(The Center Square) – The City of Albuquerque will likely approve a stadium deal this week.
The city plans to lease seven of the 365 acres of Balloon Fiesta Park to New Mexico United, a USL Championship league team, to build a multi-purpose stadium in Albuquerque. The city will not pay for the stadium but will use $5 million in taxpayer funding from the state to make infrastructure improvements at Balloon Fiesta Park, a spokesman for the mayor’s office told The Center Square by phone. The soccer team will invest at least $30 million into the site.
“Albuquerque families deserve world-class amenities, and we won’t give up on projects like a stadium that fulfill these quality-of-life needs,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a press release. “Leasing underutilized land at Balloon Fiesta Park not only helps United grow but also enriches one of our most frequented areas and provides new economic opportunities–a significant win for our city and a potential game-changer for our community.”
The deal would prohibit New Mexico United from hosting games during the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and would not interfere with ballooning in the park, the mayor’s office said.
Under the 30-year lease, the team will have to give the city a commission on its parking revenue. The deal has the option to be extended for two 15-year terms.
The city council will vote on the proposal at its October 2, 2023 meeting.
The city also anticipates advancing projects involving the Rail Trail, North Domingo Baca Aquatics Center, Rail Yards and New Mexico Media Academy, UNM TIDD, and the Downtown Business Improvement District.