MountainStar Sports Group still working on plan for El Paso USL stadium

Rendering of El Paso USL at Southwest University Park.

There's a United Soccer League team coming to El Paso and the team will need its own stadium.

But, until then, it will play its games at Southwest University Park, where the Chihuahuas also play.

MountainStar Sports Group is bringing the team to El Paso. MountainStar President Alan Ledford said the contract for the ballpark won't change.

The city will still be responsible for any capital improvements that are needed for the park. Those would be such things as major replacements for the field, scoreboard or infrastructure of the stadium.

We broke the news about a possible USL team coming to El Paso in 2016. At that time MountainStar said they wanted to build the stadium downtown.

Ledford said MountainStar is still trying to figure out how it can keep the costs of the new team at minimum.

The USL wants the team to play in its own stadium, built specifically for soccer, in the long term. But right now, there aren't any concrete plans for the stadium.

"The final formula is something that we can only speculate about today,” Ledford said. “But we're going to be working towards a new ballpark, a new stadium, over the course of the next few months and years. We'll see how that ends up."

Ledford said the USL wants the El Paso team to have an outdoor soccer stadium by 2020 or 2021.

Some El Pasoans are unsure if taxpayers would be willing to pay for the stadium.

"There were a lot of people arguing about the baseball stadium already because I know they didn't want it,” Manuel Alvidrez said. But, there are some people who want the change downtown."

"I think people are going to be as ill-responsive as they were for the baseball team,”John Alarcon said. “But, I think they'll be fine with it once the soccer team comes into fruition."

"Some people yes, but I think that most will go for it,” Mayra Burciaga said.

The new soccer team will generate revenue for the city via tickets, merchandise and other capital.

"We pay a per-ticket fee, which every ticket sold it goes back to the city,” Ledford said. “So it will benefit the financial model for the ballpark."

El Pasoans are confident fans will support the new team.

"Soccer is a pretty popular sport, especially with the border and there are a lot of people playing soccer here in El Paso,” Javier Ayala said.

"I would just because I like soccer,” Ilana Costa said.

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