BOISE -- The Boise State football program will have a new place to practice when they take the field for fall camp in 2013. Ground was broken on the intramural field just northeast of the Student Union Building on BSU’s campus in late March to improve the field and give the Broncos a more forgiving surface to practice on.
The field, which had been controlled by the University and Recreation Services Department, was taken over by the Athletic Department in late March. Construction crews began work on the field to improve the grass-playing surface, as well as improve drainage concerns.
The field, which had been used by students for intramural and club sport activities, will be used by the football team in August, and then occasionally throughout the season. When not being used by the team, the field will be made available to the students once again.
“We're going to get a good field for our guys to practice on, on grass in August when it's hot,” Boise State Sports Information Director Max Corbet said. “Then once we're done with it, intramurals is going to have a brand new field, basically, for all of their activities on it also. So, I think it's definitely a win-win.”
When word first got out that the popular playing field would be out of commission for the foreseeable future, many students wondered why.
“There's a lot of confusion still with students. So, one thing that we are working on is making sure that we can answer questions in all ways possible,” ASBSU Vice President Bryan Vlok said. “Students are still a little frustrated with the rec field, seeing the fence up and not knowing what's going on behind this black fence. So, what I like to tell students is this is a short term inconvenience for us all, but in the long term it's going to be such a huge thing.”
When Boise State completed construction on its Dona Larsen Park facility, the Bronco football team found itself without a grass playing field to practice on. Grass is preferred at times to practice on over a synthetic turf, like the one at Bronco Stadium, because it can be easier on athletes physically.
“The grass is a lot more forgiving, so we'd prefer to practice on grass more during that time so that they're not getting so worn out,” Corbet said. “It's really for the strength and just not wearing you out so that you can practice at the high level all the time.”
The Athletic Department is hoping that a renovated and improved field will benefit both the football team and student body at Boise State in the end.
“Hopefully it's a win,” Corbet said. “It's a good place for us to be able to have a good practice area for grass, and then turn it back over to the school and the intramurals will have it to use for their activities.”