Thursday, July 28, 2011

Stadium Coalition: "Let's Get 'Em Right Now."

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Using Boise's Municipal Park as a backdrop (not far from the old Boise Braves baseball stadium), a coalition of private and public officials said they were ready to step up to the plate to pick an ideal site for a new multiuse stadium. The group, Better Boise Coalition, will study potential locations for a new sports complex.

"First and foremost, the best reason for a new stadium would be economic development," said Marc Johnson, president of the Gallatin Public Affairs and the afternoon's emcee. "Secondly the current stadium housing the Boise Hawks would surely require major renovations in the near future."

Johnson said another benefit to a new site would be a home for varsity sports for Treasure Valley high schools, as well as a possible minor league soccer franchise, which has been hinted as a possibility from Hawks' ownership.

"Just look at these renderings," said Joel Hickman, vice president of Key Bank, pointing to an artists' vision of a downtown stadium. "Why wouldn't we want a facility like this?"

stadium_1.jpg


Bill Connors, president of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, touted examples of other small market cities that have successfully integrated new stadiums into their downtown areas: Frisco, Tex. (suburb of Dallas); Greensboro, N.C.; Davenport, Iowa; and Dayton, Ohio, which has the best minor league attendance rate in the nation.

Quoting Bob Uecker (who played for the Boise Braves in the late 1950s but is best known as an actor and network sports announcer), Johnson said the one-time baseball player held the record for saying, "Let's get 'em next year."

"Let's get 'em right now," said Johnson. "Now is the time."

(left to right) Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, Marc Johnson from Gallatin Group, Dave Terrell from Washington Trust Bank, Joel Hickman from Key Bank and Bill Connors of Boise Chamber
  • (left to right) Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, Marc Johnson from Gallatin Public Affairs, Dave Terrell from Washington Trust Bank, Joel Hickman from Key Bank and Bill Connors of Boise Chamber

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