People in the Borderland are getting excited about the future pro soccer team coming to El Paso.
The group that owns the El Paso Chihuahuas is the United Soccer League franchise to El Paso.
MountainStar Sports Group announced plans to bring a USL team on Wednesday during a press conference inside the Plaza’s Philanthropy Theatre.
“It’s a big asset to our Downtown and definitely an opportunity to have that name recognition across the country. USL is expanding across many cities that I think El Paso will be able to compete with,” said Jessica Herrera, the City of El Paso’s Economic Development Director.
In addition to a new soccer team, MountainStar said it’d like to build a soccer stadium in the Downtown area. However, there’s no timeline or plans in place.
USL said it would like to have all its teams play in soccer-specific stadiums by 2020. Meantime, El Paso’s soccer team will play in Southwest University Park which MountainStar leases from the city.
Herrera said the City hit a home run with the Chihuahuas and wants to score a goal with soccer.
She said, “The downtown ballpark has been a catalyst for redevelopment, new construction, residential activity, for a lot of the restaurants and bars.”
Bryan Crowe with Destination El Paso shared that same sentiment.
He said, “As downtown continues to develop, getting people to come down here and revisit and increase their frequency – they discover something new or something different about downtown.”
According to Crowe, a new soccer stadium would increase foot traffic in the downtown area.
“That’s the whole idea of the density of these activities,” he said.
Herrera said the City uses the Downtown ballpark to attract new businesses to the Borderland and think a soccer stadium could help with landing new companies.
“It’s important that when we bring them into El Paso, they experience a game, that they experience opportunity and to see what we have to offer in terms of that fun and family oriented type of entertainment.”
The soccer team has not been name, but will start playing in 2019.