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Bronco Stadium
The Blue

Bronco Stadium

  Venue Particulars  
Address 1400 Bronco Lane
Boise, ID 83725
Phone (208) 385-1600
Seating Weather
Satellite View
Broncos Gear
  Venue Resources  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Boise

  The Facility  
Date Opened September 11, 1970
Major Renovation 1974, 1997
Boise State University
(Boise State University)
Surface Blue Field Turf
Cost of Construction $2.2 million
Cost of Renovation $37.9 Million
Capacity 32,000
Luxury Suites 35 Suites
Club Seats 680
  Other Facts  
Tenants Boise State Broncos
(NCAA) (1970-Present)
Humanitarian Bowl
(NCAA) (1997-Present)
Population Base 650,000
On Site Parking 5,028
Nearest Airport Boise Airport (BOI)

Sources: Mediaventures

Bronco Stadium

Ground was broken in 1969 to replace the original Bronco Stadium, a small facility built in 1950 for junior college football. The football program upgraded to Division II in 1968 and the new $2.2 million concrete stadium opened in 1970 with a seating capacity of 14,500. The first game at the stadium was on September 11th, with a 49-14 victory over Chico State. The original playing field was green Astroturf and was configured in the traditional north-south direction. For its first five seasons, the stadium consisted of two sideline grandstands, the west side having an upper deck and the press box.

Following the 1974 season, an upper deck was added to the east side, adding 5,500 seats as well as symmetry to the stadium. The permanent seating capacity grew to 20,000 for 1975, with up to 2,600 temporary seats available for end zone seating during bigger games. The green astroturf was replaced with the same in 1978 as the Big Sky Conference and the Broncos moved up to the newly formed Division I-AA. The Broncos moved to the Big West Conference and Division I-A in 1996, and the stadium was expanded again. The two-tier grandstands were extended around the corners of the south end zone, raising the permanent seating capacity to 30,000 in 1997.

During its eleventh season, the field was named Lyle Smith Field during the I-AA national championship season of 1980. Ceremonies during halftime of the 14-3 victory over Nevada on November 8th marked the event. It honors Lyle H. Smith, the head coach from 67 and athletic director from 81, overseeing BSU's rise from the junior college ranks to Division I-AA champions in 1980. Smith led Boise, as BJC, to multiple post-season bowls, including the 1958 national junior college championship, and compiled an overall record of 156-26-8 (.848), which included five undefeated seasons and 16 conference titles. He was also the baseball coach for 17 seasons and served as basketball coach for a season at the school. Smith hired Tony Knap to replace himself as football coach in 1968.

In 1986, after sixteen seasons of playing on standard green Astroturf, the university installed the bright blue synthetic surface for which Bronco Stadium is often known for. It was replaced with the same in 1995, as a part of a two-year major stadium expansion which brought the seating capacity to 30,000 seats, as BSU transitioned to Division I-A status from Division I-AA's Big Sky Conference.

By 1997, the sideline grandstands had been extended to wrap around the corners of the south end zone, along the orange-colored Ed Jacoby Track. Also added were the Allen Noble Hall of Fame Gallery and the Larry and Marianne Williams Plaza to the southwest corner. Both are attached to the Nicholson-Yanke Athletic Center, an original part of the stadium, as is the Fedrizzi Fitness Center Annex (1988/2004) and the Bronco Football Complex (2000). Since the running track is still in use, the end zone seats remain temporary. The blue astroturf was replaced during the summer of 2002 with blue AstroPlay, similar to FieldTurf, a more forgiving synthetic field surface. The AstroPlay field lasted just six seasons and was replaced in the summer of 2008 with a fourth blue field, this time a blue-colored FieldTurf surface.

Bronco Stadium Expansion to 30,000

The $9.35 million project includes seating additions on the southwest and southeast corners to increase capacity to 30,000, and the construction of the Allen Noble Hall of Fame Gallery and Larry and Marianne Williams Plaza at the southwest corner of the stadium.

The gallery and plaza will provide quality socializing and display space for Boise State academic and athletic related activities.

Showcased within the gallery will be the plaques of the Boise State Athletic Hall of Famers, photos of Bronco Associates Endowment Donors, pictures of Bronze Bronco recipients, championship trophies and banners and other memorabilia items which portrays men's and women's athletics throughout the years.

A museum like atmosphere will provide viewers with a trip through time. Visitors to the gallery will be able to view films of past athletic events on a big screen in the theater area.

The Bronco Athletic Association offices will be relocated to the gallery with additional space for meetings, storage, and staff/volunteer work areas. A catering kitchen will enhance the socializing aspects of the gallery along with outside decking which overlooks Bronco Stadium and the Boise mountains.

Square footage for the gallery is 13,400 with the display portion over 9,000 square feet.

Originally constructed with 14,500 seats at a cost of $2.2 million in 1970, this current project marks the second time the Bronco Stadium has been expanded. In 1974, the east side upper deckwas added increasing this permanent seating capacity to 20,000. Portable end zone seating currently has the capacity of Bronco Stadium at 22,600.

Boise State will continue to play its home games on the only blue Astro Turf field in the United States. This is the second blue field installed at Bronco Stadium. Boise State established a first in 1986 by installing the first blue Astro Turf football field. There were two previous green Astro Turf fields installed prior to 1986. The first was during the original construction of the current stadium in 1970, with the second installed prior to the 1978 season.

Source: Boise State University Sports Information Office

Bronco Stadium

August 19, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Boise, Idaho - School officials are not commenting, but reports in the Idaho Statesman say Boise State University will soon announce a plan to expand the 33,500-seat Bronco Stadium.

Boise State needs to raise money for any expansion of the stadium. The school has looked at several options over the years - a horseshoe in the south end zone, adding curves in the north end zone and lowering the field, the newspaper said.

Any expansion will include upgrades to the football team's facilities - the locker room, training room and perhaps offices.

Coach Chris Petersen has frequently said that expanding the stadium and improving the football facilities are the next step for the growth of the program, it was reported.

September 9, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Boise, Utah - A planned $100 million expansion of Bronco Stadium will bring new seats and new facilities for Boise State University's football program, according to the university. The work will be funded from donations.

Seating will be added behind the north end zone. Beneath the seating, the school will build locker rooms and a player lounge along with a weight room and coaches' offices.

"We've probably got the worst locker room, the worst training room and the worst equipment room of any Division 1 program I've seen - and that's not an exaggeration," athletic director Gene Bleymaier said at the announcement of the program. "Our football locker room, our training room and our equipment room that we still use were built in 1969. Coach Pete pointed out that our football locker room for 105-plus football players has two toilets. I asked Lyle Smith, who was here when they built that facility, why it has two toilets and he said because he wanted an extra one."

By removing the bleachers that are at that end of the field, the stadium would net 3,900 seats. A possible upper bowl could be added to the south end, which would fill in that side of the stands, possibly adding a second luxury suite on the east side. Altogether the stadium would seat 53,000 fans instead of it's current 33,000.

No timetable has been set for the completion of the expansion, but Bleymaier said that the sooner they are finished, the better.

"Right now, we're an outlier," Bleymaier said. "We've got the smallest stadium of any team in the top 25. We've got the smallest budget of any school by far in the top 25."

November 11, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Larry and Marianne Williams and Jerry and Muriel Caven have pledged a total of $5 million toward the first phase of the Bronco Stadium expansion at Boise State University, KTVB reported. The $5 million donation is earmarked for the construction of a new football complex on the north end of Bronco Stadium. Phase one of the stadium expansion includes the new football complex, 5,000 additional seats in the stadium, an enhanced viewing and sound environment, and the completion and relocation of the track to Dona Larsen Park.

December 16, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Boise, Idaho - The Idaho Board of Education has authorized Boise State University to move ahead with the first phase of a project to expand and upgrade Bronco Stadium, the Idaho Statesman reported.

The board voted to allow the university to start formal planning for the initial phase of the project, which would add 5,000 new stadium seats and cost between $33 million to $40 million.

The university raised $8.8 million for the project, according to documents given to the board.

Boise State athletic officials unveiled plans in August to upgrade the stadium, its facilities and add more seats. The venue now holds 33,500. The first phase consists of "constructing new track and field facilities for both men's and women's sports at Dona Larson Park, as well as building a new football complex and additional seating at Bronco Stadium," the newspaper said.

University officials say the expansion is critical to keeping the football team competitive as they prepare to move into The Mountain West Conference next season.

February 10, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Boise, Idaho - Boise is moving ahead with plans to look at a possible new multi-use stadium and events venue for the city, according to KTVB.

The city council unanimously approved hiring a company to do a nearly $25,000 study to determine whether Boise's population could support a new stadium. The mayor's office said the study will look at things like demographics, population, and how people in the city and nearby spend their money.

The mayor's office told the television station possible uses for a new stadium could include high school sports, club and community sports like lacrosse and soccer, concerts, rallies and speaking events.

Another possibility the mayor's office says could be considered for a new stadium would be a place for the Boise Hawks to play. That would involve discussion with the team, but the mayor's office says this study might help in those discussions.

The mayor's office says the money for the study will come from an economic development fund, not from general fund tax dollars. The fund is from money Union Pacific Railroad pays the city for use of unused tracks near Micron to store extra railcars.

The study is expected to take two to three months to complete.

February 24, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Boise, Idaho - The State Board of Education has given Boise State University permission to spend up to $2.46 million on preliminary design work for a new facility on the north end of Bronco Stadium, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Boise State hopes to break ground on the new football facility next year and open it before the 2013 season. The building will include offices, meeting rooms, a locker room, a training room, an equipment room, a weight room and an academic area.

The estimated cost of the facilities is $20.5 million to $26 million. Boise State has raised $12 million so far, athletic director Gene Bleymaier told the Statesman.

December 15, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Boise, Idaho - Bronco Stadium will experience its largest expansion in 15 years next year after the State Board of Education approved Boise State's plan to add 3,300 bleacher seats, the Idaho Statesman reported.

The existing 5,200 bleachers in the north and south end zones and the northwest corner will be moved to Dona Larsen Park, the new track and field and high school football complex under construction.

They will be replaced by about 8,500 seats in the same locations. The south end zone bleachers likely will be tall enough to connect to the concourse on one or both sides of the stadium and the northwest seats likely will be rounded to form the start of a future lower-bowl expansion. It's also possible the Bronco Vision board will be relocated.

The athletic department will borrow $3.1 million from the university at 4.5 percent interest and expects to repay the loan in with seat revenue.

Interim Athletic Director Curt Apsey said one benefit of the new seats will be the ability to offer more family plans. Those sell out quickly.

"We need some seats in the stadium that are a little more affordable," he said. "We need to be careful in terms of adding seats. Some people come in and add (10,000-15,000) seats and they sit empty for five years. We don't want to do that. We want to gradually get there and continue to be sold out."

Bronco Stadium was expanded by 7,400 seats to 30,000 in 1997. The Stueckle Sky Center increased capacity to 32,000 in 2008 and a bleacher expansion pushed that number to 33,500 in 2009.

February 16, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Boise State University has proposed a $17.5 million bond issuance to help fund the expansion of Bronco Stadium. KLIX said the University will ask for approval at the Idaho State Board of Education meeting. The proposal calls for the sale of bonds to Barclays Capital Inc. If approved, the $17.5 million will be used to fund the expansion of Bronco Stadium, which includes the addition of nearly 20,000 seats and the building of a new football facility, which will include new locker rooms and a new weight room. Boise State has already raised over $4 million in gifts and donations to help fund the expansion.

Boise State Broncos

Bronco Stadium
Bronco Stadium

1970-Present © 1996-2017 by Munsey & Suppes.