El Paso, TX officials continue to map out the future of Cohen Stadium, as current plans call for the ballpark to be demolished in favor of an entertainment complex.
The former home of the El Paso Diablos, Cohen Stadium has gone largely unused in recent years. City officials are now considering a large-scale redevelopment concept for the site, one that would see the ballpark torn down to make way for several amenities. A mixture of retail and dining options would be built on the site, along with a water park, a hotel, and potentially a performance stage.
El Paso officials envision the project as a private/public partnership, with the city contributing in excess of $12 million to cover several expenses, including the ballpark’s demolition. The water park is already funded–construction on that is expected to begin by next year–but the city is seeking a private developer to help make the full project a reality. More from KVIA.com:
The city also says they’ll be getting funding through a tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ) which will reinvest tax revenues from the district back into the project.
However, the city is still going to need some outside help.
Sam Rodriguez, an El Paso city engineer, says the city is looking for a private developer to help fund and to help make these plans come to fruition.
“We always understood that this needed to be a private/public partnership,” Rodriguez said. “We’re going to need private investment to come in and to make the development a reality. We already have some of the public funding that’s required for some of the uses. Now it’s just establishing that vision, so that we can go out and fully market the overall vision for this entertainment district.”
Opening in 1990, Cohen Stadium hosted multiple incarnations of the Diablos. An affiliated minor league version of the Diablos (Class AA; Texas League) played at the ballpark from its opening through the 2004 season, before relocating to Springfield, MO to become the Springfield Cardinals. An independent league club immediately followed and assumed the Diablos name, remaining there through the 2013 season.
Discussions of redevelopment and the presence of Southwest University Park–home to the El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) since 2014–in the city’s downtown have factored into Cohen Stadium’s inclusion on our Endangered Ballparks list.