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Boise still in the crosshairs of the PCL?

Boise's Memorial Stadium

Some more buzz from the Winter Meetings: the notion of Boise hosting Pacific Coast League baseball is proving to be more viable by the moment — depending on what happens with the planning of a new downtown ballpark.

That Boise has the demographics and geological location to host Triple-A baseball really isn’t under dispute: yes, it would be a smaller PCL market, but it’s a lucrative market on the rise, and the locals are certainly willing to look at publicly financing a new downtown ballpark. (Indeed, little has changed since we first pitched Boise as a Triple-A market in 2010.) And there certainly may be a team on the market: several sources say Tucson Padres (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) owner Jeff Moorad has had at least an introductory howdy-do with Boise businessmen. It’s the prudent move: Tucson isn’t really seen as a long-term play for the league, and if an Escondido ballpark falls through, Moorad and his fellow owners will need a new home for the team. Moorad has already said he’s not interested in owning a PCL team if it’s not in Escondido, so some planning for the future has already begun.

Of course, a lot has to happen before the city hosts Triple-A baseball. The Boise Hawks (short season A; Northwest League) ownership is in a tough situation: they can’t really go out and advocate the construction of a Triple-A ballpark because they don’t actually own a Triple-A team, and there’s probably no way the city will spend the extra bucks for a Triple-A ballpark without assurances a Triple-A team is on the way. (Indeed, there are a host of differences in ballpark specs between short-season and Triple-A facilities, ranging from the seating size to clubhouse sizes and other player amenities — differences that quickly drive up the costs of a ballpark.) But these aren’t issues that are deal-killers — at least not yet.

Photo: Boise’s Memorial Stadium.

RELATED STORIES: Ricketts: Boise’s Memorial Stadium is substandard; Boise as Triple-A market? There’s talk; Boise ballpark search to focus on downtown sites; Boise in search of new ballpark site; Memorial Stadium / Boise Hawks


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