On Tuesday, New Mexico United held what is promised to be the first of many meetings with the public to discuss the construction of a multipurpose soccer stadium in Albuquerque, hosted on Zoom by majority owner/CEO Peter Trevisani and Director of Communications David Carl. Many concerns that were brought up by attendees related to how this stadium will impact the local community.
These meetings come after a study from Creative Artists Agency ICON that was commissioned by the city to explore the idea of a stadium for NM United, who currently play at Isotopes Park. CAA ICON determined that the Second Street/Iron Avenue area and the Coal Avenue/Broadway Boulevard area should be considered as two “preferred sites” for the stadium; suggested seating capacity was recommended to be 10,000-12,000. The overall cost is estimated to range from $65 million to $70 million, partially to be funded by city bonds; these bonds would have to be approved by voters later this year.
At the meeting, public concerns included the potential capacity of the stadium, the historic status of the Barelas neighborhood, getting the surrounding community involved and how much the team will be willing to contribute on top of the city’s bond sales. Trevisani said listening to the community would be a priority and confirmed that the team would contribute if needed.
“If it’s an issue of getting from $60 million to $70 million, the team will step in, and we will have skin in the game,” Trevisani said.
Several questions were asked by members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, primarily about displacement of houseless community members, gentrification and whether one of the city’s priorities should be the construction of a soccer stadium during a worldwide pandemic. Trevisani answered that it is important for a city to have many priorities and that, while not all citizens will agree, the stadium issue can still be one of them.
Trevisani said that while a public-private partnership will most likely be necessary moving forward, the city would own the stadium completely. He also said that possible alternatives like using UNM facilities would not be feasible due to competition from other events.
NM United is committed to bringing a professional women’s soccer team in as well, according to Trevisani and Carl, for which a soccer-specific stadium would be essential.
Matthew Salcido is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @baggyeyedguy