It might have been a stunner when opened in 1989, but Memorial Stadium, home of the Boise Hawks (short season A; Northwest League), is now coming dangerously close to being an outdated professional facility, as the team is seeking a new ballpark after concluding it’s not worth renovating the old place.
Year Opened: 1989
Original Cost: $2.3 million
Owner: Boise Hawks; land owned by Ada County
Phone Number: 208-322-5000
League: Northwest League (short season A)
Parent: Chicago Cubs
Ticket Prices (2011): 3B/HP box seats, $14; 1B box seats, Fri-Sat $12, Sun-Thur $10; 3B/HP reserved seats, Fri-Sat $12, Sun-Thur $10; 1B reserved seats, Fri-Sat $7, Sun-Thur $6.
Parking: Free and abundant.
Address: 5600 Glenwood, Boise, ID 83714.
Directions: From Mountain Home and Eastward: Take the Cole Road exit off I-84 (Exit 50), proceed north on Cole Road for five miles, take a left at the “T” Intersection and then a right at the next light. (Cole Road becomes Glenwood.) Memorial Stadium is just past the Western Idaho Fairgrounds on your right side. From Nampa and Westward: Take Highway 20 West (Chinden Road) for approximately 15 miles. Turn left on Glenwood; ballpark is 1/2 mile ahead on the right.
First off: the ballpark isn’t really in Boise, it’s in adjoining Garden City — the suburbs, as it were, and a fair ways from a thriving downtown complete with a well-attended arena and many restaurants and brewpubs. Since Memorial Stadium opened in 1989, Boise has grown up and acquired a certain level of sophistication, due in large part to a surprising population growth that’s seen outdoor enthusiasts from around the country arrive in this Idaho town. That growth is much more significant than most people realize: Boise is arguably a Triple-A market hosting a single-A team, with a population roughly the size of Des Moines and larger than Reno (depending on what measurement you use for market size). It’s a surprisingly affluent town, and the folks do spend their money on sports of all kinds.
It’s pretty clear both the population and the team have outgrown Memorial Stadium, at its core a very basic facility constructed by the team in 1988 and opening in 1989. There are three large seating section — one down each line, flanking a center grandstand — with a hospitality area, the Brew City Hawks Nest down the third-base line as well. The Hawks have upgraded other parts of the ballpark as well throughout the years and certainly updated the concessions many times over. While we’re not blown away by the facility — the sets at the top of the three seating sections are a long ways up — the Hawks front office has done a pretty good job at making the best of a limited facility. Go for the baseball and stay for the beer while you can; a new ballpark is in the offing.
Photos from a 2007 visit.
BEFORE/AFTER THE GAME
You probably won’t be hanging around the ballpark area before or after the game. As noted, the ballpark is a long ways from the hotspots of Boise. And, surprisingly enough, there are many.
We’d recommend checking out the thriving brewpub scene in Boise, centered around the lovely downtown. Boise still has a real downtown where people congregate after work. You’ll find good beer and good food at Bittercreek Ale House (246 N. 8th St.; bittercreekalehouse.com), TableRock BrewPub (705 Fulton St.; tablerockbrewpub.com) and the Ram Brewpub (709 Park Blvd.; theram.com).
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