ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An ongoing legal battle between the City of Albuquerque and a landowner is bringing to light challenges that may come with one of the city’s top picks for a New Mexico United soccer stadium. The ongoing lawsuit over the triangular piece of land where 1st Street and 2nd Street meet is showing why one of the preferred stadium sites at 2nd Street and Iron may be a bust already.

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The renderings for the proposed site at 2nd Street and Iron cover the triangular lot, owned by Rail Yards Land, LLC. The city has tried to buy the piece of land since 2019. More recently, it says it needs ’eminent domain’ of the land to build a traffic circle. However, in court documents, the attorney for Rail Yards Land, LLC., argues the city actually wants the land for a stadium, which wouldn’t meet eminent domain standards. The 2nd and Iron proposed site has long been a top pick for the soccer team.

“For me, it’s where can I have the biggest impact? Where can it be a positive impact in a community, be a catalyst for change, and show so much more than you know, brick and mortar,” said Peter Trevisani at a July press conference, the owner of New Mexico United.

The major obstacles to the site are outlined in the city’s latest response in the ongoing litigation. The city said it had no intent to build part of the stadium complex on the triangular piece of land. It also argues that following the study’s renderings would require them to relocate a PNM substation that sits along 1st Street, which would cost millions.

It says the rendering in the study is just a “fanciful concept drawing” that cannot be taken seriously by any rational person since it shows building part of the stadium complex on Rail Yards property, which may violate city historic preservation rules.

“After trying to purchase the property, the City filed a motion to acquire it in 2019 to create a traffic circle improving access and traffic circulation,” said a spokesperson with the city’s legal department in an emailed statement.

The attorney for Rail Yards Land LLC said it does not comment on pending litigation. KRQE News 13 also reached out to New Mexico United for comment but did not hear back.