With the future of the New Mexico United soccer franchise on the line, a political action committee funded by the team has launched a large ad blitz to convince Albuquerque voters to authorize the issuance of city bonds to build a new home stadium for the team.
Although the team has been one of the most popular in the United Soccer League, the team shares the city’s stadium with the Albuquerque Isotopes and USL rules require new teams to have their own stadiums by their third year in operation.
After almost a month of public speculation and debate, the City Council voted to give taxpayers the final say on whether the city should issue $50 million in public bonds to build a new soccer stadium at an as-yet-to-be-determined (but likely downtown) location. Last week, the United team signed a binding agreement with the city to add an additional $10 million of private funding for the public stadium as a part of a larger $30 million guarantee for capital, rent and tax revenue it will contribute as a match to public dollars. “Ten million of which is a capital contribution upfront for a facility that is a publicly owned facility, not a facility owned by us. It creates 780 jobs and the beautiful thing is this doesn’t raise your taxes,” New Mexico United owner Peter Trevisani said at the time.
But not everyone is on board and after weeks of a mostly unanswered social media campaign by opponents of the project, the team has launched a large mail and advertising campaign to convince voters to vote yes.
Voters began receiving glossy mailers in their mailboxes this week and two commercials are now running on local television featuring fans and local businesses who support the team. Many local businesses, including Bosque Brewing, TLC Plumbing and Heating, Bocadillos and Hollow Spirits Distillery are featured prominently promoting the jobs to be created from construction and events at the site while fans speak to the community aspect of the stadium.
City campaign finance reports show that the team initially invested $35,000 in the campaign, but reports due next week to the city clerk are expected to show significantly more has been invested. According to FCC records obtained by The Paper., the team spent $10,911 on a three-day blitz on KOAT-TV last week. It also purchased at least $46,000 in television ad time for the upcoming weekend on one station, KRQE-TV, alone. Data from KOB-TV was not available at press time. The ads will feature prominently during weekend sports and news broadcasts.
See both ads below.
The Paper. will release the results of its 2021 local election poll next week. The poll asked about the upcoming mayor’s election, whether voters would support the stadium bond and more. Donors and subscribers will receive the poll results before they are released to the wider public. Become a supporter of The Paper. today.