ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Tuesday, voters overwhelmingly said “no” to a $50 million bond for a stadium that supporters say would revitalize downtown Albuquerque. With months of TV ads and rallies, the multi-use stadium has been one of the hottest issues on the ballot.
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“We have to invest in things for our families, our kids, our grandkids,” said Mayor Tim Keller earlier this year at a New Mexico United game. “…And now is the time to make this investment.”
The mayor announced back in July that the stadium question would be on the ballot for the voters to decide. The city-owned stadium would be a new home for New Mexico United.
New Mexico United vowed to pitch in $10 million to build the $80 million stadium and pay about $900,000 each year for rent. Supporters say it would help develop struggling downtown neighborhoods. Those against say it would gentrify the area and that the money could be used for bigger issues, like crime and homelessness.
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“I think it would bring a lot of people and money into the community and I’m kind of afraid the soccer team would leave if they don’t get a stadium,” said Albuquerque resident Tiffany Cox.
“I think that we could be helping the citizens of Albuquerque,” said Elizabeth Williams of Albuquerque. “We don’t need another stadium.”
Mayor Keller released a statement Tuesday night, saying in part, “we respect the voters’ decision, we appreciate everyone, on both sides, who took part in the vigorous conversation over the past months and showed up to decide this important issue for our city.”
United posted a message on their social media platforms that say in part that they won’t be pursuing the proposed sites and will look for a location that will support everyone. The post doesn’t mention whether they will continue to ask taxpayers to contribute to the bill.
The vote comes after a hard financial year due to the pandemic as well as the team narrowly missing out on the playoffs.