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City Repurposes Money Meant for Pavillion-Style Seating

Lodger’s Tax to Better Downtown ABQ and Civic Plaza

July 6, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Since the initial announcement of the plans for the Lodger’s Tax was made November 2015, the City of Albuquerque has conducted a study to ensure the money was utilized in order to yield the highest return on investment for taxpayers. The City hired Barrett Sports Group, LLC to conduct a study to fully understand market demands regarding the initial plan of renovating the Eastern Convention Center to build pavilion style seating for large scale events inside the Fran Hill Exhibit Hall.

Upon the extensive research, it was found that due to the low ceiling and limited seating it would be difficult to secure an anchor tenant.  The initial hope was to be able to have the ability to host large annual events such as Gathering of Nations, Mariachi Spectacular, and concerts however, the research presented that while the location was favorable the facility would have been unable to accommodate the number of seats needed. It has been decided to reallocate the $5 million Lodger’s Tax money that was slated for improvements to the East Convention Center toward the following projects:

  • Civic Plaza ($4 million): Proposed plans would replace the fountain with an interactive, family friendly, modern and sustainable water element along with improvements to the surrounding area for shade, access and activities. The goal is to make Civic Plaza more inviting and accessible, attract more visitors, and generally improve people’s experience with the public space.
  • East Convention Center ($1 million): This money will be used to modernize the existing exhibit hall in the East Convention Center with new air walls and sound panels.

The City of Albuquerque spent $30,000 on the study to produce research that saved the taxpayers $5 million on what would not be the best and highest use of the funds. 



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