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Boise State backs out of downtown stadium proposal

Boise State baseball decided not to play in the proposed downtown stadium. Image from Boise Planning and Development Services.

Boise State baseball decided not to play in the proposed downtown stadium. Image from Boise Planning and Development Services.

Boise State University has stepped away from fielding a potential baseball team in the proposed downtown stadium at Shoreline Drive and Americana Boulevard.

Greenstone Properties managing director Chris Schoen in the past month has touted Boise State as a possible tenant along with the Boise Hawks minor league baseball team and a USL professional soccer team.

BSU, however, on Oct. 26 announced it intended to build a collegiate baseball stadium on or near campus.

“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,” Athletic Director Curt Apsey said in a news release.

Boise State had initially contacted Schoen asking if college baseball could use his stadium. Schoen figured Boise State baseball into the 365-day calendar, but the loss of Boise State doesn’t worry him.

“It frees up 55 to 58 dates for us,” Schoen told the Idaho Business Review. “I don’t think it impacts us very much. We started down the road thinking of the Hawks and minor league soccer. It simplifies things for us.”

Bob Kustra

Bob Kustra

Boise State President Bob Kustra in a release said a long-term lease would be “less financially prudent” than building a stadium or entering a lease-to-own agreement on one.

“As a baseball fan, I support efforts that boost baseball in Boise and give our community a chance to enjoy the sport for years to come,” Kustra said. “I wish the Hawks and the City of Boise the best in moving forward. But my primary responsibility as university president is to make the best choices for the future of Boise State.”

Boise Mayor David Bieter, like Schoen, said the Boise Sports Park can succeed 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 as a whole,” the mayor said in a prepared statement.

About Teya Vitu

Teya Vitu is an Idaho Business Review reporter, covering commercial real estate, construction, transportation and whatever else may intrigue him in the moment. Join me on Twitter at @IBR_TeyaVitu.