Bulding an Arena in a Recession

Chalk this up to one up to absolutely ridiculous (subscription):

Albuquerque’s young, growing population looks strong enough to support a Downtown event center, according to a new consultant’s report.

And if City Hall opts to build one, the WNBA has interest in awarding a team to the Duke City, the study said. The league would want a local ownership group willing to pay a $10 million expansion fee.

The remaining wild card for the whole project, of course, is the tight economy that’s squeezing government revenue.

“In terms of an opportune time to make an investment, if anyone’s liquid enough, these are great times,” Mayor Martin Ch├ívez said. “What we have to be cautious about … is that it doesn’t impede our ability to provide basic services.”

One hurdle is whether the market will support an 11,000-seat event center. The new report by Convention, Sports & Leisure International says the market characteristics are “very favorable.”

The report was conducted as part of a series of studies examining the feasibility of a $400 million plan to build an event center and hotel in Downtown Albuquerque, near the Convention Center and railroad tracks. The mayor and council haven’t decided whether to go forward with the project.

Well, if they have any sense, they’ll determine NOT to go forward with the project.

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