EL PASO, Texas — A state district judge has determined El Paso officials can move ahead with plans to construct a $180 million multipurpose center downtown, just as long as they don’t build it as a sports arena.

Judge Amy Clark Meachum ruled Monday that the facility can be used for performing arts and similar entertainment. But she noted at an earlier hearing that it’s reasonable for a sporting event to be held there.

Critics challenging the construction of the facility say El Paso didn’t make clear in a 2012 bond question that sporting events would be part of the entertainment at the arena.

They also contend the bond didn’t explain that it would be built downtown.

Meachum also ruled the city can’t use outside funding to later modify the structure as a sports arena.

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