Boise State expects to break ground on Dona Larsen Park next year after boosters pledge $5 million toward stadium expansion

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com

Boise State expects to break ground on Dona Larsen Park next year, beginning the process of expanding Bronco Stadium.

Boise State on Wednesday announced a $5 million combined pledge from the Williams and Caven families. Combined with other fund-raising, Boise State has raised $6.3 million for the stadium expansion since unveiling the master plan in August.

Boise State already had a $2.5 million donation from the David and Debra Larsen Huber Family Foundation for Dona Larsen Park, which will feature a track and high school football stadium. The park on the former East Junior High site will allow Boise State to remove the track from Bronco Stadium.

All told, Boise State has $8.8 million.

The Dona Larsen Park project is expected to cost about $5 million. The rest of the first phase of the stadium expansion — about 5,000 seats and a football complex in the north end zone — is expected to cost about $30 million.

The press release indicated the $5 million donation was earmarked for the football complex, but Boise State considers Dona Larsen Park, the extra seating and the football complex one project.

"The money that we've raised right now will help us to do all three of those things," athletic director Gene Bleymaier said.

Dona Larsen Park should be completed in the next couple of years. Bleymaier still is a long way from developing a timeline for the rest of the project. Boise State must raise the majority of the money.

"We will start getting plans put together to move forward with moving the track," Bleymaier said. "... We will hire an architect and really get down to brass tacks about designing what kind of facility we want over there."

Bleymaier isn't sure yet what the first phase of stadium expansion will look like. The football complex is planned as part of a seating addition in the north end zone.

He hopes the $5 million gift will spur the fund-raising drive. The Williams and Caven families will have some naming-rights opportunities, but not on the stadium itself.

"It's tremendous," Bleymaier said of the gift. "It gives it credibility and certainly gives it a boost and creates momentum most importantly. As we go and talk to other donors, they know that it is going to happen, that it can be a reality and that it's just a matter of time to get the necessary commitments. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to get the first lead gift, so I can't thank the Williamses and Cavens enough for stepping forward like this."

•••

Here's the news from earlier today:

Longtime Boise State donors Larry and Marianne Williams and Jerry and Muriel Caven have pledged a total of $5 million toward Bronco Stadium expansion — money that is earmarked to build the new football complex on the north end.

The football complex, 5,000 seats and the completion of Dona Larsen Park — where the track will be relocated — represent Phase I of the stadium master plan.

"We are at a significant disadvantage in supporting a nationally ranked team with half the number of seats to raise the revenue to pay for the program and thereby forcing us to raise ticket prices too often," Boise State president Bob Kustra said in a press release.

The Cavens and Williamses previously contributed $3 million to the indoor football practice facility, called the Caven-Williams Sports Complex.

The timing of this donation could be key. Boise State football coach Chris Petersen has said repeatedly that as long as the Broncos program keeps growing, he's likely to stay.

Still, it was unclear in the release what the donation does to the timeline for construction. I'll have more later in the day.

1289428451 Boise State expects to break ground on Dona Larsen Park next year after boosters pledge $5 million toward stadium expansion Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Great news!

I can't wait for this expansion to be complete.

h20fwlr24

How much you gonna give?

$$$$$

Believe me, if we had that kind of money, and were going to donate to anything, we would definitely give to this project!!

really

Really? You would really donate to this project, out of all of them in the world? wow. You need to get outside of Boise.

And you REALLY need

intensive psycho therapy...............REALLY.............you do.

Bronco754

How much you gonna give?

Tell us what would you donate to?

The baby seals? well then the polar bears die. The sierra club? well then ugandans die. At least these guys are donating to something they believe in. That is more than you will ever do.

P2 - ?

I am curious. Please explain how Ugandans (people living in Uganda, AFRICA) will die because the Sierra Club is developing wetlands to save ducks and geese in Idaho and Montana, USA?

Still scratching my head on that one.

VNDL

PS - Fell off the wagon again?

My point VNDl is that

the criticism was teh comment that there are better things to donate to. If I donate to the sierra club then that money is not going to the ugandans.....see. Either way there is some group that think that their cause is more important. If we all thought that way nothing would ever get done.

P2

How much you gonna give?

I notice that you are fond

of asking this of everyone. Why do you care? I will give less than these donors. Is your point that unless you give you cannot like the fact tha others give?

P2 - you didn't read the other post

on last page. I am taking this opportunity to do a little informal survey to see what the chances are of actually collecting donations from a population of Bronco Fans, who actually care enuff about Bronco football to come to these boards and participate. My thinking is, that if anybody really cares about expanding Bronco Stadium, then the largest probability is that they would be among members of the blog board population and a represntative sample of the much larger statistical universe.

Wasn't being a smart azz, at all.

It isn't about who can or cannot give the most - not meant to embarrass anybody. Was just meant to get a ball park idea about how readers of this blog feel about contributing to the project and how much they intend to give. And then translate that stuff into whether or not the expansion project, is or is not, viable, in the long run.

Now go take lots of your blood pressure medecine and drink a few beers, and ponder my survey.

G'nite Sweetie.

XOXOXO

VNDL

Outside of Boise!

No, you need to get outside of Boise,...in fact, outside Idaho! You go donate your pittence to Haiti!

Really, you would comment on

Really, you would comment on a story that has nothing to do with you or your interests? Pathetic life.

Doobie

How much you gonna give?

I would donate it to the University for this project

Do you know why? Because I can. What I do with my money is my business. If I decide to give it to this school, who is to tell me I need ot get outside of Boise? To be honest, most projects are worthless anyway. Nothing is more pitiful than a person donating money to a bleeding heart SHAM that produces nothing of value. So, a person may as well give it where they can actually see results.

BTW, I've been to 43 of the 50 United States, and 7 countries.

RMSanford is just a Jet Settin' Travellin' Man

Wow. Your refrigerator must be totally covered with those little magnet thingys!

You da man.

VNDL

PS - So - how many continents and how many of the Seven Seas? Please tell us quick - waiting with great anticipation. Can't sleep till I know.

Xavier

How much you gonna give?

Wow...Why?

We're in a time when downsizing is the national trend......

Wiz...

Only a few of us get that inside joke.

Thanks to these two great families. Boise St. please tell us how the common man with some bucks to spare can actually donate. Dont tell us through our BAA membership or the stock program thats a waste. If you would let actual Bronco fans on those stock boards and not senile has-beens who've inherited money instead of earned it I would be more inclined to buy worthless paper.

Theres still a wedge between Bronco fans who can and are willing to give some significant contributions and Boise State University. Ask VNDL how that worked out for the University of Idaho. If this gap doesnt close some, expansion and community support will dwindle. Things look decent even in a down economy for one reason: The Broncos are again undefeated. Throw in a 9-3 8-4 year before each sides bands together and progress is going to be slowed dramatically. Fans of Bronco Nation have cash to spend. Look at the attendance at the Fiesta Bowls, the AWAY games or the fact the Blue and Orange store makes gross amounts of hard cash every day. It doesnt matter if you can give $5 or $500,000. The fans need to know that there voices are heard and taken into consideration. The administration can pretend all they want they are doing it but the fact is they are not. They are catering to one age group. Doing that doesnt ensure success beyond a few years.

JL...

Nicely stated. And yes, many thanks to the families.

There IS strength in numbers (fans). It's not like BSU has a "drop your change in the box" at every drive thru in town. Makes ya wonder why there isn't already programs with Blue and Orange where every shirt purchased a buck goes to stadium fund. Or with Aramark(sp) concessions to up 10% pass 10% thru..simple stuff like that. I could come up with a dozen like that in a dozen minutes, maybe some of them would work. The focus is on the big money, and I'll not criticize that, but there's lotsa room to get this going stronger, faster, and take advantage of the "strength in numbers" approach.

9-3, 8-4 ? Yep..some day and VNDL has raised the point many times...how many jump off the wagon?

Wiz very true

I think Bronco pride has really come improved the last decade. Winning has a lot to do with that. But also the fans feel like they are apart of something thats special. I love to tease the Vandals but the truth is the students alum and/or fans have tremendous pride in their school. We get tons of fans on here who feel upset by the Broncos success.

As Well They Should.

Great school, rich in pride, history, tradition. It is fun to "poke" that in jest LOL..
Upset by the success? Yes, sprinkled with a lot of jealousy, me thinks.
I think I'll poke em again right now, stay tuned....

Pride goeth before a fall

Their is a fine line between pride and arrogance. Some Vandals are proud but demonstrate humility. Many think their school is the be-all and end-all of the northwest. This leads to problems such as University Place. I'm not certain what they serve in their kool-aid up there, but they definitely indoctrinate their students well. Boise State fans need to follow Coach Pete's lead on this. It's a good university that has lofty goals of being great. Don't become arrogant in the process.

olinereader

How much you gonna give?

Supporting the Blue

Wiz,
What a generous contribution by the Williams and Caven families. Feels like the expanision is now on it's way, in a big way! How exciting it will be to get Bronco Stadium to a capacity that is inviting for a Michigan State caliber opponent to FINALLY come to our house. I wanted to get some more insight or ideas regarding the ability for every member of the Nation to be able to offer financial support to this project, the football team and the athletic department as a whole. I am a 34 year, member of the Bronco Athletic Association and in my 3rd year on the Board of that association. Believe me when I say that while I may have Blue in my veins I am no Blue Blood, meaning there is no green falling from my pockets. If someone is passionate about the Broncos there are some opportunities to be a financial supporter of the Broncos, almost regardless of your personal bottom line. The BAA has membership levels ranging from $75 per year to $5000 per year for Coaches Club members. Personally, I think the Stock Program was a brilliant idea. Every dollar raised goes directly to capital improvements such as the new Basketball locker room project and the stadium expansion. We have Stock Holders in every state in the union. I have a buddy in New Mexico that proudly displays his share in his office, this is spreading the Nation quickly and raising hundreds of thousands in the process. Play in the Bronco Golf Series tournaments, make purchases during the online auctions, attend the bi-annual auction, buy your Bronco Gear at the Bronco Shop instead of the Blue and Orange store. There are a lot of small ways that we can all help the cause. Enough of my soap box but let's all get on board this train and invite everyone we know to join. Let's show those Vandals that this Nation is here for good! Any other ideas are always welcome! BAA board meeting next week to bring up any ideas.
GO BRONCOS!! Crush Idaho!!

BroncoBlu very good post

Gives me some new thought. Give us some other ways casual fans can help. Can they give to a specific endeavor other than just membership to the BAA (especially if they already have one)? I dont think you are on a SAOP BOX. We need to hear more of this...

Theres plenty of fans who want to help but want to know we can be heard.

Endowments

Thanks JL. One of the most direct ways to contribute to a specific endeavor would be to contribute to an endowment. If someone is a BAA member they get a list every year with all of the different endowments associated with Boise State Athletics and the sports that they are in support of. These provide scholarship money which is becoming a bigger budget item ever year. Donations of any size are accepted into these and are of course a nice help on your taxes each year. For those who are not BAA members, well....join. I feel that a member of the association is going to be with this team in good years and bad, as they will feel a part of the team and have the card in their wallet to prove it. When a Vandal calls us a bandwagonner we should just tell them to jump on.

Fresh Numbers as of today's mail. Currently the market value of the endowment fund of the BAA is $12,714,260 and has provided over $5,000,000 of income for scholarships since 1983. With 19 sports and over 400 Student Athletes that money is vital. There is a list of over a hundred possible endowments to chose from with no mimimum contribution.

BroncoBlu - Is Bronco Bob gone yet?

You really want to advertise the fact of 'a drop in the bucket' endowment compared to Idaho's endowment? It is kind of laughable.

You are doing a good job advertising BAA talking points.

Are you on a membership drive, or something? Never seen BAA advertsing on this blog before. Not that it is bad, just never seen it before - especialy during a time when the Statesman censors anything remotely negative or questioning BSU in any way. I guess you got the green light to fire up the marketing campaign now that all the anti stuff is gone, huh?

Been a BAA member for years. So have many other Idahoan Vandals - so don't pizz off the Idahoan Vandals you already got on the blorange bandwagon - you might lose a large market share of potential revenue stream.

Own 2 shares of Bronco Stock. so do many other Idahoan Vandals.

I will never give the BAA or BSU another dime of contribution money, until Bronco Bob is gone, or apologizes. When he is or does, I am back with a check.

VNDL

JL

How much you gonna give?

Well...VNDL

Ive given with my BAA membership every year for the last 12 years or so. Im thinking about making another contribution but I dont know how much yet. Want to make sure my money isnt wasted. Want some representation or some knowledge first about how its used exactly.

JL

Sounds reasonable to me.

The BAA needs to have a better explanation about this program, if they are going to attract serious contributors.

VNDL

VNDL.....

Very true. You told us this would happen a few months ago.

Wiz

How much you gonna give?

I'm Undecided, VNDL...

and certainly considering it. I just got back from an expansion meeting...to a 2 year old school in our neighborhood. Makes me wonder about the priority of financial needs. I also feel the BAA can do other promotions to get more contributions of "smaller" dollars from the "crux" of their fan demographics...more so than they do now. I will contribute...when and how much? dunno..yet..

Thank you Williams and Cavens!

Wow! Talk about a boost to getting things going. As a Bronco fan I just want to say thank you to the Williams and Cavens family. In fact, thanks to everyone who has contributed. As an Idahoan stuck in Utah I can't tell you how much fun it is to cheer the Broncos on to the dismay of all the Cougar and ute fans. Keep growing the program.

bsobluefan

How much you gonna give?

Sweet

Thank you Williams and Caven family.

BSU the pride of Idaho

Amended --

BSU the football pride of Idaho.

Vandals invented the urinal.

Remember that next time you stand in line a Bronco Stadium to wiz into a horse trough.

I wonder if they still have those

on the East side. Havent wizzed over there since before the Stuekle Box was done on the West side.

God bless American Standard.

Right? Mr.V? Bohemian Club will zip right through ya.

Ever wonder why the base of the I-tower is always corroded?

Manly Vandal brew.

Go Joe Vandal... lead us to the Spruce.

omilk is in rare form today

we'll take you to the spruce. in the back of a jackwagon.

jackwagon

omilks favorite set of wheels....

Love ya 81.

Save a seat for me. Did I ever tell you the story about the winter of 69.... My VW hippy van was parked below the Tower...the snow covered it and I didn't see it for 3 months.

We burrowed a tunnel to the side doors...

That way we could get into it, kinda like an Iglo.... a great party space.

81

How much you gonna give?

vndl

i'll sign the check, you fill it in.

81 - Another Little Zero Brother from another mother

I take it I can put you down, for survey purposes, as a Little Zero, too ($0.00)?

VNDL