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El Paso Baseball Stadium Defies Odds, Gets Built says Construction Reporter

Industry: Commerical Building

Just 1 1/2 years after bond approval and less than a year after construction began, the new El Paso Ballpark hosted its first game, drawing a crowd of nearly 10,000.

El Paso (PRUnderground) June 4th, 2014

Just two years after El Paso City Council officially approved the project as a bond question and less than a year after construction had begun, the new El Paso Baseball Stadium hosted its first game, drawing a crowd of nearly 10,000—a number repeated at its second game the following week.

On election night, November of 2012, El Paso City Manager Joyce Wilson took note of both Quality of Life bonds passing with more than 71 percent of the vote, and the baseball stadium winning just over 60 percent and declared, “Ten years from now, we won’t recognize this city. We are redefining ourselves.”

Even so, much work remained to be done.  In early 2013, City officials relocated to a handful of buildings in the downtown area just weeks before the existing 1970s-era City Hall was demolished to make way for the stadium.

And by summer work on the stadium was underway.

“Some people said it couldn’t be done, because we were trying to do a lot of things in too short a period of time,” says Larry Diaz of a roughly 14-month project built in under a year.

“But all of us involved in this just decided early on that we were going to get this done no matter what it took,” continues Diaz, superintendent with C.F. Jordan/Hunt, the joint venture group selected last summer by the El Paso City Council to build the 9,500-seat stadium.

That decision put workers on extended day and weekend shifts, while Diaz tried to keep the lines of communication open between more than 500 workers at any given time and just-under 40 subcontractors.

Noticing a picture of the stadium in progress that appeared in the El Paso Times on February 10, Diaz said he told anyone who asked “We are going to have this all done 11 weeks from now.”

Sure enough, opening day was April 28.

More than 9,200 people took in a vertically-oriented stadium with an asymmetric seating pattern and giant steel beams reminiscent of the city’s iconic Union Passenger Deport, built more than a century ago.  They also watched the El Paso Chihuahuas lose to the Fresno Grizzlies.

“We’re getting reports of an influx of pre-gamers coming out to eat in the area, with some businesses changing their business model to reflect what’s going on at the ballpark,” says Vasquez, a spokesman for El Paso’s Downtown Management District.

“There is a mini-renaissance going on in downtown El Paso right now,” adds Vasquez, “and the stadium is obviously a large part of that.”

For more information on the City of El Paso Ballpark contact Martin Bartlett, Public Affairs Coordinator, City of El Paso at (915) 212-1848 or BartlettMW@elpasotexas.gov.

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