Boise State just issued a press release announcing the University would not be part of a proposed sports stadium in downtown Boise. The stadium would house the Boise Hawks and a possible professional soccer team and the plan was to have Boise State rent the stadium for baseball games.

Boise State recently dropped wrestling and added baseball and it was a forgone conclusion the University would support the construction of a downtown stadium.

Today however Boise State President Bob Kustra said that in the end the question came down to the most efficient use of public dollars: It became clear that a long-term lease would be less financially prudent than a project that Boise State could either build or lease to own.

“As a baseball fan, I support efforts that boost baseball in Boise and give our community a chance to enjoy the sport for years to come,” Kustra said. “I wish the Hawks and the City of Boise the best in moving forward. But my primary responsibility as university president is to make the best choices for the future of Boise State.”

Boise State officials have been clear that they have been open to the idea of a downtown stadium because of the opportunities it could provide for collegiate baseball — but that no arrangements had been finalized. The downtown stadium project remained one of the options the university was pursuing until this week. University officials called city leaders and others to tell them personally of the decision.

Meantime Boise State athletic director Curt Apsey said today,  “We are in the middle of the hiring process for our baseball head coach, and an on-campus stadium will be a major selling point — both to the individual we ultimately hire, and to the future student-athletes that will be recruited to Boise State.”