Boise State University will pursue a new ballpark on or near campus as it works on a revival of its baseball program, declining to share a proposed new downtown facility with the Boise Hawks (Short Season A; Northwest League).
According to a press release issued by BSU, the university has been open about its interest in the idea of a shared downtown ballpark since 2015, but Boise State President Bob Kustra said that in the end the question came down to the most efficient use of public dollars, as the school’s analysis showed a long-term lease would be less financially prudent than a project that Boise State could either build or lease to own.
“As a baseball fan, I support efforts that boost baseball in Boise and give our community a chance to enjoy the sport for years to come,” Kustra said in a press statement. “I wish the Hawks and the City of Boise the best in moving forward. But my primary responsibility as university president is to make the best choices for the future of Boise State.”
University officials called city leaders and others to tell them personally of the decision.
“We are in the middle of the hiring process for our baseball head coach, and an on-campus stadium will be a major selling point — both to the individual we ultimately hire, and to the future student-athletes that will be recruited to Boise State,” Athletic Director Curt Apsey said.
The plan is for a new downtown Boise ballpark opening for the 2020 season as part of a larger development spearheaded by the Hawks ownership, and the departure of Boise State as a tenant should not affect the overall project. The new ballpark will also feature a new USL professional-soccer team as well and replace Memorial Stadium as the home of the Hawks.
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