Boise State University announced today that it won’t be part of a proposed downtown stadium project, and instead will construct a collegiate baseball stadium on or near campus. BSU President Bob Kustra said while the university has been interested in the shared-stadium idea since 2015, it’s determined that a campus stadium would be more “financially prudent.”
“As a baseball fan, I support efforts that boost baseball in Boise and give our community a chance to enjoy the sport for years to come,” Kustra said in a statement. “I wish the Hawks and the City of Boise the best in moving forward. But my primary responsibility as university president is to make the best choices for the future of Boise State.”
The announcement comes as the city of Boise has been gearing up plans for a proposed major, multi-use stadium near downtown that could host the Boise Hawks minor-league baseball team, soccer, public events and more; Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said the project still can go forward without BSU. BSU said university officials called city leaders and others to personally inform them of the decision before issuing their news release today.
BSU Athletic Director Curt Apsey said, “We are in the middle of the hiring process for our baseball head coach, and an on-campus stadium will be a major selling point – both to the individual we ultimately hire, and to the future student-athletes that will be recruited to Boise State.”
Boise State is in the process of bringing back baseball, a program that’s been dormant since 1980; the school dropped its wrestling program in favor of reviving baseball.
Bieter issued this statement in response to BSU’s announcement:
“Boise State would have been a natural tenant for the Boise Sports Park, so we are disappointed to hear that Agon Sports and Entertainment and Boise State were not able to reach an agreement. However, our independent analysis shows that the Boise Sports Park could be highly successful without Boise State as a tenant. We are excited by the continued interest of the Boise School District and the other possible users of the sports park and will move ahead with the process to ensure that the project is a good fit for its neighbors and for the city has a whole. We wish Boise State baseball and women’s soccer a successful future.”