Petersen: Time is right to add 10,000 seats to Bronco Stadium

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

Before we get to the news that came out of a question-and-answer session I had earlier this week with Boise State football coach Chris Petersen about Bronco Stadium, here are a few other house-keeping links:

• In case you missed it last night, Boise State sent a letter to boosters reminding them that the school is responsible for their actions when it comes to NCAA rules.

• It is not too late to enter our Name the Score contest for Saturday’s Boise State-Tulsa game. Follow the link to enter the contest.

• Bronco Beat writer Chadd Cripe posted an interesting conversation he had with Rachel Bickerton, Boise State’s director of trademark licensing and enforcement, on how the school protects its trademark blue turf.

OK, now onto Petersen. In the past, he has emphasized construction of the new football facility over expanding Bronco Stadium. But with the football facility project moving along, Petersen is now advocating for increased capacity — and lower ticket prices.

Be sure to pick up Saturday’s editions of the Idaho Statesman and our Bronco Blitz section for a look at some of the myths (and realities) concerning the football facility project.

Q: Outside of the football facility project, what changes do you want to see at Bronco Stadium?

A: “I really would like to see more seats in the stadium.”

Q: Do you have a number in mind? (Note: Bronco Stadium current capacity is 33,500.)

A: “To tell you the truth, it needs to not be too big too soon. We don’t want to have this big stadium and not have it full, so it needs to be incremental. I don’t know if 10,000 more seats at this point might be an ideal number.

“Hopefully we can do it in a way that we don’t have to charge a ton more because everything costs so much money, that we cannot price everybody out of the game here. Everybody would like to do that on campus here and try to figure out a way that we could add more seats but not at a cost that now every ticket is really, really expensive.

“I just think that’s the next step in the progression around here — a new football center and then hopefully we can get more seats in here. I don’t think every game needs to be sold out completely, standing-room only to add 10,000 seats. I think everybody knows that. Now it’s a matter of, ‘OK, where do we get this money.’ ”

Q: Do you want the track removed after the track program moves to Dona Larsen Park and what do you want to use the space for?

A: “The ideal situation is you lower the field, but it’s going to come down to cost again. From what I’ve heard, it doesn’t add up to put 2,500 extra seats around here for however many million dollars. Again, that’s not going to help us get who we want in this stadium. Would it be great for the stadium and the ambiance? No question. There’s going to be some give and take.”

Q: In Toledo, the student section was in the end zone. Is that something you’d like to see here, putting the students in each end zone?

A: “First and foremost, we just need to get more seats. Now where you put people, we can figure that out. That’s the easy part of figure out. But I just think if we can figure out, once we build this football complex, how to get more seats in here, I think it’d be great for the community.”

Q: Do you have any idea on the shape of the stadium? Would you like to bowl-in the South end zone or add seats to the North end zone?

A: “No. I just think we need to get them. And however best that works.”

Q: On the football facility, have you tried to take what you’ve seen at other places and incorporate that into the facility.

A: “The football facility is going to be excellent. I think it’s going to be state of the art and exactly what we need. There’s no question. It’ll be very, very good, functional, everything we need, enough meeting rooms and space. In a good way, it’s not going to be over the top. We’re not built for that and we don’t want to be like that. We want it to be very nice and very functional (so that) kids come in there and are extremely impressed by it and the coaches like it because it’s so functional.”

Q: Have you had input into the design?

A: I’ve met with them a few different times and to even start with, (we told them) this is what we want. We want it to be functional. We want to be around our kids. This is what we think draws our kids to us, and those types of things. We’ve seen the drawings and we’ve tweaked them a couple different times. We’re really pleased.”

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Hey Murph

Figure it out, just add more seats! That's what Coach wants now we just need to figure it out.

Realignment

The best bet for the Mountain West in conference realignment is the same as its been in the whole BCS struggle; Its top team needs to win out and everyone else needs to (to borrow from the WAC) Playup! And then there needs to be help from its competition in devouring each other. Boise States future rest with the MW. Although I think it would help the big 12 to add BSU, I dont think the call will ever come. If Texas A&M goes ahead with its move to the SEC and Syracuse and Pitt goes ahead to the ACC then the SEC at some point will add a 14th team. If that happens, it will probably be Missouri. They big east will need to replace 'cuse & Pitt with probably (hopefully) Navy & Temple. The big 12 will then have to replace Mizzou & A&M. If they take West Virginia & BYU and don't go to 12, and The big east replaces West Virginia with East Carolina. Then and maybe only then will TCU stay in the MW and Houston could persuaded to leave the CUSA and come aboard. And thereby the MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE now has the BCS ratings and AQ bid, and a playoff game woth about 10 mil and the right to re-do a TV contract. Its a long shot.
But facing these same odds on the playing field they triumphed before, not only once either. It is possible. They sneered at BSU even going to the Fiesta Bowl much less winning it. & Utah in the Sugar, and TCU in the Rose? It is possible but they need help from their competitors.
Thats my world as I see it!

Too Bad Gene's Not Still Here

He'd be great at NOT raising enough funds to expand the stadium.

Gene had his resources

He could save the money by playing women's tennis players without having to enroll them in school.

The problem is that people with money...

usually have the money because they are smart with the money and don't just throw it away. To get someone to invest you have to show them that their investment will be profitable. I'm not saying that investing in BSU would not be profitable, but you have to have more than, "look how great we are, give us your money". The people with money enough to fund many of these things will want to see that the project makes sense at this time, will be managed well, will have the desired results, will be profitable, etc., etc., etc. They will need more than "I think we will have enough support to fill the seats", "We plan to fill the seats by ___________, but don't have any strong data or research to show it will work", etc. Just some issues that whoever is in the fundraising seat will have to address. And not to get things started on both sides, but that is part of the problem the U of I has had. They have many alum that have tons of money, but they realize that adding tons of seats to their stadium probably does not make a whole lot of sense at this time, would not be cost effective, etc.

UI's bad dna

began in the late 1960's when everybody was high on drugs and paranoid.

Take It Easy On Gene

When he was here he was open game. Now that he is gone, he should not be. We should comment on events but not on personalities. IMHO.

Disagree

We find ourselves in the current mess because of his incompetence. He is fair game until we have some sort of stadium expansion and are free of probation.

I agree...

he may still be fair game, though there is something to be said for not picking on someone when they are not around to defend themselves. But anyway, losing track. Again, I agree that he may still be fair game, but to put the whole issue of stadium expansion and the probation issues on him is a bit much. You will never convince me unless Gene Blaymaier says so himself or substantial evidence comes out that he acted alone was the only individual in the athletic department, coaching staffs, or university staff that knew of the infractions and did not act appropriately. I would venture to guess it goes higher up than Mr. Blaymaier. So, yes he may be fair game, but yes give him a break or spread the anger around to the others as well.

Huh?

You're kidding. Gene was fired for his incompetence. The NCAA proved that he lied. He ignored 3 separate emails from the former employee who reported the violations. Then he went and fired the wrong tennis coach without doing an investigation. The university has spent over $300k defending our case, only to lose. That doesn't even include the payoff for the gal who was wrongfully fired as well as the tennis coach who was wrongfully fired. Did you not read the report? That guy should have been fired years ago.

I didn't say....

he was innocent or was not at fault, my point was that it is unfair for him to be held solely accountable and held soley responsible. It is very difficult for me to believe that he acted alone without anyone else's knowledge and that there were not others aware of the problems and violations and that I would be very surprised if people in the university higher than Blaymaier weren't knowledgable about the violations and did not act appropriately because of the success of the athletic programs and the attention they bring the university.

So What You are Saying...

is Gene knew, reported it to higher ups, and they all decided to ignore or proceed down a no action path?

Problem is..if GB had done that, it's likely he would not have been fired, or he'd have cause for wrongful termination. I think you're reaching here. If he is not soley responsibe, then who else is jointly responsible with him?

rack it up to...

bad karma

SIF - you are correct

The Bad Kama of Bronco bob's Nasty and Inebriated comment regarding the UoI students, alumni, and friends; is happening. The first example of Bad Karma being the loss to Nevada and not going to the Rose Bwol Game last season.

Now the NCAA Investigation and sanctions,

Now Gene's demise.

What is next many ask.

I don't know exactly what is next on the Bad Karma list, but Bad Karma will continue to plague BUS and the Bronco Football Program until Bronco Bob issues some sort of apology for his rude and unwarranted/uncivil comments about the Vandals.

VNDL

PS - Alot of real bad stuff has happened to BSU and the Bronco Football Program in the year or so since Bronco Bob bashed the Vandals in public the way he did. Think about it. Really, a lot has transpired in the 13 months since Bronco Bob flapped his trap without engaging his brain first.

Sorry

But I've forgotten exactly what BroncoBob said, it must have been bad, if you're blaming all that is bad on his words........

Yeah ! VNDL...

you forgot that BSU bumper sticker sales in Pocatello took a sharp nose dive.......

Wiz

Yes that is part of it, too.

Bronco Bob's comment(s) regarding his disdain for Vandals (students, alumni, family, and friends) have resonated throughout Idaho. And not a positive resonation.

BSU is definately NOT Idaho's Team.

They are the City of Boise's Team (as long as they keep winning). When they stop winning, most in Boise won't have much to do with them.

I hope they keep winning.

The Broncos have to have undefeated seasons, year after year.

Just one loss will put the Broncos out of contention for a BCS bowl game.

What pressure the Broncos are under - knowing they cannever lose again. The loss to Nevada has to be the last loss, ever. Especially knowing that Coach Pete wants to add 10,000 more seats soon. The Broncos gotta win to get butts in the seats. Very few Boise People are gonna pay real money to wath losrs run around the field. The Broncos gotta win and they know it.

Go Broncos. Don't ever lose.

VNDL

A Case of Identity Crisis Too VNDL....

like when one of our Board Members showed up with Vandal AND Bronco attire, remember?

Seems like more than just 3 Board members have cases of identity crisis, you know? Like being a Bronco fan Vandal Hater AND a Vandal loving Broncos.. All in 1, so to speak..not mentioning any names THO...

I'm a little surprised VNDL

That a fan base that designated "Hate Week" as one of the most important weeks of the school year, have had their feelings hurt so bad over a single paragraph in the local fish wrap...................

Not sayin, just sayin........

Etiquette is French for *^%& you I'm right and it impedes life.

It's a relevant topic, whether it's ultimately useful or not.

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I've just failed miserably trying to be incognito.

You can say that again

I figured the one good thing about that awful MWC deal is that I would be able to make it to a couple of games (since they're on Saturdays now and I don't live in Boise). Then I find out the only available tickets are for Wyoming and New Mexico, because 33,000 were promised out before tix ever even went on sale.

Add another 10,000 seats, I can pledge to fill at least two of them!

hope it happens sooner

than later. better get our checkbooks out.

81, checks are sooo 1983, and nope, no monedas.

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I've just failed miserably trying to be incognito.

Sounds good, the only problem may be...

that from what I can figure it's not like BSU is selling out all their seats now and putting people on a waiting list a mile long. It sounds like up to game time or very close to game time there are still tickets available. Also, with what is being charged for games it may be difficult to sell even more tickets to home games such as Tulsa, Wyoming, UC-Davis, etc. So, they would need to schedule more home games against teams such as Georgia, Florida, USC, Texas, etc., which from what I understand is not only difficult because of the size of the stadium, but because those types of teams don't want to play BSU on their own turf. The last concern would be if BSU does not continue to be AS successful, will the support be strong enough to sell enough of those extra seats? Just some thoughts.

myopic

schools expect to get a guarantee and a large allotment of seats, and there are no seats.

all their have ever been are a few single seats for any game other than bottom dewellers for years.

It has not been that long since that last expansion and we needed to expand for some now they need to get to 50k.

Put it on the marketing and sales people to get it done.

As usual

coach Pete is right. He also understands you have to lower prices to fill more seats - it's all about what the market will stand to maximize profits. I do hope we are able to lower the field to get fans closer to the action - there are intrinsic values there beyond dollar cost/benefit. Go Broncos!

If Petersen wants more seats, give him more seats

Keeping Coach Petersen around and happy should be a major priority for the new Athletic Director (whomever it may be) and the department. Petersen is the best coach in the country, make sure he sticks around.

BSU needs to find the money and make it happen.

Unfortunately....

that is how this country has gotten into some of the problems it has. If someone big and powerful says throw more money at the problem then find the money and throw more money at the problem. We'll deal with the crap that happens later. Amazingly enough Coach Pete will not be the BSU coach forever. He may be the next Joe Paterno, but eventually BSU will have to go on without him and they need to be viable past those years. Just saying.

Petersen Leaving

Can you even begin to imagine the backleash that would occur if Petersen bolted for a larger program and it was possible that BSU could have kept him longer if they had only expanded the stadium and continued upgrading facilities? At some point you have to consider all the options and figure out if the benefits outweigh the costs.

It is completely foolish and outright wrong to assume that another coach could take over for Petersen and preside over the same level of success that BSU currently enjoys. Coaches like him do not come around every decade.

There are plenty of schools that would give a lot more money to keep Petersen around, than what BSU would have to spend on expansion.

If that means the new AD has to knock on doors to get more donors then so be it. If they really wanted to, BSU could find a way to come up with the money for expansion. If the best coach in the country states he would like to see the stadium expand, you figure out a way to expand your stadium.

Good point, but...

it still wouldn't guarentee he would stay. Many coaches have been pampered, spoiled, given what they cried for, and still went on to "bigger and better" things. Also, one more thing to consider is that often when more money becomes involved there follows more ethical issues, poor decisions, greed, NCAA violations, etc. With BSU's current issues and probation they will have to be even more careful. I'm not saying not to go ahead with the stadium expansion, I'm just saying it's not as easy and clean cut as just make it happen. There are multiple issues at play that can make it more complex than calling up a contractor and saying "when can you start".

This isn't the first time Petersen has sounded off

on stadium expansion and facilities. Not only do bigger stadiums create more revenue from ticket sales, but coupled with new facilities it provides a significant increase in recruiting efforts, which leads to an overall better product on the field.

There is a legitimate arms race, when it comes to facilities, occurring in college football at the moment. Virtually every PAC 12 program is in the process of building new football facilities or working on major rennovations to existing stadiums. 90% of the funding for these projects are coming from alumni donations. These are donations, not investments. There is no return besides that of the product placed on the football field every Saturday. Phil Knight (Nike) and boosters like Boone T. Pickens have almost singlehandedly sparked this facility explosion. When you listen to recruits and reasons why they choose Oregon, inevitably the football facilities and the stadium these athletes are able to take advantage of play a major role in their decision.

If BSU wants to continue to compete with the BCS schools, it needs to fundraise like the BCS schools. Not only is stadium expansion critical in holding on to a coach of Petersen's caliber, but it also makes his job a lot easier when trying to convince 18 year olds to come and play football in Boise, Idaho.

I not only don't agree with your reasoning...

I find it wishful thinking and without much logic. Having a larger stadium has nothing to do with drawing good players, the field is still the same size and ultimately a student chooses BSU because of what the SCHOOL can offer, not the football stadium.

Admit it! I've heard countless tacit questions as to why aren't they a pro team already!

You miss the mark. If you have a wet dream over a pro ball town then move there. We can't call you Bronco moms but the connections have now been made. Fantasy League is at Yahoo! Sports.

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I've just failed miserably trying to be incognito.

You Don't Add More Seats Just For Coach Pete...

you add more seats for a growing program. It's pretty simple really. Petes really asking for more seats for the PROGRAM, not just to keep him here or for himself.

You must be a

democrat?

ugly...

What R U talking about? Please...explain?

sif1960....my democrat comment was to

ScooterUte....he alluded to build stadium and find money....

That reminded me of the lame-duck session in 2010, where the dems said spend 4 trillion for bail-outs and the economy will come....

yeah, right....

tear down the east side stands facing Broadway and rebuild it

a) Doing so would not require bsu to lower the playing surface. bsu could shift the field westward and closer to the steuckle side stands.

b) Construction of the new east side stands would include the new football facility as well as the new location for ISMI. The eastside would be much smaller in height and wrap around and enclose both the north and south endzones. The new lower profile east side would allow the street view to look into Bronco Stadium and get a good view of Stueckle. The new grandstands facing Broadway would give the entire stadium a new facelift and rid bronco stadium east side of it's Anywhere USA Motor Speedway look.

c) In addtion to the new east side grandstands housing the new football complex and ISMI, it would also include 'economy" suites on that side as well, or maybe even a 'sports bar level'....a blue-collar version of Steuckle. lastly, it would update all the restrooms and concessions on that side

I say build now and then

stiff everyone later....in ten years, the dollar wont be here anyway....

You must be...

a democrat.

"Deficit's don't matter"

-Dick Chenney

Sorry...

I am aware that republicans and democrats are equally inept in dealing with money, I just wanted to make a point. Yes, republicans are as much to blame and both parties have not shown any reason they should be entrusted with any money, but especially ours.

And then

we put one in charge of Boise State, go figure! (Lt. Gov Kustra)

Stadium construction

Maybe Otter can get his Chinese commie friends to get it built for a cheap price.

Or Maybe Obama's Solar Energy Company can

provide the stadium lighting?

Now...

I think it's clearer as to what your talking about.

BYU 24 CFU 17......It appears BYU is on the verge of becoming the darling of espn...

sif1960....why the sudden interest of

BYU?....

They are ok? Rebuilding, definitely....probably wont beat Idaho State or Idaho as bad as any great team would....

BYU will always lag behind Notre Dame....

Серии везения, венчурный капиталист!

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I've just failed miserably trying to be incognito.

You must be insane.

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I've just failed miserably trying to be incognito.

With a new stadium

youll need parking. Just build a new stadium on the other side of the river inbetween front and grove. Easy access to and from the connector and Broadway, and the connector makes for a pretty good parking spot during rush hour so it ought to work great for a parking lot during ball games saving cost of construction!

Olaman

Build a new stadium South East of the Boise airport and just off the freeway.

It is time to reaize that BSU has outgrown Bronco Stadium parking space wise.

VNDL