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City of El Paso still trying to figure out if Convention Center is right place for arena

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The downtown arena project will continue to be discussed by the El Paso City Council.

Scott Sensanbaugher at the Capital Improvement Department says it’s still trying to figure out where will wind up.

As we reported previously, the City Council voted to move the arena site, having the convention center with 1,000 feet around it as the new location.

"One thousand feet is basically the length of three football fields, if you will, approximately,”Sensanbaugher, assistant director of the Capital Improvement Department, said, referring to the distance needed around the arena. "It's actually about a 7-acre area that we are looking at."

The original Union Plaza site caused a lot of public outcry. That's history the city hopes doesn't repeat itself.

"This is something that we are going to have to be looking at,” Sensanbaugher said. “I understand that the directive of the council, which we are going to be carrying out, is to find the best place where it's going to have the least amount of consideration of things that we will have to worry about."

Sensanbaugher said his department is looking at minimizing any negative impacts a new site could bring. That includes people's homes and jobs. The assistant director said that will be done by putting all of the information out there.

"Just making sure again that we talk thoroughly. We demonstrate to the council that we are following the directive that they have given. And we present all of the information to them that they want to be able to see."

So far, Sensanbaugher feels the new location process is going well.

"I think this is a great project. It's one with a lot of potential for the city. So it's the kind of thing where make sure that we look and we see and make everything and take everything into consideration."

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The City Council will meet on Tuesday to discuss how moving the arena to the convention center will impact scheduled events and direct and indirect costs of moving the arena to the center.

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