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Boise in search of new ballpark site

Boise HawksYet another baseball study is underway in Boise, as the Better Boise Coalition will embark on a search for an appropriate location for a new Boise Hawks (short season A; Northwest League) ballpark, but there’s really one obvious location: downtown.

The Hawks have been playing at Memorial Stadium since it opened in 1989, a rather basic facility that’s at the end of its economic life. Boise is a boomtown and is definitely capable of supporting a new ballpark; in fact, one could argue that it’s a Class AAA market with a single-A team. So a new ballpark makes sense. The Hawks know this and commissioned their own study in 2010 pointing out the possible economic benefits of a new ballpark. The City of Boise commissioned its own study and released it earlier this month; the conclusion was that a multiuse facility would boost Hawks attendance to 4,000 a game and could host other events, like high-school sports and concerts. It also held that Boise is viable as a Triple-A market, something we’ve been arguing for more than a year now.

The Better Boise Coalition will announce today it’s entering the fray with its own study designed to find an optimal location for a new ballpark. The top location really needs to be downtown, perhaps near Qwest Arena, where there are appears to be plenty of open parcels suitable for a ballpark. It’s already a vibrant downtown, and adding a ballpark to the mix — where there’s already parking and freeway infrastructure in place — makes sense. Still, there will be other communities stepping to the plate to pitch for a new ballpark, so expect a lively discussion.

RELATED STORIES: Memorial Stadium / Boise Hawks


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