It will be tougher than making a penalty kick, but the push for a soccer stadium in Downtown Albuquerque for the new darling of local sports, New Mexico United, clearly has momentum. As it should.
The team, playing in its first season, drew almost 13,000 fans for each home game as it managed to eke out a playoff spot in the United States Soccer League, roughly the equivalent of Triple A baseball. It had strong on-field performance – nice touch that local star and Eldorado High School graduate Devon Sandoval scored the team’s first goal – and brilliant marketing that sparked an energetic fanbase.
Without question, professional soccer has arrived in the Duke City. Albuquerque voters just approved $3.5 million for a multi-field practice facility United could share with other users like the New Mexico Activities Association.
Now, the team wants the taxpayers to write a check for a soccer-specific stadium.