New Mexico United standalone home field


New Mexico United new stadium update Nov 2023 Image: New Mexico United

The United Soccer League (USL) Championship team New Mexico United will soon be heading to a pitch which will be all their own, after the Albuquerque City Council in Albuquerque, New Mexico (US State) voted 7-2 on November 20th to allow the team to lease land at the Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque to build a privately-financed stadium.

‘ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL’ stated that Councilors Brook Bassan and Renée Grout voted against the proposal.

The New Mexico United is an American professional soccer team based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Founded on June 6th, 2018, the team currently plays in the USL Championship, the second division of American soccer.

The 13,500-capacity Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park, previously known only as Isotopes Park, is a minor league baseball stadium located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and serves as the home ground of the New Mexico United.

Tampa (US)-based the United Soccer League (USL), formerly known as the United Soccer Leagues, is a soccer league in the United States and Canada. It organizes several men’s and women’s leagues, both professional and amateur.

The Balloon Fiesta Park is a multiuse facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s home to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which takes place every October.

‘ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL’ further stated that the team was facing down the clock as a 2026 mandate from the United Soccer League, requiring a minimum 6,000-seat stadium for each team in the league, quickly approached.

Ron Patel, Chief Business Officer at New Mexico United, said the team plans to build an 8,000-10,000-seat stadium.

The stadium will be located in a seven-acre parking lot East of the launch field that, according to City officials, is generally avoided by the balloonists, although the Rainbow Ryders (a hot air balloon ride company) Founder and President Scott Appelman said it is possible to land in the area, depending on the weather.

The project passed a major hurdle recently after the Environmental Planning Commission voted 8-1 to recommend approving the project, bringing the team to the six-yard box.

The Mayor of Albuquerque, Tim Keller, said in a statement, “Scoring a pro-soccer stadium in Albuquerque is a big win for the families. We listened to voters, worked together and now the ultimate goal is one step closer to being realized.”

The team is required to put at least $30 million into designing and building the stadium. Currently, the New Mexico United subleases the Isotopes Park, which is owned by the City. The privately-owned soccer team will pay the City $35,000 the first year, with a two percent rent increase each year, plus a 10 percent cut of all parking revenue. The lease lasts for 30 years with the option to renew.

Recently, the retired Chief Administrative Officer of the City of Albuquerque Lawrence Rael estimated if parking cost $20 – the current cost for a space at Balloon Fiesta – with approximately 3,000 cars parking on gameday, the City could net $102,000 throughout the season.

In return, the City will invest in certain infrastructure improvements, including upgrades to Vendor Row using the State and Federal funds. Although some neighbors living nearby to the park came out to support the stadium, others said they were concerned about light and noise pollution from the construction and building and were frustrated with a lack of communication about the proposed project.

Patel said the team intends to continue to meet with the neighborhood associations throughout the design and construction phases.

The United owner and President Peter Trevisani said in a statement, “We are excited that the Council has approved a lease that allows the New Mexico United to move forward with the construction of a privately-funded stadium that will be for all New Mexicans. We still have a lot of work to do, and are honored to represent our incredible State. Somos Unidos.”

The team was founded in 2018. Since its 2019 debut, 930,000 people have attended a New Mexico United match.

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