Voters In Albuquerque To Decide On Stadium Proposal

It’s big money for a minor league stadium.

Voters in Albuquerque, New Mexico will head to the polls on November 2nd to say yes or no to spending $50 million for a soccer stadium for the United Soccer League’s New Mexico United franchise. The stadium could seat up to 12,000 people. The United Soccer League is really a minor league circuit but there is a different name given to its status. It is a Tier II league in the United States with Major League Soccer listed as being Tier I of soccer in the United States and Canada as far as leagues go. The USL has a bunch of groups including USL League One, USL League Two and there will be a USL women’s group starting in 2023.

The New Mexico United franchise has been playing its home games at Albuquerque’s Triple A minor league baseball team’s stadium since 2019. The final price tag on the proposed stadium is expected somewhere between $65 and $70 million. The stadium bond will be $50 million. Another $10 million commitment will come from the New Mexico United ownership to help build the stadium. An additional $8 million comes from New Mexico state funding. The stadium plan proponents claim the stadium will pay for itself and will create jobs. The opponents claim building a stadium for a soccer team with limited other usage is a waste of money. Albuquerque would own the stadium but the city has limited use of the facility. The agreement between the city and the soccer team ownership allows Albuquerque to have exclusive use of the facility for just 15 days a year for community events and performances. Right now, Albuquerque voters, according to polling, would vote down the stadium proposal. The team is running TV ads promoting the “people’s stadium” that will create hundreds of jobs. The stadium game continues.

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Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)