El Paso Taxpayers Are Still Subsidizing Downtown Ballpark But Not For As Long As Previously Thought
Earlier this year, El Paso City officials said taxpayer money would be needed for at least five more years to subsidize debt payments for Southwest University Park, but it might actually be three years. General fund subsidies for the ballpark for the last four years have run about $2.2 million, but City officials say that should end by 2022 with hotel and sales taxes, ticket revenues, and rent charged to Mountain Star Sports Group, plus parking at the convention center during games generating enough revenue to cover the debt payment.
City Manager Tommy Gonzalez says the City will repay itself once the ballpark gets out of the red. Mayor Dee Margo said, “The debt refinancing in 2016 has done better than expected. Not only are we saving $10.9 million with the refinancing, but it is also projected surplus revenues will be available two years earlier than projected.”
By the way, Mike keeps saying that the City never said that they would have to dip into the general fund, but this article shows that as far back as 2012, the City had projected shortfalls that would need to be covered by the general fund. They messed up the numbers - no surprise there - but it is no surprise that general fund money was going to be needed for the first few years of the ballpark's existence.