Area residents are weighing in on a proposed downtown Boise Hawks (Short Season A: Northwest League) ballpark, with some offering positive feedback about the plan.
The proposal in Boise is centered around a new venue that would host the Hawks and other events, perhaps including professional soccer. The project is also expected to anchor a larger development plan, as Greenstone Properties–owned by Hawks co-owner Chris Schoen—reached terms earlier this year with St. Luke’s Health System on an 11-acre property at the corner of Americana and Shoreline Drive envisioned as the facility’s site.
With discussion over the plan unfolding, the proposal is receiving feedback from some who live in the area near the proposed ballpark site. Plenty of concerns are being expressed–including those relating to parking and traffic–but some believe it could offer benefits to the neighborhood. In a recent story, the Idaho Statesman found that residents such as Aislinn Mangan favor some of the aspects that could come from a new ballpark:
In general, though, Mangan likes the idea of a new stadium. She thinks such an activity center would make life in Boise better. The worst potential impacts, such as fights or vandalism, would be minimal, she said, if Boise keeps being Boise.
“As long as those who uphold the culture of Boise are the majority,” she said. “As long as we’re not polarized or the minority, then yeah, it will absorb a lot of those issues and people will become what’s around them.”
Mangan’s perspective seems typical for her neighborhood. In conversations with the Idaho Statesman, people who live, work or own property in Downtown Boise had a mixture of concerns and good things to say about a proposal to build a 5,000-seat stadium near the corner of Shoreline Drive and Americana Boulevard. The venue would serve minor-league baseball, professional soccer, youth sports and other activities — but not Boise State baseball or soccer programs, the university announced Thursday.
“It’s almost like having Boise reaching a higher level — almost like a class A city — to have this type of venue,” said Marty Jacobs, president of the Downtown Boise Neighborhood Association. “So folks are excited.”
Though Boise State revealed on Thursday that it will pursue a new ballpark on or near campus rather than share the proposed facility, professional soccer is still in the mix as another use, with USL having been prominently mentioned in the past. The project, if approved, could open in 2020 and replace Memorial Stadium as the home of the Hawks.
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