be held at Cohen Stadium on September 3rd and 4th.
The line up is almost a who’s who of electronic music artists with the likes of Dutch producer and DJ Armin Van Buuren, who’s been voted the #1 DJ in the world 4 times in a row and has played in some of the world’s largest events including in Amsterdam where he preformed for 200,000 people. Paul Van Dyk, who is a Grammy nominated DJ and producer and was also ranked as the #1 DJ in the world twice before. Afrojack, a current in demand DJ and producer working with the artists such as Lady Gaga, Madonna, Kid Cudi, David Guetta, Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull and many more. Some of the other artists at this years Sun City Music Festival include; Chuckie, Crystal Castles, Cosmic Gate, Gabriel & Dresden, Sidney Samson, Chris Lake and more. One of the big attractions happening on Sunday will be the DayGlow Blu, a show billed as the “World’s Largest Paint Party”.
The festival also wanted to showcase El Paso’s local talent and will be giving the spotlight to; Bulletproof Tiger, Johnny Kage, DJ Rich, Alftron Blkmth, Esteban Carrasco, The DA, Jay Hernandez, DJ Panda and Astrodudes.
Promoters for the festival (SMG Events) are well known regionally for brining some of the top electronic music artists in the world to El Paso on a regular basis, selling out local venues each time. This past May SMG Events hosted the Tiesto Live event at Cohen Stadium, which drew a crowd of nearly 10,000 fans. The Sun City Music Festival hopes to ride on the coat tails of this success as promoters are expecting 10,000 – 15,000 each day. “Our focus is to bring something this massive to El Paso not just for the music lovers and to ensure the event is a success, but to entice people in other cities to come get a taste of our city and see what a great place it is to visit. There is so much culture and history in El Paso and the only way people from elsewhere will see that, is if we draw them in with things that they can’t get in their own city. Once we have them here, they won’t be able to help but fall in love with the Sun City. We expect attendees to support our local economy Labor Day weekend and come back to visit us every year.” stated Alby Bocanegra, Business and Media Relations Representative for SCMF.
As if that’s not enough SMG Events (SCMF) has aligned with The El Paso Police Foundation and will donate a portion of each ticket sold to the EPPF. “We (SCMF Organizers) appreciate and fully support our uniformed officers that are out risking their lives protecting out streets. If through this festival we can assist by donating funds that would provide a vest that could potentially save even one officer’s life then it’s worth our efforts. We’re proud of our city’s ranking as the safest city in the nation and if we can make a small impact on the officer’s quality of life that helped us earn that ranking then we are all for it.” stated Bocanegra. Another alliance is with The City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department where a percentage of ticket sales will be donated to programs geared toward bringing music and arts to the children of our community.
Tickets for SCMF can be purchased at www.groovetickets.com or locally at The Headstand and All That Music.
Comments Off on We are here to WOW our guests everyday! Buffalo Wild Wings
By: Jeraldine G Ramos
It all started in 1982 with two average Joes named Jim Disbrow, and Scott Lowery having the “munchies” for some Buffalo, NY style wings. To satisfy their cravings, they decided to take Buffalo, NY. style wings to Kent, Ohio. Buffalo Wild Wings brings a fun atmosphere that cannot be found at any other restaurant in El Paso, their motto is, “we are here to wow our guests every day,” and indeed they will. It is a sports bar and grill that does not overlook any of its customers, it entertains everyone from a sports fanatic, to a young child.
Filled with 42 flat screen TV’s of various sizes including two 110 inch projection screens, you are sure to find any game you came to see. These TVs do not only have Direct TV, but they are all connected to hand held digital screens that you can take to your table to play games, or control the jukebox. They bring even more fun, with trivia games that are displayed in the flat screens that can be played with people that are not even in the restaurant, and a couple of video arcade games. They even take the excitement outside with a patio that can seat up to 75 people and has 10 flat screens.
If the entertainment has not gotten your attention yet, their exquisite cuisine surely will. With its 14 signature sauces ranging from smilin’ to sizzlin’ to screamin’, and two seasonal sauces, it is sure to satisfy anyone’s taste buds. Sweet BBQ, spicy garlic, Caribbean jerk, Asian zing, and parmesan garlic, just to name a few of their mouthwatering sauces. Come Tuesdays for 50 cent wings (minimum 5), and savor their meaty, juicy, crispy, tenderness along with one of their delicious entrees. There are thick burgers that fill your mouth with succulent juices when you bite into them. Saucy ribs that are finger licking good that go great with their one of a kind seasoned potato wedges. Their menu also includes flat breads, wraps, sandwiches, and salads prepared with the freshest ingredients. For those with a sweet tooth, their New York cheesecake, deep dish apple pie, or chocolate fudge cake is sure to fulfill the toughest cravings.
Buffalo Wild Wings is the perfect place for the NFL, with a different beer of the month and the friendliest, most lively staff, this football season will be a blast. Enjoy a fresh cold 23 oz beer accompanied with appetizers such as their ultimate nachos, or popcorn shrimp that can be shared with friends. You can also take pleasure in one of their signature drinks such as the Caribbean martini made at their full bar. Want to watch the game at the comfort of your home? Buffalo Wild Wings offers take out, and if you’re planning a party, they cater too!
Most importantly Buffalo Wild Wings is about giving back to the community especially the youth. Like their kids menu that has mini corndogs to brighten any child’s smile. They want to make being a child special by sponsoring peewee leagues so that they have the opportunity to be exposed to new experiences. They are also proud sponsors for our UTEP miners so look forward to their tailgate party events! “Buffalo Wild Wings you have to be here!” At 10497 Gateway West. The fun starts at 11am to 2 am Monday through Saturday, and 11 am to 12am on Sundays. For information or reservations contact BWW at (915) 594-9464.
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