By

This story is a staff report from The Paper.

100% of reader revenue goes to the local. independent journalists bringing you the news.

The City of Albuquerque and New Mexico United announced the terms of a long-term lease agreement for a new stadium through a letter of intent on Thursday. The agreement will go into effect if voters approve the Stadium Bond on the November ballot. While the bond will stay the same at $50 million, a $10 million commitment was made by New Mexico United to help build the stadium. An additional $8 million comes from state appropriations. The expected cost of the stadium is $65 million to $70 million. The soccer team also guaranteed another $22 million in rent over the next 25 years.

The proposal to build a stadium for United has been met with criticism from the public, especially because of the cost to taxpayers.

“This is a strong deal for Albuquerque, especially compared to other deals of its kind,” Chief Operations Officer for the City of Albuquerque Lawrence Rael said. “If voters decide they do want to approve the bond and move forward with a publicly owned stadium, they will know that there is a major commitment of private funding and effort going in as well. Alongside the major investment, this deal also demonstrates a commitment to the local community with the use of local food and beverage, bringing a women’s team to Albuquerque and ensuring a Community Benefits Agreement with surrounding neighborhoods.”

The agreement between the city and New Mexico United also includes a provision to bring a women’s soccer team to the city and a community benefits program for the neighborhood where the stadium will be built. The agreement between New Mexico United and the city includes an agreement where the city will have exclusive use to the facility for 15 days a year for community events and performances. The team will not have any ownership of the building.

“Albuquerque needs this stadium,” said President and CEO of the Hispano Chamber of Commerce Ernie C’ de Baca. “It’ll create 500 jobs and $27 million during the construction phase, and 280 full-time jobs when in operations—all without raising taxes by a single dime. This stadium is the shot in the arm our community needs right now.”

New Mexico United and the City of Albuquerque agreement will be open to additional bonding capacity if passed in November.

New Mexico United owner Peter Trevisani stated, “New Mexico United is committed to our fans, the stadium, and Albuquerque for the long haul. The Albuquerque Isotopes will be 20 years old next year. This agreement commits us for 25 years, and hopefully much, much longer.”

Like this story? Hate it? Share it and add your comments.