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El Paso Sports Commission restructures amid financial concerns

EL PASO, Texas -- The long-time leader of the El Paso Sports Commission recently left his position overseeing the private non-profit organization that runs the County Coliseum and helps bring big sporting events and concerts to El Paso, resulting in a restructuring effort.

Brian Kennedy brought 23 years of experience to the table, but El Paso County wanted to cut costs and could no longer afford Kennedy as the hotel occupancy tax dollars that the fund the commission have decreased by about $500,000 from 2019 to 2021.

Kennedy has started his own law firm and remains as a counsel to the commission. Meantime, the county decided to split Kennedy's leadership position into two - with Omar Ropele in charge of financial oversight of the organization and managing the coliseum, while Beau Bagley is in charge of handing sport events.

Kennedy earned $310,000 a year leading the commission, according to nonprofitlight.com, a website that tracks the salaries of high-paid executives. When ABC-7 asked Ropele and Bagley how much they are earning, one of the men gave an answer of $63,000, and the other declined to answer.

Budget documents for the sports commission show it has allocated $541,000 for salaries, but it doesn't indicate how much of that goes to Ropele and Bagley.

Jesus A. Rodriguez

ABC-7 producer.

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