BOISE -- The proposed Boise Sports Park is still a hot topic around the City of Trees. With the New Year, work is underway to finalize the project - which needs to happen soon.
As of December, there's two locations on the table, and stakeholders only have so much time to figure out which site to choose.
Last month, the ideal key players had to move the location of the sports park from the potential site on Americana and Shoreline, currently owned by St. Luke's Health System.
The developer, Greenstone Properties, is still under contract with St. Luke's to purchase that land.
St. Luke's tells KTVB they are "working to conclude the transaction."
As of now, Greenstone Properties are considering property on Main St. and Whitewater Park Blvd, currently owned by the College of Western of Idaho.
Someone approached Boise Mayor Dave Bieter in December and suggested swapping the potential St. Luke's site for the 10-acre CWI site.
Both CWI and the City of Boise tell KTVB they're open to the idea.
"We probably think that the Americana site may be a better place for the sports park. But if we have the opportunity to also bring a CWI campus into downtown and make both those things happen sooner than later, then that would be a much better benefit to the community," city spokesperson Mike Journee said.
Discussions are underway between Greenstone Properties and CWI, which could move into the soon-to-be-vacated St. Luke's administrative offices.
"It's something that they are considering and I think they've got to work through, from a legal standpoint, exactly how might that take place, receive full board approval, etc," Greenstone Properties Managing Principal and co-owner of the Boise Hawks Chris Schoen said, "So we haven't really gotten any further direction on that front."
Schoen says he's currently working on planning and designs for the St. Luke's site and the CWI site, in case that becomes a reality.
"Whichever one we're able to get everybody pulled together on is sort of how we're approaching it right now," Schoen added.
A CWI representative tells KTVB the college board of trustees is still waiting for a formal proposal from Schoen.
"I think they want to get their ducks in a row before we really have any further formal meetings," Schoen added.
But there's a timeline stakeholders are working in. And it's rooted in the catalyst for the project: soccer.
The United Soccer League (USL) requires Boise to commit to a stadium being built by spring 2020 before awarding the city a professional minor-league soccer team.
"We need to be in a position by October/November of this coming year to break ground on whichever site we're going to proceed with to be successful in opening the facility in that March of 2020 time frame," Schoen said.. "If you back up from that, we've got to pull permits, we've got to get drawings done."
Which takes time, and the clock is ticking.
Schoen says USL is giving them some leeway, as he will also co-own and manage the new United Soccer League team in his capacity as partner of Agon Sports & Entertainment (which owns and manages the Boise Hawks).
"We have shared with them exactly where we sit and what advantages the other site might give to us. We've been communicating with them and they've agreed to sort of stand by until we can get our hands around which site it is we're going to ultimately pursue," Schoen said.
Schoen says he must also pay USL around $1 million deposit to secure a soccer team.
"One of the first steps with USL is to pay a deposit to finalize the overall purchase agreement to create a USL expansion team. So when I talk about we're communicating with the USL, sharing with them exactly where we sit on both sites, they're willing to stand still until we get that figured out and then we can proceed with finalizing the contract with the USL," Schoen added.
From the city's end of things.
"Soon as we have an idea that this will work then we can begin to do the hard work of moving forward and doing our due diligence and making sure that any public involvement would meet standards that we would have for it," Journee said.
Mayor Bieter and the Boise City Council are planning to hold a town hall meeting once they've determined where the stadium will go.
Many opponents of this project have always said building a stadium for a minor league soccer team is a risky deal - no matter where it's built.