El Paso, TX – El Paso will soon have a new soccer team to cheer on, but where will the team play?
MountainStar Sports, the organization bringing the team to El Paso, announced that when the team begins play in 2019, it will play in Southwest University Park. The ballpark downtown is the current home for El Paso’s Triple-A baseball team, the El Paso Chihuahuas.
The United Soccer League is hoping to have all of its teams playing in soccer specific stadiums by 2020, which means MountainStar Sports will have to find a location for a stadium soon.
El Paso will join a league that includes other Texas cities, like San Antonio and Edinburg. Both already have soccer specific stadiums. The stadium in San Antonio has a capacity of 8,400 and the stadium in Edinburg is a 9,735 seat facility.
According to commercial real estate broker, Dave Etzold, the location best suited for a soccer stadium is the old Asarco site given its size and location to I-10. The land in that location, west of I-10 and UTEP, is in the process of being purchased by the university.
Etzold is involved in that deal and says UTEP could greatly benefit from leasing the land, but UTEP officials say, at this time, the university has not been approached.
“I think there’s a motivation on the part of university to find uses for that 470 acres that we’re about to sell them,” Etzold said. “The deal is imminent, we’re just working last minute details, so I think it will be in their hands sometime this year, so that’s probably a very likely a location.”
Other possible locations, according to Etzold, is the land owned by the El Paso International Airport near the Butterfield Trail and some other available land in the Montecillo neighborhood in west El Paso.
Even the rail yard downtown is a possibility, but Etzold says that brings a host of other problems.
“It would probably give some impetus to someone trying to pull that deal together, but that’s a difficult deal,” Etzold said. “Trying to make a transaction with a railroad is like negotiating with God.”