EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Texas Supreme Court denied a request to rehear a Duraguito case that was ruled in appeals.
The ruling, given on Friday, was a major victory for the City of El Paso, which plans on building a Multipurpose Performing Arts and Entertainment Center (MPC) in the Duranguito neighborhood.
Preservationist Max Grossman had requested, through his lawyers, that the Texas Supreme Court reverse the court of appeals’ judgment saying the court, “erred in assigning a broad meaning to the word ‘entertainment.'”
However, in 2019, a ruling by the Third Court of Appeals reversed portions of a trial court’s judgment, affirming that the City may build an MPC that accommodates a variety of programming, including sports and sporting events. The ruling also allowed the City to use outside funds on the project.
“The Texas Supreme Court’s decision to deny the request to review the ruling confirms the plain language of the bond ordinance and authorizes a broad entertainment purpose to include sports,” said El Paso Mayor Dee Margo.
The Texas Attorney General has supported the Court of Appeals’ ruling indicating that voters authorized the City to deliver an MPC capable of hosting performing arts, sports, sporting events, and other entertainment.
Court records showed that the Texas Supreme Court denied the petition even though two Justices did not participate.
Grossman issued a statement Friday afternoon saying, “I am very disappointed with this outcome as it bodes poorly for bond elections.” He continued, “Texas cities can apparently issue bond ordinances and interpret the language within them however they wish, to the detriment of Texas taxpayers and their interests.”
This article will be updated as new information comes into our newsroom.
The Multipurpose Performing Arts and Entertainment Center was approved by voters in 2012. According to statistics from the City of El Paso, a total of 102,358 people voted in favor of the project.
The ordinance calling for the election stated the MPC would be in downtown.
In 2016, a survey found that many historical buildings within the footprint of the downtown arena were worth saving.
Max Grossman led the fight against the arena, filing restraining orders that would prevent the destruction of buildings in the Duranguito neighborhood. The City of El Paso fought back.
In 2017, tensions ran high when construction crews attempted to demolish buildings in the Duranguito neighborhood.
Protesters showed up to the site and were outraged by construction crews who attempted to demolition some of the buildings after an injunction was handed down by the 8th Court of Appeals to stop the demolition.
The City denied having anything to do with the construction crews damaging the buildings. They said it was the property owner’s decision.
In October of 2019, new fencing went up at the empty lot within the disputed Duranguito neighborhood. The City of El Paso owns the lot and said the fencing in the area was in the interest of public safety due to incidents in which individuals have trespassed on the property.
During that time there were two residents living in the arena footprint.
After the Texas Supreme Court’s decision was made on Friday, Max Grossman told KTSM 9 News, “It is especially disappointing that so many of our local politicians will celebrate today with the hope of ultimately destroying the birthplace of our city.”