The City of Boise has begun its formal campaign to build support for a 5,000-seat downtown sports stadium.
The city argues the proposal is the best opportunity to build the new Boise Hawks stadium on an 11-acre plot on Americana and Shoreline Drive. The Hawks currently play at Memorial Stadium in Garden City. Housing the minor league baseball team wouldn’t be the only use of the space – the city hopes to bring a professional soccer team to Boise and plans to rent the stadium for festivals and concerts.
Steve Duke lives near the River District where the stadium would be built, and says he came to the open house to learn more about the project. He’s one of dozens of people who attended Thursday’s open house. But after carefully reading the city’s materials on display, he’s not convinced it’s a good idea.
“If we’re talking about a sports facility, it just seems like the best idea would be to upgrade the existing facilities," says Duke, "and then you could have soccer and everything out there.”
Duke doesn’t see how parking for 5,000 people at the proposed location will not impact the neighborhood.
But according to Mike Van Hise with the Boise Hawks, Memorial Stadium is outdated.
“The ballpark gives us a lot of challenges," says VanHise. "It was built in 1988, 1989 . . . the amenities that we want to add, not only on the player-development side but the fan-experience side is astronomically different between the two facilities.”
The city will hold two more open houses this month. People can also submit feedback online.
Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio