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Albuquerque voters to decide on borrowing for soccer stadium

Albuquerque voters to decide on borrowing for soccer stadium
The space would create jobs and include spaces for businesses and the arts when the facility isn’t in use by the New Mexico United | newmexicoutd.com

November 1, 2021 4:05pm

Updated: November 1, 2021 7:38pm

Albuquerque residents will be voting Tuesday on a public schools bond worth more than $630 million over the next six years, but it’s a $50 million question that has drawn more controversy.

The proposition called “Gross Receipts Tax Revenue Bonds for Multi-Use Public Stadium” would issue a $50 million bond to pay for a new multi-use soccer stadium.

“Shall the City of Albuquerque acquire property for, and to design, develop, erect, construct and otherwise improve a public stadium for multiple uses, including, but not limited to, professional soccer events to be financed by up to $50,000,000 of its gross receipts tax revenue bonds,” the ballot question asks.

The proposal has the support of the city council, which argues the space would create jobs and include spaces for businesses and the arts when the 12,000-seat facility isn’t in use by the New Mexico United, a professional soccer team based in Albuquerque since 2018. The team, which competes in the USL Championship, has been playing on a minor league baseball field.

Others said the borrowing could be better spent, with crime in Albuquerque consistently higher than other comparable cities.

According to the Albuquerque Police Department’s mid-year crime data, APD reported 31,438 crimes for the first half of 2021; down from 33,383 in the first half of 2020, a 9% year-over-year decrease. At nearly 14 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, the city is one of the most dangerous in America, according to a report from Neighborhood Scout using FBI data.