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Ector County Commissioners vote 3-2 to further discussion on coliseum sale

Commissioners are officially entertaining the idea of selling the Ector County Coliseum.

ECTOR COUNTY, Texas — Ector County Commissioners are officially entertaining the idea of selling the coliseum. 

The vote to proceed won as a lot of people turned out to voice their opinion on the matter. 

"Some things are priceless," said a member of the Chuck Wagon Gang who spoke at today's Commissioners Court.

However in the case of the Ector County Coliseum there is apparently a price, and like anytime there is change people have a lot of feelings. 

"We're here to talk about entering into a real estate contact," said a representative with the Warbirds. "For that we are for it."

"I'm just completely opposed to the sale of the coliseum or even looking into it," said one resident. "It's a public service."

"Basically some things you can't put a price on and that would be the coliseum in my opinion," said another member with the Chuck Wagon Gang.

Steve Hurt came to the meeting representing the Chuck Wagon Gang. They've been housed out of the Coliseum for a long time and he worries a change in ownership could put the gang in jeopardy. 

"The Coliseum has been there my entire life and it's important not only to the Chuck Wagon Gang, but the Permian Basin Fair and Expo, Permian Basin Oil show, the rodeo," said Hurt. "And we all have a vested interest in that facility and so if they sell it to a private company, how is it going to affect us? That's what we need to know."

John Herriage is a broker who initially brought the offer to the commissioners. He says he brought the offer with the best interest of the people in mind. 

"There's several deed restrictions if it went to further that we could do to protect the citizens, and that's why I want to be involved to make sure citizens and tax payers are protected in this," said Herriage.

With that, commissioners voted 3-2 to move forward with negotiating a sale. 

"Today's vote was simply to contract with Copper Key Realty since they have a buyer already lined up, just to enter negotiations and discussions about what that would look like," said Greg Simmons, Precinct 2 Commissioner.

At this point, Simmons believes community groups have nothing to be worried about. 

"I know just in the one discussion we had with him we told him we'd want to have clauses in there, if it did sell, to protect those long-term groups that have been using the Coliseum and have a vested role in the future of it," said Simmons. 

As this process goes further, these groups will not be left out of the discussion.

"I would think all of those would be what we consider community impact groups that would be brought to the table," said Simmons. "So the Ector County Fair would obviously be at the Ector County Coliseum and that's something they'd want and would honor."

"This is a very preliminary first step, and it may not go anywhere, but I think we owe it to the taxpayers to at least know," said Simmons. "We just need to know all our options before dismissing it."

Herriage has said that one of the main reasons this buyer is looking at the Coliseum is to possibly bring more entertainment to the area.

RELATED: Ector County Commissioners discuss the potential sale of Ector County Coliseum

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