BOISE, Idaho — The Boise Hawks announced Wednesday that they are planning to join the MLB Partner Pioneer Baseball League in 2021.
New league, who dis?— Hawks (@BoiseHawks) December 9, 2020
MLB has completed a restructuring of the minor league system for the upcoming season, which includes lowering the number of affiliated clubs from 160 to 120. A news release from the Boise Hawks says they will not, at least in the next few years, be included in the Major League Baseball's affiliated Minor Leagues.
“We are proud to announce that professional baseball will continue in the Treasure Valley next season," said Bob Flannery, Vice President of the Boise Hawks. "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.”
Starting in 2021, the Pioneer Baseball League will transition from affiliated status to an independent professional MLB Partner League. The Hawks would join the eight members of the Pioneer League, the Idaho Falls Chukars, Billings Mustangs, Grand Junction Rockies, Great Falls Voyagers, Missoula Paddleheads, Ogden Raptors, Northern Colorado Owls and the Rocky Mountain Vibes.
“The PBL is in the early stages in constructing and operating model for the MLB Partner League in 2021," Said Jim McCurdy, President of the Pioneer Baseball League. 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.”
MLB 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 information on players, according to the release. The League will also explore joint marketing, ticketing and fan engagement opportunities.