A small crowd gathered Thursday evening at the Boise Centre to learn about, and critique, a proposal to build a multi-use sports stadium west of Downtown Boise.
Staff from the city of Boise and other project stakeholders fielded questions inside the venue, while volunteers for the stadium opposition group Concerned Boise Taxpayers handed out flyers outside.
“If it’s such a good idea, why isn’t all of the investment private? Why does government need to get involved?” asked Larry Conn, who lives in North Boise and stopped by the open house with his wife, Gail.
Like many others who attended, the Conns said they worry that a new stadium for the Boise Hawks – it also could host soccer games, concerts and other events – at Americana Boulevard and Shoreline Drive would bring parking and traffic problems to the surrounding neighborhoods.
“If it was built, I would avoid the area,” Gail Conn said.
Camille DeGabrielle, who volunteered to help Concerned Boise Taxpayers hand out information at the event, lives near the proposed stadium site. She moved to Boise from Denver and does not “want to see Boise become like another city ... like an ugly stepsister of Portland.”
DeGabrielle said she would rather see the city focus its resources more on homelessness and education.
Not everyone was opposed. One man who declined to give his name said he came to the event with a mixed opinion. He is “for a concept [of a stadium] in the Treasure Valley,” but he also said the project’s leaders have failed to be transparent or to give the public a say in the decisions so far.
The open house was the first in a series. Two more are scheduled this month in Boise: Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Payette Brewing, 733 S. Pioneer St.; and Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Boise City Hall, 150 N. Capitol Blvd.
For more information or to comment on the plans, visit cityofboise.org/boisesportspark.