Why the advertising campaign?

We have to wonder why the sports group has launched an advertising campaign to garner support for a downtown sports arena.

Bonds have been approved for a multipurpose cultural and performing arts facility.

A state judge has ruled that the facility may not be designed to host sporting events.

The city is appealing.

It seems to us that the matter is in the hands of the courts.

Who are they trying to influence?

Do they think that the issue is going to have to go back to the voters?

If it is city council they are seeking to influence, it seems that they already have more direct methods.

We deserve better

Brutus

40 Responses to Why the advertising campaign?

  1. Tickedofftaxpayer says:

    San Antonio can make a Hispanic Cultural Center work because geographically it is able to pull tourism traffic from at least three large metropolitan centers that are a few hours drive a way. Plus, the city has successfully build a diverse business base that includes large corporate headquarters which provides not a source of corporate contributions and higher median income. Finally the city has a ton of tourist attractions actually funded by private companies because of the first two reasons. Our city leaders and activists don’t seem to understand the relevance of geography and private investment on the tourism dynamic. And, I think Miami would argue that it is a much better example of Latino culture than El Paso in terms of being the pulse of the city. The biggest problem El Paso has is that too many people who see El Paso as the center of the universe are in charge and assuming if they build stuff it will attract folks from elsewhere. The reality is that the attitudes here are a lot of the turnoff. If El Paso focused more on valuing multiple cultures instead of being Juarez Norte, we’d be better off.

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    • Tickedofftaxpayer says:

      Point two should have said not only a source of corporate contributions.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. Once a “Museum” shows the “Stories” about Pancho Villa, Chicos Tacos, sands storms, a couple Missions, constant traffic jams, Public Corruption, the “Border”, Illegal Immigration, the “Rio”, what else is there?? A “Hispanic Museum”??? What about the Old West History and the PEOPLE who actually built El Paso? Where is THAT History?? The Army Post, the Sheriffs, Mayors, the Town Marshals, the FIRST Police Officers, the gunfights, the hangings of the “Bad boys”, the gun that was used by…………………, the shoot-out at……………Believe it or not, El Paso WAS the Old West. Any of the high priced, over paid “Consultants” ever visit, Old Tucson, Tombstone, Dodge City, Wichita, Kansas??? There is NOTHING that people will drive 500-600 miles, 12 hours, to see in El Paso. All that s “built” here is things that the POLITICIANS want, things to appease the idle RICH to get campaign “donations” and then scam, force the TAXPAYERS, homeowners to pay for it. . Tax, waste, spend, tax some more.

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  2. Beto Moore says:

    Im confused. What is it about our history that suggests that we are or will ever be a tourist destination? Things are only getting worse on the Border. Traveling to and from Juarez is an absolute disaster. Wage earners are fleeing the area. Every time a baby is born a tax payer leaves town.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely right. El Paso is nothing more than a gas stop, over night motel, a lunch stop on the way to some where else, East, West or North. The politicians built the ball field for the BILLIONAIRE and his sports company. What exactly do the CITIZENS, TAXPAYERS get out of it?. Tax cuts, LOWER Property Values, LOWER taxes?? None of the above. ONLY the BILLIONAIRES$$$, Developers get the “No taxes” deals. And then there is NOTHING here to do or see. Well we have a ball field and Wet and Wild, and, and, and…………………….Even all the GOOD concerts are booked to Las Cruces. Why is that?? They keep wanting to blowing off OUR money to put “Lipstick on the pig”, known as downtown. After 6PM, nobody down there. In over 25 years here, nothing has changed down there. Bums on every corner, sleeping in door ways. Closed stores, hole in the wall Bars, cheap stuff in side walk “markets” and blowing trash. So where is all this “Stuff” the politicos FORCE US to pay for????? Just one more poor town, run by Democrats.

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    • epkamikazi says:

      But the bowlers…

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  3. epkamikazi says:

    Ok, I understand that 15% of the population here in El Paso isn’t Hispanic but that justify marginalizing them? The arguments to protect Duranguito include saving the remaining Chinese laundry… so what you are advocating is to not recognize all the cultural history of El Paso as it pertains to other people BUT when it is politically convenient use the Chinese (or whomever) to prove a point.

    There were requests for a Hispanic Cultural Center where it would represent the culture but the city and TXDot kept making excuses against it.

    And, as a reality check… Hispanics include more than El Pasoans… The difference between east Texas and west Texas, from Arizona, from California and Colombia, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Chile, etc are as different as the fingers on my hand.

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    • Jud Burgess says:

      Marginalized? You’re kidding right? Just because they aren’t part of a Latino Cultural Center doesn’t make them marginalized. In fact, the small fraction of people who continue to receive corporate welfare at the El Paso taxpayers expense are by and large non-Hispanic.

      If anybody is marginalized here in El Paso, it is precisely the Latino population that is thrown crumbs to build a cultural center.

      I personally think there should be a cultural center separately representing each culture here in El Paso.

      Many have suggested that the Chinese Laundry become a small museum dedicated to the history of the Chinese heritage of El Paso. Fabulous idea…the perfect venue…the one remaining touchstone representing them. Deserving demolition to those who believe it has no historical significance.

      There should also be a center that can represent the black heritage in El Paso in the central part of EP, where there is a lot of history, churches, buildings along with Buffalo soldier tombstones in Concordia.

      Because of our unique geography, population, culture, heritage and history which is much more “Latino” than any other city in America, it is paramount that we go World-Class on a Latino Cultural Center and be the one place to go to see this culture displayed in all its variety.

      Like

      • epkamikazi says:

        WOW! Sounds like you are advocating for the retention of Confederate flags and statues because, you know, they were the majority and it is their history…

        BTW, have you been to Miami? Just off the top of my head I’d say the 70% diverse Hispanic/Latino people of their 2.7 Million Population would make them “more” Latino… at least that is the way I look at facts.

        The biggest problem with ANY of your proposals is you want to continue with the spending. Using the “world class” claim to attract visitors is the same argument made by the stadium supporters. El Paso is a destination location for the bowling tournament. With minimal investment, the Lincoln Center could be come a viable Center of the El Paso Latinx/Hispanic/Mexican Culture. ANYTHING you build downtown is going to benefit the corporate welfare people from the El Paso taxpayers.

        Oh and from the Asian community… thanks for the crumbs recommending the donation of the laundry for a cultural center.

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  4. Jud Burgess says:

    Let me guess Reality Checker…you’re part of the 15% that isn’t Latino. El Paso, with our border location and being one of the poorest cities of its size in America is in DIRE need of pride, in particular for the people who are constantly tread upon…the Latinos. Look at the EPISD bond and how that money was distributed. Coronado big winner / Bowie perennial loser. I agree with your assessment that tourism dollars are hard to come by for El Paso and will more than likely never contribute much to our growth. BUT if we invested a serious amount of money into building the LCC, we could make it world-class and that would bring in tourism within Latino populations. People like yourself are the ones who hold us back because you constantly want inclusion in a cultural center and cry racism if you aren’t represented. Or you like to say that El Paso is already a cultural center by virtue of our Hispanic population and Chico’s Tacos. That is patently absurd and insulting. You obviously don’t understand the reality of what purpose a Cultural Center represents. It’s as insulting and demeaning as being allotted a paltry 5 million for a cultural center to represent 82% of El Paso’s population and our border heritage. Cities like San Antonio understand the value of building civic pride via cultural assets, in fact it is they that are currently in the process of establishing a world-class Latino Cultural Center with the help of the Smithsonian Institution and their vast holdings and financial help. THIS SHOULD BE EL PASO! But we have that fraction of people that don’t appreciate our culture, heritage, and the history of our most unique geography. Your assertion that the arena will not fail for the same reason that big banks didn’t fail — the government — LOL. They didn’t fail because the government used our taxes to save their asses instead of hauling those same asses straight to the hoosegow. Same here in El Paso. El Paso taxpayers have been on the hook long enough for the tiny fraction of wealthy downtown property owners, investors and special interests. You are the one who needs a reality check Reality Checker.

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    • Chico says:

      Mr. Burgess,

      I don’t object to your major principle – that is recognizing the culture of our largest demographic. I’m just not convinced that this is the way to build pride. I’d like to believe that a group’s self perception is affected by many things, not just a museum.

      Also, it seems like a stretch that people are going to visit El Paso just to visit a museum … regardless of the museum’s theme. Most travelers are looking for a range of experiences when they travel somewhere.

      Lastly, we need to have some clarity on who lives here. Latinos are a large and diverse group of people – including folks from dozens of sub cultures. Our community is largely made up of people of Mexican ancestry. More specifically, people from northern Mexico – a part of Mexico with its own sub culture. Don’t get me wrong. I love this slice of Mexian American culture – its food, language, music, people, etc. Having said that, we would be making a poor assumption to think that El Paso really represents all of “latino” culture. This point ties specifically to your tourism thesis. All latinos won’t find our museum interesting if our expression of culture is not self-aware.

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  5. Beto Moore says:

    You guys are ignoring the multiplier effect that the public private partnership will have on El Paso. Just look at the trolley.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ManintheMoon says:

    The Ball Park isn’t paying for it’s self as claimed so who in their right mind would want to take on more debt load for projects that will not pay for themselves either? More lunatic fringe feel good projects for the money people of El Paso as they shake down the pocket books of the already overburden tax payers in El Paso with help from City hall! When does crazy in El Paso government stop. This is insanity!

    Like

  7. Old Fart says:

    Hi ‘Reality Checker,’ thanks for your interesting, plus thoughtful post below, in addition to your earlier ‘right on point’ post to Judd. Appreciate your understanding that ‘synergy’ is an important component in economic development.

    In a minute I would sell our property to the City, but unfortunately it lacks one important element: location, location, location.

    But your concern over ’eminent domain’ certainly has merit, plus deserves public examination.

    Since this baseball sports group has expressed an interest in a soccer team, with the possibly of an associated stadium, where could it possibly go? Therefore, your ’eminent domain’ concern becomes a real matter of public interest.

    What location would bring the greatest ‘synergy’ to their potential project? The NE Cohen location, no. The old Asarco smelter location, possibly not. That railroad area location near city hall, too far from other downtown locations. That old downtown Sun Metro maintenance depot location, it’s would be a walk from the current development area of interest.

    Then what about somewhere along the new trolley route? A bit directly South of the current disputed area? Or in South El Paso a bit towards the East, but right along the trolley route?

    Since this sports group has spoken up in such a very public fashion, your ’eminent domain’ concerns should be explored further.

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    • Reality Checker says:

      I am dismayed that high-profile, self-proclaimed, free-market conservatives have no trouble with taxing others for their own for-profit ventures or with taking the property of others. If they believe in free markets, they should let the market work. They should pay what the seller wants or walk away and find another location. If they take the property of others “for the good of the community” (which we all know is BS), that’s asset redistribution, which is the same as the redistribution of wealth, which true conservatives claim to oppose. These folks believe in free markets when they are setting prices and trying to avoid regulation. When they are on the buying end, they want to dictate the seller’s price or use government to do their bidding.

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      • George says:

        Do not confuse a potential soccer stadium with the City’s arena, which is a voter approved project. The two projects are not connected.
        And as far as eminent domain, all of the properties, save one, in the Durangito neighborhood have been sold to the city. Eminent domain has not been used. And the one hold out is not objecting to the price the city has offered. He is not selling because he is protesting the location of the area. The only redistribution of wealth going on is that the city (i.e. taxpayers) has paid to the former property owners.
        I’m pretty tired of the conspiracy theories that have the city transferring money to the “rich.” The city has an extensive incentive policy which gives tax breaks to businesses that the city believes will benefit the city in the form of increased employment opportunities and sales tax / property tax revenues. Every city and every state has the same or similar incentive packages. If you don’t think the city should be granting these incentives, contact your city and state representatives. But your complaint probably won’t go anywhere because without the incentives, businesses will simply move on the next town with their hotel or their call center or their business expansion.

        Like

        • epkamikazi says:

          Dude, you need to watch the news and read the local news here… the MSSG ad campaign was put out by the MSSG and they even had interviews regarding the ARENA. Not a soccer stadium THE ARENA! And the voter approved ARENA was not a sports ARENA.

          As for the city’s extensive incentive policy, to attract all those minimum wage jobs, somebody at City One needs to be keeping track so we don’t end up reducing our budget 5% and increasing taxes 8% because we are collecting enough on property taxes! The funny thing is now the city is adding a surcharge to properties on the Far East Park because they want to keep adding stuff that wasn’t budgeted.

          The “conspiracy” here is that the MSSG is raping the local taxpayers with the assistance of the city.

          Like

  8. Reality Checker says:

    The City’s preferred site might be the best choice from a development perspective, but the elephant in the room is the city’s announced threat to use eminent domain to take private property for a project that, let’s face it, is largely being done to benefit private interests. So, ask yourself three questions.

    How would the Mountainstar owners react if someone wanted to take their property through the use of eminent domain?

    How would you react if government and other private interests partnered to take your property through the use of eminent domain?

    Like

    • EPKamikazi says:

      Mountain Star doesn’t own any property…

      Like

      • Reality Checker says:

        Read it again. I said the Mountainstar owners, not Mountainstar. The Hunts and Fosters own lots of properties. Neither of them would stand for you taking their property at any price less than they demand.

        Like

    • George says:

      Eminent domain has not been used. All of the property owners in the proposed city arena site have voluntarily sold their property. And the Hunts and Foster are not involved. It is a city project. Don’t create a problem where there is none.

      Like

      • epkamikazi says:

        Wait a minute…. MSSG starts an ad campaign and Hunts and Foster are NOT involved? I mean it was on the local news and everything or are you telling us that Hunts and Foster have sold their shares of MSSG because I suck at math but I can add 1 + 1 in anything this city does re: the MSSG!

        Like

      • wondering says:

        then why are hunt and foster funding the ad campaign?

        Like

  9. Old Fart says:

    If you are going to build this damn thing, you had better put it in a location, where it will get the most use to help generate enough income to help try and support itself. For that reason alone, the current recommended location is likely the best site. It’s along the trolley route, plus has other recent costly capital investments near by. From what I’ve seen, all the other sites suggested in Times ‘letters to editor’ and ‘guest columns,’ have a high probably of being really money losers for the city.

    If the downtown business community really wants this thing, they darn sure better speak up, as is occurring now. Therefore, I have no problem with the current ads.

    Since the vote for this one bond project was ‘for it,’ it seems one way to REALLY SEE what voters now want, is TO FORCE another public vote on the issue! Since those so forcefully ‘against’ this issue, have had at least one successful signature drive, why not DO IT AGAIN to force a vote? Earlier this year attended one of the city’s area briefing’s on this issue, and there was a polite and earnest young man outside collecting signatures. From news’ reports his group did successfully collect enough to present to the city.

    I didn’t vote ‘for’ this bond project issue, or for the ball park, but no one, NO ONE to date has shown me that the currently recommended area, will not have the better chance of any kind of success.

    I’ve also patiently listened to all views both ‘against’ and ‘for’ on this damn issue. If those ‘against’ are so sure of their position, please just give me and others another vote on the issue! But please, please don’t stick your beloved community with a more costly money loser!

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  10. Reality Checker says:

    Mountainstar’s new ad campaign is as deceptive as their cartel’s ad campaign for the Quality of Life ad campaign that helped to promote the downtown ballpark and all the other QOL follies.

    Their current ads are designed to make it look as though sports language was included in the QOL proposition for the “multi-purpose performing arts and entertainment” facility, but as we learned through the court hearings (held out of town at the city’s request), that was not the case. In reality, the circled excerpts Mountainstar is using in their current ads were extracted from their own 2012 QOL ad campaign. So what they are saying now is that we, the taxpayers, knew all along the multi-purpose facility would be used for sports because THEY said that was THEIR plan.

    This is sort of like the EPISD bond ads that used a photo of a dilapidated, broken-down bus that was a stock photo they purchased, not an EPISD bus.

    Also, whatever happened to Mountainstar’s promise to donate their profits from the ball club to local charities? Hunt made that promise publicly at the last minute, right before council voted, after a lot of public opposition to the ballpark arose.

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  11. Jud Burgess says:

    When I ran for D2 city council (and to this day) I have been lobbying for better options for the $180,000,000 plus that this sure-to-fail arena will cost El Pasoans. The only way this can be done is with a revote that lays out new options for voters. MSSG sees this coming up and they are staging a pre-emptive campaign of misinformation to try to develop critical mass that will vote on a sports arena should the day to revote come.

    Here is my suggested option on with how we split the $200,000,000 once we put the arena out of our misery.

    Invest $80,000,000 into building a world class Latino Cultural Center that will create civic pride, attract tourism and become the spark that kickstarts the revitalization process in the Lincoln Park district—a perennially ignored El Paso treasure that holds great promise.

    Invest another $20,000,000 into further development of Barrio Duranguito. 

    Pay back the investors whom city leaders prematurely sold $40,000,000 plus in bonds for the arena project, and use the $60,000,000 balance to pay for the basics that have gone neglected.  Street paving, neighborhood lighting, police cars, parks, unfinished bond projects, etc.

    Do it this way and El Paso taxpayers get infinitely more bang for their buck, investors get their money back, and city leaders no longer have to issue $66,000,000 in non-voter approved certificates of obligation.

    Like

    • Reality Checker says:

      Jud, Jud, Jud

      It’s ironic that you have opposed initiatives that benefitted downtown developers and property owners, who you clearly oppose, yet some of your ideas are intended to benefit developers and property owners in other neighborhoods. Sorry, but there’s a bit of hypocrisy in that way of thinking.

      Your belief that a Latino Cultural Center will attract tourism is delusional. It’s as bone-headed as the thinking that people will travel to El Paso on vacation to learn about history and the old west. The multipurpose arena, which you say will fail, has a better chance of succeeding than your tourism plan. The multipurpose facility will not fail for the same reasons banks didn’t fail in 2008; government, in this case local government, will not let it fail. Most people don’t realize or care that taxpayers are subsidizing the downtown ballpark, which they were told would be totally paid for by hotel guests.

      The argument that a Latino Cultural Center will create civic pride is one of the same arguments used to justify the downtown ballpark. And why is that even necessary in a city that is 85% Latino? Either you are proud of your heritage of you’re not. Plus, building a Latino Cultural Center seems a bit divisive.

      Like

      • mark maes says:

        the hispanic culture center in abq is broke. no one visits anymore and they are begging the abq city council for utilities dollars. it was never profitable. became a liability after less then ten years. want mexican culture, go to paisano and sit in the taco bell. seems to me that many of the more successful business owners are named robison, haddad, azar. mallooly, rubin, foster, hunt, woo, abraham and so on. many chinese as well. beyond me how classist reyes and his la raza group have become. and they cry for inclusiveness. lol

        Like

        • Chico says:

          I’m also concerned that this type of museum is not reasonably sustainable. It would make sense to modify the museum of history to have a large permanent display committed to mexican american culture. Could be first class if some funds were used for this purpose.

          Like

  12. John Conwell says:

    And at the same time we get the revelation that the $5M Cultural Center is NOW $30M because they absolutely have to use the Chavez facility. And the city is looking for someone to manage it… perhaps the MSSG? With a contract that allows them to profit and gives the city access 5 event a year ONLY if they are Non-profit?

    Like

  13. abandon hope says:

    I heard that Mountain Star Sports pulled the campaign after two days.

    And, as reported in El Paso, Inc this week, Mountain Star is talking with city officials about a public-private partnership for a soccer stadium. I’m going to proactively contact my representative and the mayor in total opposition to any more corporate welfare in El Paso. Basta. No more. I can’t believe Mountain Star has the nerve to even ask but that’s how they got where they are. The taxpayers need to express their opposition to these deals early and often. Don’t be fooled again.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Anonymous says:

    The Judge in Austin made the decision supporting the people, TAXPAYERS of El Paso. Apparently the politicos of El Taxo couldn’t BUY her decision. The City Council does not REPRESENT us “Stupid, ignorant peons”. THEY REPRESENT only themselves and what THEY can get out of any deal, what THEY can take from US. “Influence”?? All that Mountain Star Sports needs is enough dinero in back-pockets, campaign “Donations”. Just like the previous Mayor, City Council sold US out for their baseball field THEY wanted. If Mountain Star Sports, the local BILLIONAIRES, MILLIONAIRES$$$ want this Arena, a soccer field, a pool hall, a swimming pool, then let them build it. None of this will do anything for the people of El Taxo, except to INCREASE our TAXES to pay for whatever THEY want. Has their baseball field cut OUR taxes, done anything at all for THE PEOPLE??.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. JerryK says:

    Same game as the stadium. Build them an arena at taxpayer expense so we take the downside risk and they take the upside profits. That’s fair, isn’t it?

    Like

  16. mamboman3 says:

    They’ve obviously already used their “methods” on our Mayor and city reps. I’m thankful for my D2 rep who hasn’t sold out.

    Like

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