With the potential of USL pro soccer coming to Boise, talk of a new multiuse facility that could include the Boise Hawks (Short Season A; Northwest League) is being revived by local elected officials.
We’re all heard the talk about the need for a new Hawks ballpark over the years, as the shortcomings of Memorial Stadium are well-documented. Way back in 2011 the Better Boise Coalition issued a report calling for a $26.7-million ballpark and behind the scenes raised the possibility of working to lure a Pacific Coast League team to town. And when Jeff Eiseman and Chris Schoen took over the Hawks in 2014, they were pretty explicit about the need for a new ballpark.
A USL neutral-site match between Portland Timbers 2 and the Swope Park Rangers drew a sellout crowd earlier this month to a local high school field, leading to talk about Boise landing a USL team. Two things are needed: a facility and local ownership. We have the full account on the soccer side of the equation on our sister site, Soccer Stadium Digest.
Now, we’re seeing some success with pro baseball facilities hosting USL and NASL soccer in cities like Tulsa, Jacksonville and Louisville, with the Reno Aces (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) on tap to add a USL team in 2017. And we expect to see more MiLB facilities to add soccer in the future as well. Any new facility can be designed to accommodate a soccer pitch as well as a full baseball field, and with the likes of MLS sniffing around Boise, you can bet there will be more talk of a joint soccer/baseball facility in coming months.
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