NM United’s success worries neighbors near potential stadium location

There’s no doubt people are fired up about the professional soccer team here in Albuquerque, New Mexico United. After seeing huge crowds, there’s been a lot of talk about whether the team will one day get their own soccer stadium.

However, KRQE News 13 has learned one neighborhood that’s been eyed before as a possible location is saying, not in their backyard.

The professional soccer team is in the middle of a winning first season, and everyone—including city officials—is excited about the new soccer team.

“This is a great opportunity to get another professional team in Albuquerque and the fans have responded,” Lawrence Rael said. 

The team signed a two-year contract to play at Isotopes Stadium, but some fans already want to know if the team will one day have a stadium of its own.

“There’s always an opportunity for us to look into the future,” the city’s chief operating officer said. 

Two years ago, a study paid for by city council pinpointed areas around town that would be ideal to build a soccer stadium. The potential locations included 12th and I-40, Lomas and Broadway, and the Rail Yards.

The study happened long before New Mexico United arrived and at a time when the American soccer club, Albuquerque Sol, was looking to have a more permanent home.

One of the locations at Lomas and Broadway is in the heart of the Santa Barbara-Martineztown neighborhood.

“We’re a historical residential area,” Loretta Naranjo-Lopez said. 

Now that New Mexico United has the second best attendance in the United Soccer League (USL), some residents like Naranjo-Lopez are worried the city will revisit building a stadium in their neighborhood.

“We would be concerned with the traffic, people parking in front of our yards, the noise,” she said. 

However, Rael said the city feels the team is content at Isotopes Stadium, for now.

“It’s proven to be a great venue and the balancing between the Isotopes games and United games have been great,” he said.

Last week, team president Peter Trevisani told KRQE News 13 a stadium was never his main goal, but with a big fan base, he’s now open to their ideas.

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