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El Paso County Sportspark to open soon
By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas -- The east side Sportspark is set to open in the next couple of weeks and El Paso County officials said it will offer more than just new fields. This comes after renovations have been in the works for more than a year.
Six fields are already in use and four more will open with the rest of the park. That includes a new concession stand, batting cages, an elevator in the main building and new security cameras.
"It's a great thing that they're finally getting around to opening that Sportspark, because I see kids with not a whole lot to do and they just end up getting themselves in trouble," East El Paso resident Mark Aguilar said.
While conflict between the project's architect and contractor put construction behind a few months, El Paso County Commissioner Carlos Leon said the renovations turned out as he expected.
"I think the original design is what you see. There's been a lot of differences in opinion between the architect and the contractor in so far as getting it done," Leon said.
Leon said the total project costs about $7 million and the county paid for it through a bond issue.
"We're hoping that these delays will not affect the new season, and it's up to the county attorney's office and the county to work things out to make sure that in fact there was not a loss in possible funds," Leon said.
Officials also expect the new Sportspark to put El Paso on the map in the baseball world.
"Now that we have an actual baseball facility that people are proud of and we can actually host events, large events, it's going to be an exciting moment for El Paso," league coordinator Claudio Fernandez said.
More out-of-town teams coming in for tournaments could also boost the local economy.
"I think when you talk about leagues that are coming from out of town, that means that the restaurant business is going to boom and that means that other businesses that feed into this are also going to boom," Leon said.