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Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 23:39
EL PASO — Triple-A baseball will be coming to El Paso after the MountainStar Sports Group announced the finalized purchase of the Tucson Padres Thursday afternoon.
The newly purchased team means the construction of a new ballpark in downtown El Paso.
"It's a great day for El Paso families and families throughout the region," said City Representative Susie Byrd.
MountainStar Sport Group plans on making baseball accessible to everyone with tickets priced as low as $5.
The goal is to bring in new businesses to downtown, centered around a $50 million dollar stadium, that would require the demolition of city hall.
"It's the people's building," said City Representative Carl Robinson. "This is here for the service of the public not for any private entity."
City Hall will be temporarily relocated while the city finds a permanent home.
"Do you revitalize one of the older buildings like the Plaza for example, or the Caples building or Basset Towers," said Mayor John Cook. "There's a handful of really significant historic buildings in the downtown area."
Salvador Gomez with the Coalition for Responsive Government said the voters should have had a say in the decision to demolish city hall.
"We want to go and vote in favor or against," Gomez said.
Mayor Cook said the city does not have to seek voter approval to demolish city property.
Only if the new stadium was paid for by taxpayers would Texas law mandate public approval.
Cook said a delay in the process would have prevented the team from coming to El Paso.
"That's questionable," Robinson said. "Is there someone beating on the door saying hey I got money, I'm ready to take over the team right now."
With the sale of the team now finalized El Paso will become the 30th member of the exclusive Pacfic Coast League and reap the benefits of that membership.