I have learned that Visneti Group LLC, a group of private investors, is planning to build a “Multipurpose Performance Center” in Sunland Park, New Mexico that will potentially seat up to 5,500 spectators in an indoor arena, with a second stage facing an outdoor amphitheater that will accommodate at least 8,000 spectators.
The 28-acre facility will cost close to nine figures, subject to the final architectural design, and serve primarily as a concert venue. It will be located on the north side of Sunland Park Dr., opposite the Racetrack and just inside the state of New Mexico. Preliminary archaeological and geotechnical surveys have been completed as well as demolition of structures on the parcel. A financial impact study should be completed in December.
The project has been in the works for over two years, and there have been rumors about it floating around for the last several months. I have confirmed it with the Acting City Manager and the Director of Community & Economic Development of the City of Sunland Park as well as with the investment group spearheading the project.
Sunland Park is in the process of creating a Tax Increment Development District in the area, which is already a Federal Opportunity Zone. In addition, the area has recently been designated an “Entertainment District” by city ordinance. Other major developments in the area are planned by additional investors, including a $25 million commercial project on the south side of Sunland Park Dr., just east of the Racetrack, which has received $3.5 million in assistance from the New Mexico Finance Authority for Phase I.
The advantages to building an arena-amphitheater in Sunland Park are obvious:
1. It will be sited next to the existing racetrack/casino and amusement park, which are already major attractions.
2. The Borderland Freeway and the stretch of I-10 alongside the area are completed, and so there is easy access to our transportation network.
3. There is unlimited space for parking.
4. There are no archeological or cultural assets, such as historic buildings, that would hinder the project.
5. The area is in close proximity to the most affluent neighborhoods of El Paso.
6. It is near the Santa Teresa port of entry and the future Anapra port of entry, ensuring convenient access for Mexicans.
7. This project will not cost El Pasoans one penny and it will not raise their taxes or inconvenience local businesses.
8. Among the investors are entertainment experts in the concert industry with international reach who have the ability to bring high-quality performances to their venue.
I am certain that El Pasoans will be strongly supportive of this wonderful project.