Most residents support new stadium; only half want public money for it - Albuquerque Journal

Most residents support new stadium; only half want public money for it

Mrs071221f
(Mike Sandoval/ For the Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

As city officials and other supporters promote putting a $50 million stadium bond question on the Nov. 2 ballot, they frequently mention a survey indicating most Albuquerque residents support such a project.

That would be the city’s annual citizen satisfaction survey conducted by Research & Polling Inc.

In the November 2020 survey, pollsters asked participants, “As you may know, Albuquerque has a professional soccer team called New Mexico United. The team is temporarily playing its games at the Isotopes Baseball Park. Do you support or oppose building a new multipurpose arena that could be used for New Mexico United soccer games and other events in addition to soccer games?”

In response, 63% said they supported it, 23% said they opposed it, 7% were neutral, while the rest did not answer or said it depends.

‘Reckless,’ ‘egregious’: Public commenters overwhelmingly blast city stadium idea

But the city did not include a separate question about using public money for a new venue in the 2020 survey as it had just the previous year.

In 2019, most respondents expressed support for a new sports venue, regardless of how it was described. Of those asked if they supported building a new “multipurpose arena” for New Mexico United soccer games and other events, 67% said they supported it, while 24% opposed it.

Of those asked their opinion on building a “new soccer stadium” for United and other games, 61% expressed support compared to 29% against.

However, the 2019 survey took the issue a few steps further.

It asked respondents if they supported using public funds to build either the multipurpose arena or soccer stadium.

Half – 50% – said they supported the public investment, while 38% said they opposed it.

Unlike the 2020 survey, the 2019 edition also asked participants what they considered the best location for the facility, offering several suggestions.

The top answer was to build it near the University of New Mexico’s sports stadiums and Isotopes Park – an area often referred to as the UNM South Campus.

Nearly half of all respondents – 48% – deemed that the best location, four times as many as said Downtown – 12% – was the best site.

However, the consulting firm the city hired to study the feasibility of a multipurpose stadium did not provide any detailed analysis of the South Campus’ feasibility in its 356-page report, instead assessing four sites in the greater Downtown area. It specifically identified the Second Street/Iron and Coal/Broadway areas as “preferred” sites for the stadium, but also evaluated the Interstate 40/12th Street area and the Rail Yards.

That’s because the city asked the consultants to look at Downtown but did not ask them to evaluate the South Campus area, a city spokeswoman said.

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