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City, MountainStar to address cost overruns at new El Paso ballpark

New El Paso ballpark

It could take an additional $10 million to complete the new El Paso ballpark slated to host the relocated Tucson Padres (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) next season, with city and MountainStar Sports officials slated to discuss the matter.

Currently there’s no proposal on the table: just a note from MountainStar’s Josh Hunt that the issue is looming and should be addressed. There’s also no specific amount to be covered, either. From the El Paso Times:

In an email to Mayor Oscar Leeser, Joshua Hunt, a member of the MountainStar Sports Group, said that the $64 million currently budgeted for the ballpark “likely will not be sufficient to complete construction.”

“As a result, the City and MountainStar began discussing additional ways to cover these additional costs, which could be as much as $10 million,” Hunt wrote.

Hunt added that MountainStar would provide additional funds or the construction costs and reimburse the city for costs that are more than the agreed $64 million. MountainStar does not say how much money it would contribute.

The email asked for other changes to the ballpark agreement, including more control for MountainStar over the budgeting and construction process.

It’s unclear whether El Paso officials will be willing to discuss anything the assumption of additional debt to be paid back by MountainStar: some of the elected officials who supported the ballpark are now out of office, and these proposed changes give ammunition to ballpark foes who opposed the project from the beginning. In any case, without anything solid on the table from either side, it’s hard to say how this will play out.

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