After months of discussion and some controversy, the proposed downtown Boise stadium may not be going downtown after all. There’s a second proposal that would move the stadium just about a mile northwest from the original site off Americana Boulevard to land that’s currently owned by the College of Western Idaho.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter wouldn’t specify who, but says a community member proposed the idea to him late last week.
The proposal would allow the CWI Boise campus to move to the property off Americana Boulevard and Shoreline Drive, which currently houses St. Luke’s offices, but is also under contract to be bought by Atlanta-based developer Chris Schoen. The proposed stadium could then be relocated to the property off Whitewater Park Boulevard, which is currently owned by the College of Western Idaho.
“I love the fact that CWI, giving them a longer-term opportunity and have that opportunity come quickly, relatively quickly, because I think they could go into that existing building in the relatively short run,” Bieter said.
CWI bought the land back in 2015 with hopes of it becoming their Boise campus. The college tried to pass a $180 million bond last year, but was unsuccessful.
College of Western Idaho President Bert Glandon tells KTVB he presented the new proposal to the five members on the College of Western Idaho’s Board of Trustees on Monday, who will have the final say on whether to give up their more than 10 acres located off Whitewater Park Boulevard.
“Our board said we would gladly engage in a conversation. We haven't had one yet. So, it's pretty hard to respond to a proposal that we're still trying to figure out what it actually includes and what it is,” Glandon said.
Bieter says in terms of financing it would be relatively the same to the first proposal. The city and the Greater Boise Auditorium District would still provide some funding for construction. Capital City Development Corp. and Boise’s Urban Renewal Agency would then borrow money to cover the rest of the construction costs.
Whitewater Park Boulevard is currently in an urban renewal district, which means the agency could have to pay back the money faster.
Bieter added there’s still a lot of moving parts and conversations that need to be had, but this second proposal could complete two projects.
“It's a great possibility to be able to do two really good projects,” Bieter said.
Concerned Taxpayers of Boise, a group that’s been outspoken against the stadium, sent KTVB the follow statement regarding the most recent proposal.
"This new pivot from the mayor only raises more questions. Now, more than ever, the city needs to slow down, be transparent and show some fiscal responsibility. While we strongly support any effort to help CWI, we also want to make sure that Boise taxpayers are protected from poor decisions about a baseball stadium."