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College Traditions: Boise State’s Blue Turf

College Traditions: Boise State’s Blue Turf

The Boise State University Broncos play their home games on campus at Albertsons Stadium, widely known for its unique blue playing surface, which is the first non-green playing field in the history of American football.

Originally nicknamed the “Smurf Turf”, “the Blue”, as it is commonly known to fans, was originally a bright blue AstroTurf installed in 1986. In 2002, BSU installed AstroPlay, similar to FieldTurf, a new generation of infilled synthetic turf that mimics the appearance, feel, and texture of grass. In 2008, the field was replaced a fourth time with FieldTurf.

Ground was broken for the stadium in 1969, and it opened in September 1970 with a capacity of 14,500. Subsequent expansions were completed in 1975 and 1997, and current capacity sits at around 37,000. In August 2010, the university unveiled a $100 million expansion plan for Bronco Stadium. The first stage will include: adding a new facility to the north endzone to house the football offices, weight room, training room, equipment room and locker room; removing the track; and adding a 13,200-seat grandstand behind the north endzone. Later stages include: lowering the field to add 3,300 seats; completing the south endzone horseshoe; building an east side skybox; and renovating the east concourse. Seating capacity for the fully expanded Bronco Stadium will exceed 55,000.