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Plenty of parking for ballpark - El Paso Inc.: Local News

Plenty of parking for ballpark

Parts of 3 streets needed for better fit

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Posted: Sunday, August 5, 2012 6:00 pm | Updated: 3:06 pm, Fri Aug 31, 2012.

But will it fit and what about parking?

Those are two persistent questions people are asking about the city’s plan to build a Triple-A ballpark on the City Hall and Insights Museum site.

The quick answers to both appear to be “yes.”

Downtown baseball stadiums around the country come in all shapes and sizes because, unlike a football or soccer field, there are no set requirements for the dimensions of a professional ballpark’s outfield.

Downtown stadiums can be built to fit a squarish piece of ground with six acres or so, said David Bower, a sports architect for Populous, an architectural, design and consulting firm based in Kansas City that has had a lot to do with the London Olympics.

“I’m sitting here looking at a real park over the City Hall site, and I know it does work,” said Bower, whose company was hired by the city to look at several sites. “While I say that, it is a very intimate site.”

Even though the stadium could be built to fit on the City Hall site, he said, it would be better if it were a little bigger – taking part of Santa Fe, Durango and West Missouri streets.

“Frankly, to get a 314-foot left field foul line, we have gone into Missouri Street on the north,” said Bower, who has been in on the design of 30 ballparks in his career. “We’ve actually captured that street. That has become our left field plaza.

“Other than that, we would like to be able to capture an additional lane on the west street (Durango) and an additional lane on the east street (Santa Fe) that runs north south. But neither of those are must-haves.”

There are no apartments or residences on that block of West Missouri, which runs beside the Scottish Rite Temple. But it is the only convenient way out of the neighborhood for the apartment residents of the San Francisco Historic District.

Bower said it would be a great picnic site on game days and that the street wouldn’t have to be permanently closed – just during games.

“We would keep that level and make it a plaza where it would go around the left field wall and fans could gather and look down onto the field,” Bower said. “It’s really a cool setting and, again, part of the uniqueness the ball park would have.”

Parking for 30,000

So what about parking for the planned 7,000-seat ball field? El Paso Inc. obtained an inventory of parking garages and lots that shows 8,392 spaces in Downtown, generally east and south of City Hall. But not all are in what an El Pasoan might consider convenient walking distance.

In addition, there are 1,825 metered parking spaces in central Downtown, according to Said Larbi-Cherif, head of the city’s International Bridges Department.

Those 10,217 parking spaces would accommodate more than 30,000 people using a conservative count of three people per vehicle for entertainment events.

Assistant city manager Bill Studer said estimates of passengers per vehicle for sports events range from 2.7 to 3.4 people per car.

So, with 10,217 spaces and free circulator buses picking people up and dropping them off, there is plenty of parking, he agreed.

If the city builds the new arena that’s included in the quality of life bond on the Nov. 6 election, the arena will likely come with an underground parking garage.

“Besides that, if there’s a demand for more parking, someone will provide it,” Studer said.


 

Email El Paso Inc. reporter David Crowder at dcrowder@elpasoinc.com or call (915) 534-4422, ext. 122 and (915) 630-6622.

© 2015 El Paso Inc.. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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5 comments:

  • sparker posted at 9:14 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    sparker Posts: 1

    People are not going to go into those parking buildings; and those who do will often compete with those working at the time(not al bball games are on the weekends). Get ready to guard your space Sunset Heights, you are going to get the worst of this deal.

     
  • 4Runner06 posted at 7:20 pm on Thu, Aug 30, 2012.

    4Runner06 Posts: 3

    The length of a Triple A baseball field (not stadium) is 118 meters from home plate to the edge of the outfield. Thats larger than a NCAA 1 football field (length wise). UTEP/Sunbowl football field wouldn't fit where City hall is, so how is a baseball going to fit there? Thats a bit mind blogging.

    The City hall is under 5 acres of area and a baseball field (Triple A) is close to 7 acres. Built it where you want, its not going to fit at City hall even if you close off the streets.

    Time to find a new location.

     
  • Sam posted at 1:09 am on Wed, Aug 8, 2012.

    Sam Posts: 1

    Wow, this article is damning.
    1) It admits that there is not enough parking unless you include spots on the far side of downtown and use a shuttle bus to and from the distant parking.

    2) It admits the stadium will not fit on the parcel unless Sante Fe, Durango and Missouri streets are closed or relocated. You can't just take 1/2 the street.

    A baseball field should have at least 300 feet from home plate to the fence on the foul lines. Even taking over the surrounding streets will only give a 314' length on the left field side. This will be one of the smallest if not the smallest AAA field - even with the expanded parcel.

    City Hall is stampeding buy 2 new buildings. Once this is done it will be too late to raise objections about the filed size, closing of surrounding streets, or other surprises that will spring up after contracts are signed.

     
  • EP4Ever posted at 1:06 am on Tue, Aug 7, 2012.

    EP4Ever Posts: 12

    But I thought the naysayers knew everything and they always bring up how there is no parking in downtown. Don't tell me that they are wrong again? [wink]

     
  • Selma posted at 9:11 pm on Sun, Aug 5, 2012.

    Selma Posts: 13

    I'm already planning on getting my season ticket! We'll take the bus from the westside terminal and enjoy downtown before and after the game! Go baseball!!!