EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The City of El Paso’s proposed Downtown arena project continues to be up in the air after years of litigation.

The proposed arena is to be built in the Duranguito neighborhood of Downtown El Paso, which the city already purchased the majority of property for the project.

When the proposal was first passed, the City had $180 million and now the city has about $150 million left.

“Litigation has stopped the project. The direction we received in April from the City Council was to look at this feasibility study but also to start discussions with the opposition to see if we can come to a legal understanding on how we can move the project forward,” said Sam Rodriguez, the chief operations officer for the City of El Paso.

The City of El Paso said the total legal expenses are $3.3 million, which breaks down to $1.9 million in litigation and $1.4 million for real estate acquisition.

The El Paso City Council approved close to $800,000 for the feasibility study for the project. The findings of the study are to be presented on Thursday at the site for the proposed arena and will be open to the public.

During Monday’s City Council work session, some of the feasibility study findings were shown. The plan is for there to be an arena or hybrid that can seat anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000.

The feasibility study compared El Paso’s plans to similar projects. One of them is an arena in Pennsylvania that was built in 2014 and cost $177 million. That arena has an indoor capacity of 8,500 and a presentation at the City Council meeting showed that the arena fitting within the proposed site in El Paso.

City of El Paso

Another example given was a hybrid arena in Irving, Texas that was built in 2017 and cost $50 million with an indoor capacity of 8,000 and an outdoor capacity of 4,000. The City of El Paso graphics showed the same layout would fit in the proposed El Paso sight.

The attorney representing a tenant who still lives in Duranguito — the only person still living in the foot print of the proposed arena — said there are concerns about the feasibility study.

The attorney, Veronica Carbajal said concerns were voiced at the last meeting for the feasibility study.

“The city is saying we are going to do a sports arena one way or another and were going to find examples. We’re going to make this square peg fit into a round hole. They are going to force this on us regardless of what we say, regardless of what we do,” said attorney Veronica Carbajal.

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