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Can Boise State sell out it’s six home games?

Jan 11, 2024


Never one to duck a challenge, Boise State Athletic Director Jeramiah Dickey took the reins during COVID (Jan. 2021) for an athletic department that had lost all goodwill built up.

The school cut its baseball program 14 games after it had just restarted its baseball program. Longtime football coach Bryan Harsin, who had voiced his displeasure to the previous regime about things not getting done, had just left for Auburn. There hadn't been a major facilities upgrade in years.

And, still, Dickey took his post and pushed fans on the idea of "six games, six sellouts."

And how rare was that, Starting in 2012 — when Albertsons Stadium expanded to its current size — to when Dickey was hired at Boise State, the Broncos had reached the listed capacity just seven times.

Now, before Dickey, Boise State counted attendance as people who actually showed up to games. It has since been changed to count tickets sold — which is how almost every team in the country currently tracks attendance.

Two years into the tenure of Dickey and Boise State football coach Andy Avalos, here are the attendance numbers for the 13 games played at Albertsons Stadium. For reference: A sellout is 36,349 or more tickets sold.


UTEP — 35,518

Oklahoma State — 36,702

Nevada — 37,426

Air Force — 34,446

Wyoming — 35,454

New Mexico — 28,452


UT Martin — 36,396

San Diego State — 34,910

Fresno State — 37,663 (Record)

Colorado State — 33,985

BYU — 36,461

Utah State — 31,402

Fresno State (MW Champ) — 24,037

Over the past two years, Boise State has sold out just under half of its home games — two sellouts in 2021 and three in 2022.

Now, in most cases, Boise State is missing a sellout by a thousand or so tickets. That's not necessarily super alarming. But in this day and age when even teams like Alabama are struggling with attendance, The Idaho Press asked Dickey if "six games, six sellouts" is still a realistic expectation.

"Absolutely," Dickey said. "I will not back down, nor do I think Bronco Nation should. And our team hasn't. Those are our expectations and, ultimately, we have ownership in how we tell our story and how we’re reaching our present and future fan bases."

Credit Dickey and the Boise State athletic department, though. Rather than simply saying how blasphemous it is that BSU fans can't fill a stadium, they’ve done something about it. In an effort to bolster the in-game experience, Boise State has invested in two new giant scoreboards. They’ve added LED lights for this season that should make for some cool light shows. They’ve switched food vendors, added TVs to the concourses and plenty more.

"There's a lot that can impact whether someone comes or not," Dickey said. "And while you can't always control your schedule — meaning the day and time you play — what can we control?"

There are a lot of reasons to think Boise State won't sell out more than even a few games this year. For starters, aside from the UCF home opener (which is almost a certain sellout), the Broncos don't play another marquee opponent. It also has a 10 a.m. game vs North Dakota and a Black Friday contest against Air Force, which aren't exactly the most fan-friendly draws.

But, as with everything, winning solves everything. If the Broncos beat Washington and UCF out of the gate, the hype would be massive. Boise State tickets would be a hot commodity, regardless of when it was playing.

Going forward, too, sellouts provide the athletic department with more funds — cash that would help expedite renovations to the north and east sides of Albertsons Stadium. Which brings us to one of Dickey's major goals: getting to 40,000 seats.

"We need to get more people into the stadium," Dickey said last year. "And our community is growing and we need to be able to provide those opportunities. I think 40,000 is a start."

Asked this week if 40,000 is still a goal, Dickey said it was, adding: "We won't get there with one project or renovation, but over time that will be something we work toward."

2021 2022