Like many cities, Albuquerque does not use common sense in downtown planning. Thus it has decided that this upgrade to its convention center is a good idea:
And $5 million would go towards a retractable, convertible-style arena in the east area of the convention center. The retractable arena would be able to seat up to 10,000 spectators.
What? Can anyone think of any events where a retractable arena holding up to 10,000 people would be used in Albuquerque? Basketball games, you say? Sure, that makes sense since that’s the drawing above. One problem: the University of New Mexico has The Pit. Renovated in 2009, it holds 15,000 people for basketball and 13,000 for concerts, were they theoretically to come through Albuquerque, the worst music city in the nation unless you are a metalhead.* So this new retractable arena seems totally unnecessary and irrelevant except that the city has decided it needs to bring people downtown and rather than provide a downtown that people want to go to naturally, it’s throwing money at pointless projects that will end up empty disasters. As is, the Albuquerque convention center is largely underused. Color me extremely skeptical that a gigantic new arena is what will attract all the conventions to the Land of Enchantment.
*Given Albuquerque’s size and rational halfway point between Phoenix and either Denver or Dallas, you would think that bands would play in Albuquerque. But they don’t because no one goes to shows there.