A lawsuit against El Paso city employees alleging misconduct regarding the financing of a new El Paso ballpark was dismissed yesterday; meanwhile, the official groundbreaking of the Triple-A facility will take place Thursday.
The lawsuit, filed by former Mayor Ray Salazar and five other plaintiffs against City Manager Joyce Wilson and city Reps. Cortney Niland and Steve Ortega, accused the trio of engaging in a conspiracy to misuse city funds for the construction of the new ballpark, slated to open in April 2014 as the home of the relocating Tucson Padres (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League). It was a thinly disguised attempt to derail the $54-million project. Ballpark opponents whiffed on attempts to cancel the project via the courts. Opponents, naturally, pledge to appeal the decision.
Meanwhile, work contines on the ballpark. As we reported last week, construction of footings and a retaining wall have already begun, while Brad Taylor has been hired as GM of the team. And the groundbreaking is set for this week.
“The groundbreaking for El Paso’s Ballpark is a momentous occasion. It has taken many months and much hard work to reach this point. Now we can join together as a community to celebrate an event that is both a symbolic and very real development in an exciting and progressive future for our City,” said Mayor John Cook.
The Groundbreaking Ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. on the ballpark site, just off the intersection of E. Franklin Avenue and N. Santa Fe Street. Local dignitaries and community leaders will be present for the festivities, along with leadership from Minor League Baseball, the Pacific Coast League, and the San Diego Padres Baseball organization.
“A brand new, state-of-the-art ballpark will be a tangible asset for El Paso that will be a huge element of our community’s economic growth and downtown revitalization,” said Josh Hunt, a member of MountainStar Sports Group, the owners of El Paso’s future Triple-A baseball team. “Having our own Triple-A team play in a brand new ballpark means high quality, affordable family entertainment for residents and visitors alike, and it can only generate more positive attention to and consideration for El Paso by those looking to relocate their families and businesses.”The public is invited to attend the event, but will need a ticket for admission. People can sign up to reserve tickets by visiting www.elpasotriplea.com.
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