The Blue. Smurf Turf.
When people say Boise State University’s blue football field is the school’s trademark, it’s not just a metaphor.
Boise State University holds the trademark — as in the actual United States Patent and Trademark Office trademark (registration #3,946,375) — for “Blue Turf,” making a visit to the Boise State football stadium an only in Southwest Idaho experience.
One of Idaho’s most popular tourist stops, Albertsons Stadium stands tall on the edge of Boise State University’s campus. Its lights rise above the cottonwoods lining the Boise River to the north.
On game days, the stadium is packed, often with 30,000+ Bronco fans. But today, a weekday, things are much more subdued. Peaceful, even.
We enter through the Allen Noble Hall of Fame, which holds an impressive collection of Boise State sports memorabilia. Football. Track. All the University sports are represented.
The Hall of Fame volunteers are eager to share a smile and a bit of Bronco history. We listen and learn for a few moments before they point us in the direction of the legendary Blue Turf.
We step out of the Allen Noble Hall of Fame onto a patio that overlooks the iconic field.
Even after seeing it dozens of times on television, experiencing it in person does not disappoint. And it is… blue. Very, very blue.
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The field is empty, with just a few athletes running the stadium stairs. But on some days, the Hall of Fame volunteer tells us, visitors can watch football players or even the marching band practice.
But today, it’s just my group, a nearly-silent stadium and the sunshine. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
While the blue turf may be iconic now, it used to just be an idea a few decades ago. Back in the mid-1980s, athletic director Gene Bleymaier thought the Blue Turf would help the then up-and-coming football program stand out to both fans and recruits. University leadership agreed, and in 1986, the Blue Turf was installed — the first of its kind in the nation.
Since then, the Boise State Football program has boomed, becoming one of the most victorious programs in Division I football.
The Blue is part of the program’s identity. It represents the fearlessness of a program that is always looking to outwork and outthink the competition. It’s the physical incarnation of what Coach Bryan Harsin calls their “blue collar work ethic.”
Fans approve, showing their dedication throughout the fall (and occasionally into January) by filing into Albertsons Stadium dressed in that beautiful Boise State blue.
Open Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm except on game days and some practice days.
Call ahead to confirm: 208-426-3556
Cost: Free – Donations are accepted to support the Bronco Athletic Association
Want tickets for game day?
Find purchase information here.