Local officials continue to debate a new Boise soccer stadium, which could be constructed to accommodate a professional club.
Under what is being proposed, baseball’s Boise Hawks (Short Season A; Northwest League) would move into a new downtown facility that can be used for several types of events. USL has been prominently mentioned in the past, and reports have indicated that the venue could also host college baseball and soccer. The project is also expected to anchor a larger development plan, as Greenstone Properties–owned by Hawks co-owner Chris Schoen—reached terms earlier this year with St. Luke’s Health System on an 11-acre property at the corner of Americana and Shoreline Drive envisioned as the facility’s site.
Our sister site Ballpark Digest has more details behind the proposal for the roughly $40-million facility, which could open in 2020 if it moves forward. Plenty of discussion will need to take among local officials in order for the concept to become a reality, but soccer is being touted by some as a major component of the plan. Bill Taylor, the president of the Idaho Youth Soccer Association, believes USL could succeed in Boise, pointing to some recent developments in the city’s soccer scene. More from The Idaho Statesman:
He points to recent high-profile soccer matches held in the Treasure Valley, including the Basque Soccer Friendly in 2015, which drew a crowd of 22,000 to Albertsons Stadium; a June 2016 USL match that drew 4,500 paying fans to Rocky Mountain High School despite no marketing; and an indoor soccer match in August that sold out CenturyLink Arena in Downtown Boise.
“The soccer community is dying for soccer,” Taylor said.
A report that the city of Boise commissioned on the feasibility of a stadium agrees with that assessment. The report anticipates average crowds of 2,850 for baseball games and 4,400 for soccer matches.
Taylor believes soccer families played a role in this year’s auditorium district election. After talking to all four candidates, he said, he sent emails to 9,000 people in the area’s soccer community, encouraging them to vote for Kristin Muchow and Hy Kloc, the election’s two most vocal stadium proponents. Muchow and Kloc easily won in a contest that tallied roughly 13,400 total votes.
In the past, MLS’s Portland Timbers have been mentioned as a potential parent for a soccer club.