ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After voters soundly rejected the idea of a publicly financed soccer stadium, New Mexico United says they are giving up on building downtown but they’re keeping an open mind on some of the more affordable strategies other teams have taken.
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In the meantime, they hope to keep playing at Isotopes Park. “We’ll go find another plan,” New Mexico United Owner Peter Trevisani explained.
The $50 million bond for a new soccer stadium was overwhelmingly shot down by Albuquerque voters on Tuesday. “I’m glad that it’s not going to be built,” voter Carlos Hernandez said. “I just feel like the money could be put to better use. I don’t feel like we really need a stadium that big at least.”
The club’s three-year lease to play at Isotopes Park is now up and Trevisani said he’s trying to strike another deal with the baseball team to keep renting the stadium. “If we can get an additional three years I think that would give us a path to be in our own facility,” Trevisani stated.
KRQE News 13 asked if that path could mean considering the routes other USL teams have taken with their facilities. Of the 31 teams in the league, a half dozen play in baseball stadiums like New Mexico United does.
Thirteen teams play in high school or college stadiums, and a dozen have soccer-specific stadiums. Most of them are fairly bare-bones in the $10 to $20 million range. Only a few USL teams have high-end soccer-specific stadiums like New Mexico United wanted.
These include Colorado Springs’ new field, which cost $42 million, and Louisville’s $65 million facility. “We’re willing to explore all of it,” Trevisani said.
That leaves several options around Albuquerque, like building a smaller scale stadium at the team’s practice facility at Mesa Del Sol, or some other plot of land around the city. This could also mean sharing a field with UNM soccer or cutting a deal with Albuquerque Public Schools.
“We built this team for the community. It’s been amazing. We’re going to figure it out together. That’s what Somos Unidos is all about,” Trevisani added.
The state has already given the city $9 million toward a stadium. The mayor’s office said the city keeps those funds unless the state legislature decides to allocate them somewhere else.