By Brian Murphy
Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said the organization needs "a better place to train our young players" than Memorial Stadium, home to the short-season Class A Boise Hawks.
Memorial Stadium, the Hawks' home, was built in 1989. Ricketts, in his first visit to Boise as the Cubs' owner, took a quick tour of the facility Monday. He planned to attend Monday night's game between the Hawks and Tri-City.
"The facility here is below standard. We would like to see it improved and we would like to see our relationship with Boise continue," Ricketts said.
Ricketts said there is a significant gap between Memorial Stadium and the home parks of the Cubs' other minor-league affiliates.
"It's in pretty bad shape," he said.
Boise recently paid for a feasibility study for building a new multi-purpose stadium in the city. The Better Boise Coalition is working to fund another survey to find a location for the park, which would host the Hawks.
"In each of our minor-league partners we need to have a certain level of quality with our facilities. We'd like to see that improved here," Ricketts said. "We're very, very supportive of the efforts here in town. It would be a good thing for the Cubs organization to have a better park here for us."
Todd Rahr, president of the Boise Hawks, made it clear during his remarks that it is up to the club and the community to fund the new park — not the Cubs, who do not own the Hawks.
The Hawks have been affiliated with the Cubs for 11 years and have a contract with the Cubs through the end of the 2012 season.
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