The City of Laredo and the Laredo Energy Arena are pursuing the installation of a basketball court this summer and expect to be hosting games on the hardwood this fall and winter.
“I think it’s very good (odds we purchase a basketball court),” said LEA general manager Xavier Villalon. “We’ve been given the direction to start looking at getting the court, getting the bids out there and analyzing the storage required for that.
“It’s pending a couple issues to get answered, but for the most part, I think we’ve been given pretty much kind of a ‘move forward and see what it takes to make it happen’ (directive).”
The court will be used to host high school games, NBA preseason contests and, possibly, Laredo’s own professional basketball team.
Villalon said initial estimates suggest a court will cost the city between $170,000 and $200,000.
The highest current priority, however, is finding storage space for the court.
City Budget Manager Martin Aleman said he was walking potential storage facilities two weeks ago.
“These portable courts require special storage areas (to protect them from) humidity and heat so they don’t warp,” Aleman said. “We need to make sure they’re properly kept. We have to make sure we have a proper space to store it before we order it.”
A large amount of research remains to be gathered before a final decision is made on whether to bring basketball to the LEA, but progress is being made at a rapid pace.
“Hopefully, within the next 60-90 days, it can be done,” Aleman said.
Read the rest of this story in Wednesday’s edition of the Laredo Morning Times.