Why Idaho Should Be Granted a Professional Soccer Team
The Women's World Cup is currently underway, and the United States Women's team looks to defend its title and become the first team ever in both the men's and women's world cups to win it three times in a row. The sport spectacular only takes place every four years, and this is the time when most Americans acknowledge soccer as a sport and pay attention to the game. With this year's tournament taking place in New Zealand and Australia, the games are happening in the middle of the night, but many fans are struggling without sleep to cheer on their team and country. With soccer being popular this month, and the sport growing and expanding over the last few years, should Idaho make a push to bring a team to the Gem State?
Should Idaho Get a Professional Soccer Team?
NWSL and MLS, which are the men's and women's professional soccer leagues in the United States, have both grown significantly over the last few years. With expansion talk happening, could Boise be a potential destination for a team in the future? Portland and Salt Lake City are smaller markets that have proven that they can support professional soccer teams, and with no other pro teams in the state, the thought of a soccer team calling Idaho home would be intriguing. Would Idahoans support the team, and would there be enough interest to make it a possibility?
Professional Soccer in Idaho
A stadium would need to be built to house any professional soccer team in Boise, but Albertsons Stadium, where the Boise State Broncos play football, would be a good temporary home for a team until a stadium could be built. In terms of capacity, if we are comparing Portland and Salt Lake City, America First Field in Utah holds just over 20,000 people, with Portland's Providence Park holding over 25,000. By those numbers, Boise and the state of Idaho should be able to decently fill a stadium, especially if the team is good. With both Salt Lake and Portland, known cold cities, and housing teams, Boise would be ok through the season, which typically takes place from February to October. With a new stadium and a team, it would open up many jobs in the area, which would help grow the city of Boise and help the economy as well.
While soccer isn't the most ideal sport for Idaho, the region has proven it supports the teams in the nearby cities, and with no other professional sports team, the city and state would likely jump on the bandwagon and show its state pride. If things went well, there could be talk of both a women's and men's team. Soccer is growing in popularity, especially in the women's game, and Idaho makes perfect sense for a team to help the economy in the state, as well as to show that Idaho is ready to support a professional team of some sort.