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Official Review by Danica Rhoades, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
For many people, the desire to visit Bronco Stadium is driven by an element of novelty, much like the one that compels people to take in the bearded lady's show at the circus. Yes, the blue turf is slightly odd and intriguing, especially considering that it was the first non-green playing surface in the world, but Bronco Stadium has so much more to offer.
Boise State had two previous Bronco Stadiums before the current facility was erected in 1970. At that time, the stadium's capacity was 14,500. As the football program has had success, additions have been made to the stadium, which now has a capacity of 33,500.
Beyond hosting Boise State's home football match ups, the stadium is also home to the school's outdoor track events, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and many local high school football games. Twice Bronco Stadium has hosted the NCAA Track & Field Outdoor Championships, in 1994 and 1999.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Bronco Stadium has a variety of concession vendors available. At the concession window, visitors will find traditional fare like pretzels, hot dogs, candy, and popcorn. The beverage selection includes Coke products, sports drinks, and water. Alcohol is not served or permitted inside the stadium. Vendors in the stadium also offer mini donuts with a variety of dipping sauces, roasted nuts, kettlekorn, and pizza. All items are reasonably priced for a sporting event.
Bronco Stadium has a lot of fun traditions that make it a great place to watch a game. The most notable aspect of the stadium is, of course, the blue turf. The stadium is home to the only non-green playing surface among FBS stadiums. On game days, as one side of the stadium chants "Boise" and the opposite side echoes "State," visitors can look forward to seeing a horse and rider trotting around the track circling the field.
Over the years, a seating color scheme tradition has developed. At each game, fans in each section are asked to wear different colors. Some of these schemes include: alternating blue, white and orange; all orange (Orange Out); alternating blue and orange; and half blue and half orange. Until the 2011 season, when the Mountain West Conference forbid the practice for conference games, the Broncos traditionally wore all-blue uniforms for home games. This is known as blue on blue. The team continues to wear blue on blue for non-conference home games.
There are a few establishments near the stadium for fans and visitors to stop in before, after, or even during the game. Some of them, like Suds and the End Zone, try to create a fun atmosphere for fans that can't get tickets to the game, but still want to be near the action. Others, like Chilis, Baja Fresh, The Ram, Pie Hole Pizzeria, Subway, Starbucks, and Burger King, provide traditional food and beverage options.
Beyond the establishments in the area, fans tailgate for hours before and all throughout home games. Many have TVs set up and plenty of food to share with anyone who wants to stop by and hang out for awhile.
Bronco Stadium offers a truly unique fan experience. Boise State Football fans are actively involved in the game and have great awareness of when to make noise to challenge the opposing team, and when to be quiet to allow the home team to focus. However, due to the rapid success of the program, there is a segment of fans who have limited understanding of the game. Another downfall of the Broncos relentless success is that often fans walk away disappointed with anything less than a blowout win. And many cannot even fathom a home loss. Fans for the most part are known to be polite and courteous to visitors to the stadium.
Bronco Stadium provides plenty of access to parking. Fans can park in parking lots and structures all over campus for reasonable prices, or even free in some areas. The school also arranges for shuttles to take fans between the more distant lots and the stadium. There is also ample access to bathrooms both inside and outside the stadium. Port-a-potties are provided all around the parking lot surrounding the stadium for those fans tailgating on game days. Inside, there are several restrooms available on the upper and lower levels of the stadium.
Considering that ten years ago fans could get tickets to games for around $10, the $40 to $75 price range of most game tickets is a sore spot for many long-time fans. However, when comparing prices to venues around the country, and considering the quality of the experience, the higher ticket prices are pretty reasonable.
Bronco Stadium has a lot of interesting extras. In the southwest corner of the stadium, visitors will find the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame/Allen Noble Hall of Fame Gallery. The World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame honors individuals and organizations from the world of amateur and professional athletics whose humanitarian efforts make them role models in their communities. The Allen Noble Hall of Fame Gallery honors former Bronco greats across all sports.
At the northwest corner of the stadium lies the Caven-Williams Sports Complex, a 78,000 square-foot indoor practice facility. The team uses this facility for some practices, and it is also available for organizations to rent for events.
The west side of the stadium is home to the newly added Stuekle Sky Center. The Sky Center includes boxes, club seating, sky suites, and meeting room spaces.
Finally, before the start of each game, the Blue Thunder Marching Band plays the opposing team's school song as a sign of respect to the visiting team and fans.
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1010 Broadway Ave
Boise, ID 83706
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