Don’t be fooled by developer Chris Schoen and Mayor Bieter’s comments regarding the similarities between Ft. Wayne and Boise. I lived in Ft. Wayne from 1961-1971 and visit regularly including just last summer. I’ve watched Ft. Wayne go from a downtown with great restaurants and a bustling shopping environment to looking like a bombed out war zone as shopping malls developed north and south of the city and restaurants followed. Houses around downtown fell into disrepair and were ultimately bulldozed, leaving an empty shell save a few banks and office buildings. No wonder Ft. Wayne needed a “resurgence” as Schoen said. There was nothing left. Boise’s downtown, however is the complete opposite. Ft. Wayne’s stadium was a hit because there is no major college sports team and only a few professional minor league teams. In addition, with no housing in downtown Ft. Wayne, noise from the stadium is not near as big an issue as it will be here in Boise. So, overall, there is no comparison.
And, by the way, has anyone else noticed that Schoen owned the Ft. Wayne baseball team, built their stadium, sold it and now is the managing partner of the Boise Hawks and proposing to build this stadium?
Nancy Cummings, Boise
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