In 2012, Boise Weekly spoke to Merritt Paulson
, owner and CEO of the Portland, Oregon-based Timbers soccer franchise
. He was proud to tell us about a very loyal fan base from the Treasure Valley that was season ticket-holders and regularly traveled to Portland to watch the Timbers play. More importantly, he said that if Boise ever got serious about building a sports facility that could accommodate soccer (as well as baseball and other sports), the Timbers might be interested in being the parent team of a minor league soccer franchise for Boise.
Indeed, nearly seven years later, Agon Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Boise Hawks, announced this morning that it had secured a commitment from the United Soccer League to bring a professional soccer club to Idaho. Agon's owner, Chris Schoen, is also the man whose development company wants to build a multi-use stadium in Boise
, possibly west of downtown.
“Boise has all the ingredients for a thriving professional soccer franchise,” said USL spokesperson Ryan Madden. “The community’s passion for soccer combined with the knowledge and expertise of Agon—a top-quality operator of professional sports—makes the city a natural candidate for USL expansion. It’s an exciting project and we look forward to working together.”
It's still unclear whether the Portland Timbers will be the parent of a Boise minor league soccer franchise, but more than a few people remember Merritt Paulson's address to the City Club of Boise in March 2012, when he hinted at the possibility.