City nixes event ban

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

City Commissioners said they wouldn’t necessarily buy tickets for or attend certain fighting or boxing events, but they did not think it was appropriate to stop others from attending or to ban some events from the Tucumcari Convention Center.

Commissioner Chris Maestas said he did not think the city “should allow people to go in there to beat the hell out of each other.”

Certain sporting events held at the center were like cock fights, Maestas said.

“We have to get away from that aspect of the human being,” he said.

Commissioner Antonio Apodaca said he didn’t think it was fair to compare certain events to a rooster fight because the fighters trained and prepared for the fights.

While the commissioners did not specifically name their concern, it was evident that they were talking about a scheduled Feb. 2 Desert Xtreme event when Ron Wilmot, convention director, gave a brief report on the last cage fight held in October.

Some fighting events are called cage fights because mixed-martial arts fighters fight their matches in a cage. The cage has been used in Desert Xtreme matches held at the convention center.

A cage fight scheduled for Feb. 2 was canceled, when Jason Pacheco, 31 of Tucumcari, was shot on Feb. 1 and died several hours later at the Dan Trigg Memorial Hospital. Pacheco was shot near a gym where fighters were weighing in for the fight.

Wilmot said there were 511 who attended the last Rattler Reunion banquet compared to 600 people who attended the last cage fight.

There also was a large amount of money taken in from alcoholic beverage sales during the cage fight, Wilmot said.
Wilmot also said that he was overly cautious when it comes to security and that more security is on hand at such events than necessary.

Prior to events, such as a cage fight, Wilmot said, “I discuss it with the city manager and we make decisions.”

Mayor Mary Mayfield said, “I know that we have had a recent tragedy that was a tragedy for the family and the community.”
However, Mayfield said she did not think it appropriate to ban the events.

Several of the commissioners also said that the fighting venues were gaining popularity and that they didn’t think it was fair to prevent people who were interested in these type of events from attending.

None of the commissioners took any action to bring a resolution up for a vote.