Boise State declines to play ball at proposed downtown park
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise State University officials say they’ll build their own baseball stadium on or near campus rather than play in a proposed stadium that a company wants to build near downtown.
Boise State Athletic Director Curt Apsey in a statement Thursday said it’s in the school’s interest to have its own stadium.
“We are in the middle of the hiring process for our baseball head coach, and an on-campus stadium will be a major selling point — both to the individual we ultimately hire and to the future student-athletes that will be recruited to Boise State,” he said.
Boise State hopes to have a new team playing in 2020.
A company called Greenstone Properties wants to build a stadium near the downtown Boise area that would be the home of the minor league Boise Hawks and a professional soccer team. It could also hold concerts, festivals and other events.
“I don’t think it impacts us very much,” said Greenstone Properties managing director Chris Schoen about not having Boise State playing at the stadium. “We started down the road thinking of the Hawks and minor league soccer. It simplifies things for us.”
Boise State University President Bob Kustra said it’s a better investment for the school to have its own stadium.
“My primary responsibility as university president is to make the best choices for the future of Boise State,” he said.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said that the city’s independent analysis shows the stadium could be successful without Boise State.
“We are excited by the continued interest of the Boise School District and the other possible users of the sports park and will move ahead with the process to ensure that the project is a good fit for its neighbors and for the city has a whole,” he said in a statement.