The stadium opened in 1970 as a replacement for the original Bronco Stadium, a
small facility built in 1950. The new stadium cost $2.2 million and originally seated
14,500. It originally consisted of two sideline grandstands, the west having a second
deck. The field was green Astroturf. In 1974 the second deck was added to the east
side, bringing the capacity to 20,000, with 2,600 temporary seats brought in for bigger
games. A new green astroturf field was installed in 1978.
The Smurf Turf
In 1986 Bronco Stadium would first install its most notable feature – the blue Astroturf
(often referred to as “Smurf Turf”) for which it is best known. It was replaced 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). The sideline grandstands were 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 Astroturf was replaced during the summer of 2002
with blue AstroPlay, a more forgiving athletic field surface.

Smurf Turf Myths
1.  There is an NCAA rule banning turf colors other than green, but BSU's field is
allowed to remain blue under a "grandfather clause". In reality, the NCAA has no such
rule; any school may paint its field any color other than green if it wishes. Though
painting the end zones is common, and schools have wide latitude in how to do so (for
example, Neyland Stadium's distinctive orange and white checkerboard scheme), only
BSU has chosen a non-green color for the field itself.
2.  Mistaking it for water, birds have flown into the blue turf. This has never been
confirmed. In 2007, Broncos coach Chris Petersen claimed to have found a dead
duck on the field, though it is unclear whether or not the duck had mistaken the turf
for water.
Stadium Expansions
As the Boise State football program saw a rise to prominence in the early 2000s,
Bronco Stadium became increasingly insufficient. The school is planning to build a
new 3-story complex on the stadium's west side that would feature levels for a new
press box, luxury suites, lounges, and club seating (in descending order). Another
plan is to enclose the stadium by adding seats in the north end zone, and completing
the stadium's horseshoe in the south end zone. With the additions, Bronco Stadium's
capacity is expected to increase to around 50,000. The first of the planned additions,
the press box, was approved funding in January 2007. The plans were announced
around the time the university announced plans to build a new indoor practice facility.
The practice facility, which officially opened in February 2006, is known as the
Cavin-Williams Sports Complex and is located just outside of the north end of Bronco
Stadium. The press box facility began construction on February 11th, 2007 and
should be opened by the beginning of the 2008 season.