For the first time in decades, Boise State is planning to offer baseball, as the university has announced plans to add a baseball program. Boise State has also dropped its wrestling program, a decision that announced along with the reinstitution of baseball.
Boise State has not delivered a specific timeline on when baseball will be added, but it said in an announcement earlier this week that it is “committed to moving ahead as quickly as possible,” in establishing the program. Baseball was last offered at the Boise State in 1980, the final season before it was dropped from university’s varsity sports offerings.
“This was not an easy decision, but one that needed to be made as we consider the long-term vision for Bronco athletics,” said director of athletics Curt Apsey said in a statement. “We will continue to honor the scholarships we provide our student-athletes, and will do all we can to help those who want to continue their collegiate wrestling careers elsewhere.”
Boise State, which at this point is the only Mountain West Conference school to not offer baseball, has had the sport on its radar in recent years. Boise State baseball’s arrival could be timed as such that it eventually shares a proposed downtown ballpark with the Boise Hawks (Short Season A; Northwest League), but the university has not committed to the idea of using the facility. The Hawks, however, sound open to having Boise State at the ballpark. More from The Idaho Statesman:
[President Bob] Kustra said previously that there normally is a five-year plan in getting a team off the ground.
“It would be foolish to say it’s a slam dunk, but the window is open, they know it exists,” said Jeff Eiseman, owner of the Boise Hawks, an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. “We’ve let it be known, we’d certainly welcome that.”
Eiseman said Boise State’s involvement in the project “isn’t make or break for us,” but certainly would help. He said he has met with groups that share minor league stadiums with college teams at Oregon and Penn State. It is to be determined whether the school could help financially on the front end, be a fellow lease holder or pay to rent the facilities. Eiseman said that if the team is ready to play before a new stadium is done — the current goal is 2020 — it could use Memorial Stadium, the Hawks’ current home.
In addition to hosting the Hawks, the proposed ballpark has been mentioned as a possible home to a USL soccer club.