El Paso’s City Hall was imploded yesterday by a series of detonations, as the city takes down a landmark of sorts to make way for a new Triple-A ballpark.
The 34-year-old building took about 10 second to collapse after the charges were detonated. A crowd of 100 or so was on hand to see the event.
The Tucson Padres (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) are set to move to a new El Paso ballpark for the 2014 season.
There were a few protesters on hand as well: although the building was not distinguished on any level (too new to be a landmark, already in need of updates), it was a symbol for those opposing public funding of a new ballpark without voter approval. The ballpark funding plan, which calls for the city to fund the $50-million construction project and then lease the ballpark back to the team, was opposed in state and federal courts several times, to no avail.
Next up: removal of the debris and some repair of windows in local buildings blown out by the implosion.
In a statement, the principals at MountainStar Sports Group, which owns the T-Padres, hailed the event:
“We believe the new ballpark represents long-lasting, sustainable progress for our City. We appreciate the vision of our Mayor and City Council and thank them for their commitment to bring Triple-A Baseball to El Paso and to build this significant asset in the heart of our City – for all El Pasoans. We are dedicated to providing affordable family entertainment in a fun and safe environment. There is much work to be done between now and next spring, and we look forward to watching El Paso’s new ballpark rise from this site and hosting Opening Day 2014.”
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