EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The federal government plans on spending up to $700 million on a project that could expand the International Bridge of the Americas in El Paso.
The footprint of the plan could include the El Paso County Coliseum and ice rink that is on the same property.
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego says the plans are still vague.
“We hear that the coliseum is in their footprint and that concerns us because we have contracts and were trying to get contracts and they’re not going to want to sign up for two to three years from now if we don’t know if the coliseum is going to be part of that,” said Samaniego. “We keep hearing that it is in the footprint but they haven’t verified that or whether there is some flexibility.”
The ice rink on the property of the coliseum is the home of the El Paso Rhinos hockey team. The vice president says they are concerned about the future of the rink.
“Were really worried about what we’ve here we’ve developed the building; we’ve built the building and were the only ice rink from Albuquerque to Odessa that’s open year-round so were really worried that what we’ve done here might not be here anymore once the bridge is expanded,” said Tyler Deloach, vice president of the El Paso Rhinos.
Back in 2020, the El Paso Rhinos were awarded $150,000 for rink upgrades from Kraft Hockeyville USA.
“That would likely be lost because it was an investment into the building and if the building is no longer standing, the money goes with it,” Deloach said.
The ice rink is also used for figure skating, and one El Paso figure skating coach says people come from New Mexico, other parts of Texas, and Juarez to use it.
“Figure skating, ice skating, ice hockey you need ice to practice to play, to perform and there’s no other location in our city currently that could accommodate that,” said Ally Ye, a figure skating coach.
The El Paso Rhinos and the El Paso Figure Skating Club said they plan to be at the next El Paso County Commissioners meeting to voice their concerns.
The project is being done by U.S. General Services Administration and is being funded by the federal government.
A feasibility study is in progress and is expected to be completed in September of this year. Construction is expected to begin in 2028 and would be completed in 2031.
Public comment for or against the federal government’s plans are due April 11 and must be emailed to Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org. The form to fill out can be found below