BOISE -- Is Boise going to get a new baseball stadium? That's the plan, according to the Boise Hawks' new ownership group.
There was plenty of excitement Tuesday morning as the Boise Hawks officially announced their new Major League affiliate, the Colorado Rockies.
"We've been extremely impressed with the people, and we've been extremely impressed with the vision," said Jeff Bridich, the Rockies' Senior Director of Player Development.
The Hawks also officially announced who will be their new ownership group, Agon Sports and Entertainment out of Georgia.
Jeff Eiseman is the President of Agon. "This is an unbelievable city that just probably has not experienced baseball to the degree that it should."
Eiseman says he wants to reinvent the Boise Hawks, "We're not necessarily looking at doing anything radical, but it starts with the investment in the staff. It starts with the investment inside the facility. It starts with looking at the long-term future."
Does that long-term future include something that's been talked about for years, without any action, a new stadium? Eiseman says, "Yes, we are working towards that. I can't give you a time frame of how quickly something like that would come online or be developed... Where that is, whether it's downtown, whether it's out in the suburbs, where that would exist, we're still working through all that. But, our plan is to create a development that would include a new ballpark."
Jeff said this next season would be an exploratory year for their ownership group, as they figure out what's working and what's not. Then, after that, they might announce some big changes, like, a new stadium. He said they would look into a public-private partnership. The City of Boise, Greater Boise Auditorium District and CCDC are also looking into the possibility of a new stadium.
Eiseman also says he wants to reinvent the Hawks to make going to the game about more than just baseball. He wants to make it an experience, and says it starts with marketing to families, but most importantly, kids.
"We have a generation of kids that we're losing in this game," said Eiseman. "We have 5, 6, 7-year-old kids that come out and they're bored. And, we gotta make sure that they're entertained. We gotta create a three-ring circus out there. The purists in the room, they probably hate that answer, they can't stand it. But, if we're going to keep the game of baseball alive for generations to come, it starts with the next generation that's coming up. We gotta get active with youth baseball in this market. We're going to have to be active with the kids. We gotta get them excited to come out to the game. We need little Tommy and little Suzie tugging on their parents' pants leg and saying, 'I want to go to a Boise Hawks game.' When we do that, we're going to start drawing people, and they're going to start taking them away from the other activities that we're losing them to now. We gotta get that mind share that way."
The sale of the Hawks to the new owners is not final. It still needs to be approved by various leagues. But, the Hawks' general manager says that's just a formality.
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