The judge in Austin who has been hearing the case of the controversial downtown El Paso arena did not give her final judgement Tuesday afternoon as expected. We should get the final word by the end of the week.

The judge has to decide whether sporting events can be held in the arena. She has already ruled that the City cannot build a sports arena with a sports team anchor, but we will find out soon if we can have sporting events at the arena. Here's why we should:

1. People spend money on sports - I don't even like sports that much, but my husband and son do, and my granddaughters love to go to games at the ballpark and at UTEP. We spend a lot of money on concessions and memorabilia, and so do a lot of other people. Keeping that revenue stream off the table will render the arena nothing but a multi-million dollar quinceniera venue.

2. People travel for sports - People come to town to see boxing matches, they come to town to see Sun Bowl games, they come to town to see their teams play in the Sun Bowl Basketball Invitational. If we had a better venue, we could bring other sporting events to town that people would travel to see.

3. Convention business - When conventions are looking to come to town, they look to see what else is happening during the time they want to come to town. We need concerts, plays, and sporting events. See where I'm going here?

4. We don't need a failed downtown arena - The reason arena opponents don't want sports is because they don't want the Foster/Hunt families to have another venue for a sports team. That's all well and good but if the arena fails, we will be paying a helluva lot of taxes on an empty building, and don't we do that already with the empty buildings downtown?

The arena is going to get built. We need to do whatever we can to make sure that it has the best shot at succeeding, and that means sporting events. It's time to move on with this.

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