Edinburg Announces Construction of a New Arena
MCALLEN, Texas - The City of Edinburg and The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation today announced plans for the construction of an events arena to be built just off of Interstate 69 Central. The announcement was made during a press conference held at Edinburg City Hall. Mayor Richard H. Garcia also announced that the anchor tenant at the arena will be the Defending NBA Development League Champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The Vipers will begin playing in the new facility in 2017.
"We are excited to accept the invitation from the City of Edinburg and Edinburg Economic Development Corporation to be a part of this exciting new project," RGV Vipers president Bert Garcia said. "Just a few months ago we announced the building of the Edinburg Sports and Wellness Center, which will serve as our primary practice facility. The Vipers look forward to being an even larger part of the Edinburg community by being a part of this arena project."
The 115,799 Sq. Ft. arena will be built on 40 acres of land located on the east side of I-69C on Alberta Road. It will feature 8,500 seats and 2,400 parking spaces. The entire property includes nine additional pad sites for the development of a future hotel, restaurants and more parking spaces. Construction cost for the arena is estimated at $50 million with a boost to the local economy of $96 million during the construction phase and $45 million annually once operational. It is expected to create approximately 150 new jobs.
Mayor Garcia noted that not only will this project enhance the economy by millions of dollars but it will also improve the quality of life for Edinburg residents and visitors. "People want to visit and live in cities where they can get educated, where they can work and where they can play. We've created more than 3,500 jobs in the last three years, we have UPTA, about to become an even larger UT system campus complete with a medical school, and now we will also have a place for entertainment."
City leaders say the arena will not only host professional basketball games and other sporting events but will also serve as a location for concerts, graduations and meetings. A name for the arena has not been determined, but Mayor Garcia says, that in itself will create investment opportunities for companies.
Meanwhile, EEDC Director Gus Garcia Jr. said "This is a culmination of several entities coming together to create entertainment, hotels, restaurants and jobs. We are very excited to have this group invest in Edinburg. I'm excited to say this is the first of many projects the EEDC and the City Council tasked me with when I came on board in June. Talks began four months ago and we are now seeing the fruits of that labor. The EEDC Board is very happy to be working with the City on this project. These are exciting times for Edinburg, and it's just the beginning. Get ready for several new project announcements coming very soon."
Currently, the RGV Vipers play at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas and have three years remaining on the current contract.
"The Vipers have called State Farm Arena home for our first six seasons. It has been a great experience and we look forward to fulfilling the current three-year agreement." Garcia said. "The move to the new arena in 2017 will still allow for us to be in a central RGV location, and will also offer more seating and sponsorship options for the team, which will help the organization generate more revenue and grow."
The RGV Vipers will host an exhibition game, presented by the City of Edinburg, versus the Tampico Huracanes on Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. at the UTPA Fieldhouse on the campus of The University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. Admission to this exhibition game is free.
Rio Grande Valley will open the 2013-14 regular-season on the road at Los Angeles on Nov. 23, followed by a road game at Bakersfield on Tuesday, Nov. 26. The Vipers home opener and championship ring ceremony is slated for Friday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. versus the Tulsa 66ers.
For more information about the RGV Vipers 2013-14 season and season ticket information, call the Vipers at 956-972-1144 or visit www.rgvipers.com.
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