Why the blue field? Hey, people notice!
By Kelly Whiteside, USA TODAY
BOISE 鈥?Great thinkers challenge conventional thinking. If they didn't, there would be no such thing as the forward pass, the Stanford band and of course, Boise State's blue field.
Boise State doesn't want visiting teams to feel at home at Bronco Stadium.
By Darin Oswald, The Idaho Statesman, file
In the mid-1980s, Boise State's Gene Bleymaier was a young athletics director facing his first big expenditure at the school.
"We had to replace our turf, and I found out it cost three quarters of a million dollars and I'm going, 'Holy smokes, that's a lot of money!' " Bleymaier recalls. "If we're going to spend that kind of money, I'd like people to notice. ...
"I was on a trip thinking, 'Why is the turf green?' It's not grass and our colors are blue and orange, so why not make it our colors?"
As a football player in the mid-1970s at UCLA, Bleymaier remembered how intimidating it was to go to Nebraska and see a sea of red in the stands. "I thought, why not be different and make opponents feel like they're not at home," he says. The school president approved the idea and the two kept the plan quiet to avoid opposition. The turf was installed in 1986. Nearly two decades later, the field, dubbed Smurf Turf, has become the defining symbol of Boise State.
Boise State was also the first basketball school in the country to paint between the key and three-point line, Bleymaier says. Credit should go to the creative-thinking athletics director who in his 22nd year at the position is one of the longest-tenured ADs in college sports and is the driving force behind the success of the entire program.
There are plans to add a new press box, luxury suites and expand seating to 40,000, but there are no plans to change the color of the only blue field in the USA.
Over the years, urban legends about the blue turf have grown. One persistent rumor concerns the geese who mistake the field for a lake and end up meeting their maker. "I can neither confirm or deny that report," Bleymaier says with a laugh. "That's my story, and I'm sticking to it."
Bronco Stadium, which was built on the site of a former airport where Charles Lindbergh once landed his Spirit of St. Louis, is also a tourist attraction. The school keeps the stadium's gates open during the week; it's not uncommon to see visitors posing for pictures on the blue field.
Not sure but I sure do like it
It was an experiment about 30 years ago when they wanted to replace their original turf...they wanted something different something to match the surronding mountainsand they came up with Blue..and it has been famous ever since then
That simple-- matches their school colors. Whensports developed at Boise football was a celebration of success and they inagurated with a Blue Field and never changed it.
They got it on sale at WalMart.......
I like it too. What a game last night!
we have a blue football feild because about 25-30 years ago we had to replace the turf because it was getting warn down and dirty so when they replaced it they thought about trying to do it in school colors. When the athletic director approved it they put it in place and they got a huge fan response. then about 5-10 years ago they had to replace the turf again and they left it to the people of boise to determine whether or not to keep it blue. when the results came in over 80% of the people chose to keep it blue even though it costs more to maintain a blue feild than a green one. so they made it brighter and now it's probably one of the most well known feilds in the us.... smurf turf and such. And ducks don't fly into it and die, even though that's what people say, and i don't know how this one got started but the blue turf doesn't make the statium colder either... weird people who don't know idaho winter i guess. but yeah, in idaho learning about the blue turf is almost high school cirriculum so that's what i can tell you! Gotta love the smurf turf. Oh and they also try to make people who are wearing blue and orange sit in certain sections so when the other team walks out all they see is a striped sea of orange and blue!