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Boise State Still Courted for New Hawks Ballpark

Boise State Broncos

Although the college announced last year that it would build its own facility, Boise State has recently been pitched on using a new Boise Hawks (Short Season A; Northwest League) ballpark. 

Boise State announced in 2017 that it would launch a new baseball program, with the team beginning play in 2020. For a while, it was envisioned that Boise State would share a new ballpark with the Hawks–whose ownership is lobbying for a replacement for Memorial Stadium. However, Boise State announced last October that it would pursue its own on-campus facility, believing that it was a more cost-effective option than renting a new Hawks ballpark.

In the period since, Boise State has been working to move forward with plans for a new baseball facility on land near football’s Albertsons Stadium. Despite that, the Hawks have apparently not ruled out the idea of having Boise State join them at a new ballpark, as team co-owner and Greenstone Properties partner Chris Schoen was recently in touch with the university about having it reconsider its facility plan. Boise State, for its part, confirms discussions with Schoen, but is not offering any indications about whether it will revisit the idea of a shared facility. More from the Idaho Press:

According to emails obtained by the Idaho Press, Atlanta-based sports park developer Chris Schoen met with BSU Interim President Martin Schimpf earlier this month to again discuss a stadium partnership.

“…(Schimpf) was very intent on understanding what we were doing and how a joint facility could work,” Schoen wrote in an Oct. 15 email to Boise’s Director of Economic Development Nic Miller. “Makes too much sense to build one facility and share.”

Greg Hahn, spokesperson for BSU, confirmed the meeting occurred but did not comment further on plans for the stadium. He did not respond to an email asking if an interim president has the authority to make a decision regarding the stadium.

In 2017, BSU was considering being a tenant of the proposed sports park but backed out because it felt like building its own stadium would be more cost efficient. The school budgeted $400,000 per year to use the proposed sports park.

The new Hawks ballpark is expected to anchor a larger development project and be designed to host multiple types of events, perhaps including professional soccer. It was originally envisioned for a site in downtown Boise, but the proposal has shifted in recent months to a location on the city’s West End.

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