The Boise Hawks (Short Season A; Northwest League) will host the 2019 Northwest League / Pioneer League All-Star Game at Memorial Stadium, and some officials hope it will spark support for a new ballpark.
The 2019 NWL/Pioneer League All-Star Game features players from the Rookie-level Pioneer League and Short Season-A Northwest League. The game will be hosted at Memorial Stadium, a ballpark where the Hawks have been putting up solid attendance numbers in recent years despite out-of-date amenities.
Agon Sports and Entertainment, the club’s ownership group, has been pursuing a new ballpark. That proposal is still taking shape and it remains to be seen whether it will move forward, but the facility has been expected to anchor a larger development project and be designed to host multiple types of events, including professional soccer.
In the interim, the Hawks will plan for the 2019 All-Star Game. Some officials, including Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, hope that the announcement of the event and its potential economic impact will help move new ballpark discussions forward. More from the Idaho Statesman:
“We’ve been working hard on that,” Bieter said. “It’s taken a couple of different twists. I had some meetings just this week. And we are confident we can bring a new park to the city in the near future. The timing of this couldn’t be better.”…
With 25 players on each team and representatives from teams in both leagues coming to Boise, the Hawks estimate the two-day all-star event will lead to the sale of 90-150 hotel rooms. Bill Connors, the president of Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, said that shows the kind of payoff the Treasure Valley could receive from a new stadium.
“Cities and states who ignore the economic power of sports don’t get it,” Connor said. “There are cities who do get it, and they’ve invested in infrastructure to attract events just like this one.
“… So when you have an all-star game, and the focus of a lot of professional sports will be on Boise that particular day, it’s a good thing for Boise, it’s a good thing for business and it’s a good thing for Idaho. We hope we continue, under the mayor’s leadership, to invest in sports infrastructure because it’s big business and it’s good business.”
Having next year’s All-Star Game will undoubtedly be a showcase for the Hawks, who are averaging 3,228 fans per-game this season at Memorial Stadium. An announcement on scheduling for the two-day event is expected to take place later this year.
“We are so proud to be hosting the All Star Game next summer,” said Hawks general manager Bob Flannery in a press statement. “This is a great accomplishment on all fronts for the Hawks organization and for our community.”
“This event goes beyond seeing the future stars of the game,” Jeff Eiseman, president of Agon Sports and Entertainment, said in a press statement. “This is a two day celebration of Boise and the amazing community the game thrives in.”
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