As New Mexico United continues its search for a permanent home to host games, surrounding businesses and homeowners look towards the incoming crowds and form their gameplan.
Currently, the City hopes to lease seven acres of land at Balloon Fiesta Park where New Mexico United would be able to build their stadium. The stadium itself would be funded privately and the team would be required to put down $30 million for it to be built, according to the City’s website.
Jeff Jinnett, owner of the brewery La Reforma, spoke about his excitement surrounding the possibility of a new stadium.
“As a business person in the area, I think it would be great. I think it’ll be good for our business and bring in more traffic to this area,” Jinnett said.
The prospect of increasing foot traffic could reach well into the thousands, as the average attendance rate for United games during the 2023 season was 9,619 people. Through the 2023 season, a total attendance of 163,518 was logged over 17 games – all data coming from Soccer Stadium Digest.
Ira Crawley – the store manager of Piñon Coffee House located just south of Balloon Fiesta Park – said it would be great for business but that she still has concerns about the possible increase in foot traffic.
“Because of our small store, I would maybe have a hard time keeping it fully stocked,” Crawley said.
Jinnett also spoke about possible concerns for surrounding homeowners.
“I do understand how some of the people that are homeowners – that might be affected by lights and noise and whatnot – might be opposed. I wouldn’t blame them,” Jinnett said.
The Wildflower Neighborhood Association surrounds Balloon Fiesta Park, however no contact information could be found for the association.
Recently, the stadium proposal was passed by Albuquerque's Environmental Planning Commission.
“The Commission’s approval of the proposal is an indication of their satisfaction with plans related to light, sound, traffic, parking and more,” David Weise-Carl wrote in a press release from United.
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Currently, the jury is still out on whether New Mexico United will get a new pitch to call home – next needing approval from the City Council.
The vote is set to take place at the City Council’s next meeting on Nov. 20.
Jaymes Boe is a beat reporter for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at email@example.com