Boise & Garden City

Opposition forms to proposed Boise baseball stadium

A bird’s-eye view of the proposed Downtown Boise stadium site

The managing partner of the Boise Hawks is poised to buy 11 acres in Downtown Boise, part of which he would donate to the city for the construction of a 5,000-seat, multisport stadium and event center. The stadium would be the new home for the Haw
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The managing partner of the Boise Hawks is poised to buy 11 acres in Downtown Boise, part of which he would donate to the city for the construction of a 5,000-seat, multisport stadium and event center. The stadium would be the new home for the Haw

After months of eyebrow raising from a few City Hall skeptics, opposition to the proposed multi-use Downtown stadium proposal has organized.

Gary Michael, former CEO of Albertsons, and Bill Ilett, former managing partner of Boise’s former Idaho Stampede D-League basketball team, formed a nonprofit organization in July that opposes the stadium.

“Slow down. Be transparent. Show responsibility,” is the slogan on the home page of Concerned Boise Taxpayers’ website.

If built, the stadium would be located northeast of the corner of Americana Boulevard and Shoreline Drive. It would be the new home for the Boise Hawks, a minor league baseball team that now plays at Memorial Stadium in Garden City, perhaps as early as spring 2020. The Hawks’ new ownership, Agon Sports and Entertainment, bought the team in 2015 with hopes of finding or building a new stadium.

The city of Boise, Greater Boise Auditorium District and Greenstone Properties, an Atlanta-based development company, would contribute somewhere around $9 million toward the stadium’s roughly $40 million construction cost, according to a preliminary proposal. Capital City Development Corp., Boise’s urban renewal agency, would borrow money to cover the rest of the cost.

Greenstone has proposed building roughly $90 million worth of private commercial and residential space immediately surrounding the stadium. Property taxes from that development would help pay back the URA’s borrowed money. After 20 years, the stadium would be paid for; the city of Boise would own the stadium and could rent it to Agon, which could lease it for concerts, festivals, minor league soccer games and other events, in addition to holding Hawks games there.

The Concerned Boise Taxpayers website opposes risking taxpayer money on a project that might fail. It also claims that Memorial Stadium’s location has plenty of room for a new venue and that the Treasure Valley “can barely sustain the teams we have now.”

Repeated efforts to contact Concerned Boise Taxpayers for comment were unsuccessful.

The city of Boise called the first of three open house meetings on the stadium on Thursday to answer questions and take feedback from the public about the stadium and surrounding development.

Open houses

Anyone unable to attend Thursday’s open house on the proposed Downtown Boise stadium will have two more opportunities:

Tuesday, Oct. 10: 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Payette Brewing, 733 S. Pioneer St.

Monday, Oct. 16: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Boise City Hall, 150 N. Capitol Blvd.

For more information or to comment, visit cityofboise.org/boisesportspark.

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