People don’t think of Idaho as much of a sports haven. There’s not a noteworthy professional team in the state, and indeed this entire region of the country is fairly light on professional sports. But in a way, that makes the sports that are popular even more exciting. After all, Nebraska – another state that’s not generally associated with major sports – is thought to have a fan base that makes up one of the loudest groups in the nation. Boise State can’t quite make that kind of claim – but it does have a very strong football tradition that’s worth getting into if you’re in town.
That football tradition may actually be harder to notice in the greater United States than it was just a few years ago. That’s because of the College Football Playoff, which has taken focus away from traditional bowl games and put the spotlight on the top four teams in the country in any given year. For instance, last year we saw a national championship match-up pitting Alabama against Clemson – the team they beat to claim the 2015 title. That’s the kind of repetition people are used to at the very top of the game, and it means schools like those two, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and a small handful of others are traditionally going to be viewed as the best of the best.
Just a few years ago, however, Boise State was known as a perennial presence in national debate over premiere bowl games. From 2006-2012 the team amassed a cumulative record of 84-8, going undefeated twice and finishing with just one loss on three separate occasions. Those were the kinds of seasons that earned consideration for top bowl games, and still do – just not necessarily in the College Football Playoff.
All that is to say that this is a truly top-notch football program, despite belonging to a town not known for spectator sports. That alone is a good reason to check out a game if you get the chance, because the best college football experiences are always those that involve proud fans and program traditions. But the stadium itself also factors in.
Located right on Boise River and essentially across from the zoo, Albertsons Stadium is in a great spot, and a fairly easy one to find and navigate. It’s a modern stadium with great seating, satisfying food and beverage options, and droves of enthusiastic fans that provide a strong sense of atmosphere. Most famously, it’s also home to “The Blue,” the world’s first blue Astro Turf field and arguably the key identifying feature of the program. It’s a little bit difficult to explain how, but The Blue seems to foster a greater sense of unity among fans, and even between those fans and the team itself. It also make the stadium feel that much more unique at all times, and particularly during an evening game when the lights are shining down upon it.
All in all it’s a great thing to do in town, and something visitors and locals alike should consider!