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Boise Hawks opt for Pioneer League

Boise HawksThe Boise Hawks will not be playing in the High-A Northwest League and will instead join the MLB Partner League Pioneer League in 2021.

According to a press release, this doesn’t close the door on attempting to rejoin affiliated ball in future years–though a new ballpark replacing Memorial Stadium would need to be part of the equation, as facility issues were cited as a reason for the move and a decision by Major League Baseball not to issue an invitation to join the 120 teams comprising MiLB in 2021. Ultimately, according to Jeff Eiseman, Hawks President/Partner, the goal isn’t moving back to the Northwest League: it’s landing a team in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.

“We are very disappointed by this decision by MLB and not having the support of the Colorado Rockies through this process,” Eiseman said via press statement. “We were told our current facility ultimately led to the decision. As we have stated since the day we purchased the Hawks, the venue is a challenge. The failure to not have replaced it in all of these prior years led to this move. Our efforts remain the same today as they were yesterday, to continue to seek development of a new facility to secure baseball, as well as deliver a United Soccer League Championship franchise in the Treasure Valley for generations to come and to provide Boise with a showcase facility that will meet and exceed the new requirements of Major League Baseball and ultimately deliver Triple-A baseball to this market.”

Triple-A ball has been a goal of some Boise-area business leaders for years; before Eiseman and his investors took over the Hawks, renderings for a new downtown ballpark for Triple-A ball were circulated. It’s a midsize market, to be sure, but one that’s growing.

But for now, the team will focus on the Pioneer League.

“We are proud to announce that professional baseball will continue in the Treasure Valley next season. From the day we stepped foot in Boise, our top priority has always been, and will continue to be, about our season seat holders, corporate partners, fans and community,” said Bob Flannery, Boise Hawks Vice President, via press statement. “Since 2015, we have seen a 48% increase in attendance, including 22 sellouts in both 2018 and 2019. Fans have and will continue to see the most creative promotions and giveaways and see the best fireworks shows in the Treasure Valley. We will continue to offer affordable, first-class, family entertainment for our community. Our staff is currently hard at work putting the pieces together for another great season.”

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