ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Community leaders from the historic Barelas neighborhood are answering questions about the impact a new soccer stadium could have in their area. Voters will be weighing in next month on a $50 million bond to cover the lion’s share for that multi-purpose stadium.

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A handful of Barelas community leaders wouldn’t say if they’re for or against the stadium but want to ensure people have all the information necessary before they vote. This past summer, the Barelas neighborhood was announced as one of the potential sites for the proposed stadium. Community leaders said many people have concerns about that, including gentrification of the historic area.

Back in August, the city council passed a resolution that would create a “community benefits agreement” (CBA) with any neighborhood directly impacted by the potential stadium. “So affordable housing, a living wage, preferential hiring practices for people who already live here as well as childcare, so all kinds of things that our community lacks could be introduced as part of this initiative,” said Lisa Padilla, the President of the Barelas Neighborhood Association.

With this resolution, New Mexico United, the City of Albuquerque, and the impacted community would need to reach an agreed CBA. And if the parties don’t reach an agreement, officials say the community has the right to reject the placement of the stadium. 

The CBA would apply to any neighborhood where the stadium could be built. As KRQE has reported, the city said it wouldn’t decide on a location for the stadium until after voters sign off on the funding for it. Community leaders said it could take several months or a year to finalize the CBA.