The reports I'm getting on the anti-arena movement have been rather narrow in their description of the angry crowd - angry crazy people who love history, but want to revise it to their liking to prevent arena construction.
Look, I don't care where you put the arena - it's going to fail. Not enough events will be booked to pay for the place. Taxpayers will have to take one hit after another to keep it open until the local young business hotshots buy it for pennies on the dollar and turn it into lofts. Council could save all of you a ton of money by just handing the local hotshot business kids a low interest loan to build lofts in whatever buildings stand now.
But that's not going to happen because you ignorantly voted for an arena and by God you're getting a God damned arena whether it sits empty for an eternity or not. Which makes this next part tough to write.
For the local history nerd crowd, this is their D-Day. This is their American Revolutionary War. This is their O.K Corral. Walking around pointing at buildings where John Wesley Hardin might have once entered gets pretty old. You gotta have something to fight for and this arena is their big break from their life long "Hey, did you know John Wesley Hardin once..." crusade in El Paso.
The truth is that they are going about this all the wrong way. Their fight is starting to look like an environazi fight from yesteryear. They're full of shit and willing to go way overboard to get their way. It didn't work for the environazis and it won't for them either.
First of all, don't give me this shit that you didn't know about the arena and where it would go. I've been blogging about this theft of taxpayer money for years now. Remember when this arena idea was going to be a Paso Del Norte boondoggle where they tried to get a snapvote for $100s of millions of taxpayers dollars at County Commissioners court? They moved onto trying to scam the city and lost there too. The quality of life bond is where the project landed, but it had been long taken from the Paso Del Norte group. (Side note: Paso Del Norte was made up of a bunch of engineers, contractors, suppliers and banks that were hurting in the construction downturn and figured they'd get the county to give them millions to live on while building this arena nobody needed until the construction market came back.)
We all knew a huge building was coming to downtown. Any idiot with a pair of working eyes knew that they were going to have to knock down a building or twenty to fit that sucker in the area we know as "downtown El Paso." Feigning ignorance now is just laughable. I mean, hell, they put the Mexican American Latino Hispanic Chicano El Chuco Cultural Center for the Advancement of the Quente Portly Jente's Sopapilla as the State Dessert in a sombrero shaped building downtown after promising to do so in the QOL bond.. why wouldn't they keep their promise with the arena?
Stop pretending you guys didn't know. Start getting used to the fact that your over-the-top protest of ignorance are not going to sway anyone. In fact, your actions are going to guarantee council does nothing for you ever again. Ever notice the environazis don't make it around council much anymore? That's because they crapped on all their friends and are left with nobody wanting to help them. President Trump could promise to airdrop medical waste on the mountain using the lighted star as a target and nobody would care to hear from a single environazi on the matter today.
Also, we all know the college kids are just engaging on the issue for extra credit. Come next semester they'll be in another class and not so willing to come play protestor for your group. And let's be honest, if council was smart they'd just buy your protestors off with free Mana concert tickets once the arena opened. (For the white people reading this - Mana is like the Beatles of Mexico. And that claim will spark more comments than the actual subject of this post.)
The best thing to do for the anti-arena crowd is to deal in the economics of the deal. Ask how they will fill the stadium with capacity crowds frequently enough to make the place pay for itself. When they come up with no answers, then move from there. Although, I was brainstorming and I thought "Hands UP, don't Evict" was a kind of cool protest slogan.