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Boise Hawks Return to Nest

December 9, 2020

BOISE, ID: The Boise Hawks have announced they plan on joining the independent professional MLB Partner Pioneer Baseball League in 2021. Major League Baseball just completed their massive restructuring of the minor league system for the upcoming season, with an emphasis on lowering the total number of affiliated clubs from

BOISE, ID: The Boise Hawks have announced they plan on joining the independent professional MLB Partner Pioneer Baseball League in 2021. Major League Baseball just completed their massive restructuring of the minor league system for the upcoming season, with an emphasis on lowering the total number of affiliated clubs from 160 down to 120. The Hawks will not, at least in the short run of the next few years, be included in Major League Baseball’s affiliated Minor Leagues.

On November 30, Major League Baseball and the Pioneer Baseball League jointly announced that the Pioneer League has been designated a “Partner League” of Major League Baseball. Starting in 2021, the Pioneer Baseball League will transition from affiliated status to an independent professional MLB Partner League that continues to provide high-quality professional baseball to the states of Idaho, Montana, Utah and Colorado. The Hawks would join the eight members of the Pioneer League – their in-state rival Idaho Falls Chukars, Billings Mustangs, the Grand Junction Rockies, the Great Falls Voyagers, the Missoula Paddleheads, the Ogden Raptors, the Northern Colorado Owlz and the Rocky Mountain Vibes.

As a Partner League, the Pioneer League will collaborate with Major League Baseball to provide professional baseball to communities throughout the Western United States and Canada. Major League Baseball will provide some funding for the league’s operating expenses, as well as install scouting technology in Pioneer Baseball League ballparks to provide Major League Clubs with first-class scouting information on Pioneer Baseball League players. The League also will explore joint marketing, ticketing and fan engagement opportunities.

On the Future of the Boise Hawks:

“We are proud to announce that professional baseball will continue in the Treasure Valley next season. From the day we stepped foot in Boise, our top priority has always been, and will continue to be, about our season seat holders, corporate partners, fans and community. Since 2015, we have seen a 48% increase in attendance, including 22 sellouts in both 2018 and 2019. Fans have and will continue to see the most creative promotions and giveaways and see the best fireworks shows in the Treasure Valley. We will continue to offer affordable, first-class, family entertainment for our community. Our staff is currently hard at work putting the pieces together for another great season.” Bob Flannery, Vice President, Boise Hawks

On the Move to The Pioneer League:

“The level of baseball our fans can expect in many ways will be significantly better than what we have been accustomed to in the Northwest League. Scouting and development of our players and coaches will be our responsibility, and with that an emphasis on winning. The league draft pool will consist of professional players with less than 4 years of professional playing experience. The season will consist of 92 games and provide us more home dates and a longer season. Most importantly, the experience of attending a Boise Hawks game will be no different than in years past and we will continue to enhance the experience annually and provide affordable family entertainment. We have had high expectations for the Hawks off the field and in the stands. That commitment will now be extended to the on-field product in our pursuit of Pioneer League championships.” ** – Mike Van Hise, General Manager, Boise Hawks**

On MLB Contraction and Boise:

“We are very disappointed by this decision by MLB and not having the support of the Colorado Rockies through this process. We were told our current facility ultimately led to the decision. As we have stated since the day we purchased the Hawks, the venue is a challenge. The failure to not have replaced it in all of these prior years led to this move. Our efforts remain the same today as they were yesterday, to continue to seek development of a new facility to secure baseball, as well as deliver a United Soccer League Championship franchise in the Treasure Valley for generations to come and to provide Boise with a showcase facility that will meet and exceed the new requirements of Major League Baseball and ultimately deliver Triple-A baseball to this market.” – Jeff Eiseman, President/Partner, Boise Hawks

From the Pioneer Baseball League:

“The PBL is in the early stages in constructing and operating model for the MLB Partner League in 2021. We welcome any opportunity for the return of Boise to the PBL – one of our original clubs in 1939 who continued as a member of the league through the 1963 season.” – Jim McCurdy, President, Pioneer Baseball League

About Boise and Independent Baseball:

Both independent baseball and the Pioneer League have a long history in Boise. The Boise Pilots formed in 1939 as one of the six founding member Pioneer League teams. The Pilots competed through the 1951 season (except for the three years during World War II). Boise’s team then became the Yankees (affiliated with the New York Yankees) during 1952 and 1953. That affiliation did not continue, and the team operated independently again as the Pilots in 1954. The Pilots became a Milwaukee Braves affiliate from 1955 through 1963, after which Boise was without a minor league baseball team until the Boise A’s of the Northwest League debuted in 1975 and moving to Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada (and the Pioneer League) after the following season. The Boise Buckskins played one season in the Northwest League in 1978. The Hawks were an independent baseball team in the Northwest League when it was granted its charter for the 1987 season; they remained as an independent through 1989.

About the Boise Hawks:

The Boise Hawks are the Treasure Valley’s top spot for affordable, family entertainment. Deposits for full and half season seat plans for the 2021 season are currently being taken. To stay up to date on all things Boise Hawks, follow us on Facebook or visit www.BoiseHawks.com.