After reopening the possibility of sharing a proposed facility with the Boise Hawks (Short Season A; Northwest League), Boise State is refocusing its efforts on building an on-campus ballpark.
Since it was announced in 2017 that Boise State would launch a new baseball program in 2020, there have been a few uncertainties about its facility planning. It was initially believed that the university could share a proposed ballpark with the Hawks, but Boise State announced in October 2017 that it would instead pursue its own on-campus baseball facility, citing economic reasons. The university later acquired land near football’s Albertstons Stadium for the facility, but announced in February that it would not open in 2020 as originally scheduled. In April, Boise State revealed that it would explore the idea of joining the Hawks and a planned professional soccer club in Division II USL Championship at a proposed venue on Boise’s West End.
However, Boise State reversed course by announcing Tuesday that it is walking away from the possibility of using the proposed Hawks’ ballpark, citing lingering uncertainties over the plan. It will refocus its attention toward a planning an on-campus ballpark, with a targeted opening of 2021. More from the Idaho Statesman:
“We have said all along that we will make the best long-term decision for Boise State, this new program and its student-athletes,” Boise State Athletic Director Curt Apsey said in a statement. “I’m happy for our team, especially head coach Gary Van Tol — they can now move forward with certainty about their home field and its significant role on our campus today and well into the future.”
A February Idaho Statesman report found that two developers estimated the cost to be $10 to $12 million for an on-campus stadium, and it would take 12 to 16 months to complete….
In March, Boise State said it would play its inaugural season at Memorial Stadium, then acknowledged in April it was back in discussion with the Downtown stadium developers. Under that plan, Boise State would pay up to $360,000 annually for 25 years to share the facility, with some perks, including its own locker room for baseball and soccer. However, those plans are on hold, and a vote may be held in November on whether the city should move forward with the project.
“The prospect of prolonged uncertainty in the development of a municipal ballpark makes it prudent for the university to move forward with constructing its own facility in time for the spring 2021 collegiate baseball season,” Boise State Interim President Martin Schimpf said in a statement.
Hawks ownership is leading the effort for a new ballpark, with Greenstone Properties–where Hawks co-owner Chris Schoen is a partner–working on a proposal to build the facility as part of a larger development on a site in the city’s West End. It is envisioned that the Hawks would use the facility with a planned USL Championship club, also backed by Agon, but an official proposal has not been submitted for the ballpark.
Both the Hawks and Boise State will play at Memorial Stadium in 2020.
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