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Opponents: El Paso ballpark debate not over

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Pacific Coast League

Though the fat lady is warming up her vocal cords off to the side, opponents of a new El Paso ballpark say they'll make one last effort at a petition drive to kill the deal approved this week.

The El Paso City Council approved a lease this week for a new $50-million ballpark with MountainStar Sports, with the plan being a new facility in 2014. The decision was close -- 4-3 on the council, with Mayor John Cook threatening (and backing away from) a veto -- and opponents did manage to impact the discussion, with MountainStar making some concessions on the final deal. The plan is for MountainStar to close on a deal to buy the Tucson Padres (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) and move the franchise to the new ballpark in 2014.

But opponents didn't manage to kill the deal. They'll make one more run at it, with the hopes of generating enough signatures to place a question on the fall ballot that would either approve or kill the ballpark. Whether or not there's enough time to do this remains to be seen: the deadline for placing a question on the fall ballot has passed, and to be quite blunt it's not clear whether there's enough opposition to actually kill the deal: other petiition drives failed, and in a city of 650,000, you can find a thousand citizens pretty much opposing anything the city does.

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