Auditorium district vote Tuesday will help shape Boise's future

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- As Boise grows, should the city invest in more convention space or replace Hawks Memorial Baseball Stadium with a new multipurpose sports/event arena on the western edge of Downtown Boise?

That question is at the heart of the election for the board of directors for the Greater Boise Auditorium District, known as GBAD.

In total, eight candidates are running for three available seats on the auditorium district's five-member board of directors.

Candidate Jim Walker is intrigued by the stadium idea.

"I've lived in a community that has built a multi-use sports facility, Wilmington, Delaware, that was an anchor piece of property that led to a lot of development," he said.

But incumbent candidate Stephanie Astorquia says more convention space is critical.

"Just last year alone Boise Center had 143,000 attendees," she said, "and they spent about $30 million in our economy."

One concept being kicked around is the idea of building more convention space on top of the existing Boise Centre.

Another plan would create a new convention center on city-owned land near Jump -- Jack's Urban Meeting Place.

The auditorium district has about $13 million to work with money generated by its hotel room tax.

The winners in the GBAD election will help decide how that money is spent.