Boise Hawks owner to buy ground for stadium

In a move that you hardly see in (minor league) baseball, Chris Schoen the managing partner of the Boise Hawks (A Short Season affiliate of the Colorado Rockies in the Northwest League), wants to buy an 11-acre piece of ground in downtown Boise ID and donate it to the city, so the latter can build a new ballpark.

Schoen and his Greenstone Properties have been involved in two high-profile baseball-Afbeeldingsresultaatcentered developments: Parkview Field, home of the Fort Wayne Tincaps (Low A; Midwest League), has been a catalyst for new development in that city’s downtown, while North Augusta’s Project Jackson, an extensive development anchored by a new Augusta GreenJackets (Low A; Sally League) ballpark, has received final approvals.

The intention is to have the city of Boise build a new 5,000 seat multi use ballpark that will be the home to the Boise Hawks, but also will host a minor league soccer team and eventual Boise State University new men’s baseball and women’s lacrosse teams.

If everything proceeds according to plan, the stadium can open as early as 2019 even though 2020 is more likely. The stadium plan will be modeled after the North Augusta stadium plan.

The ballpark would be build on only four acres of ground, while the rest will be developed into a residential area or commercial area with shops, restaurants, hotels, etc.

But the acquisition of land by Schoen would not be all. In addition Schoen would contribute $1 million to its construction cost, which is expected to be about $41 million. The Boise Hawks would lease the stadium, whose eventual owner is a detail that has yet to be worked out. Other potential sources of income include the minor league soccer team, BSU, concerts, prep sports tournaments and other events.

Capital City Development Corp., Boise’s urban renewal agency, would borrow money to pay for the stadium’s construction cost, Boise City Councilman Scot Ludwig said. Other groups, including Greater Boise Auditorium District and the city of Boise, could have a hand in financing the stadium, either with upfront cash contributions that pay down the principal of the stadium loan or with yearly contributions that help pay off the debt.

The current ballpark of the Hawks is Memorial Stadium, which has a capacity of 3,400 and 4,500, is almost 30 years old. The construction of that stadium started on February 1, 1989 and the stadium opened on June 16, 1989.

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