Idaho coach Don Verlin has a clear opinion on what should happen with the Boise State-Idaho basketball series.
CenturyLink Arena President Eric Trapp does, too.
But Boise State coach Leon Rice thinks more thought is needed.
Were just experimenting with some things to find the wheelhouse of whats the right thing. In the meantime, were still playing, Rice said.
The Broncos (7-2) and Vandals (4-5) meet at CenturyLink Arena in Downtown Boise for the first time Thursday night. The arena has been set up as a neutral site with each school getting one half of the tickets. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
Id love to play them home-and-home every year. Id play them home-and-home in the same year. Id play them home-and-home every other year. I think it should be played on home sites, Verlin said. Its not something they want to do.
With the schools no longer in the same conference and not likely to be anytime soon Boise State is in the Mountain West and headed to the Big West in 2013; Idaho is a member of the WAC, but is moving to the Big Sky in 2014 the rivalry depends on both coaches wanting to play.
On that, they have an agreement.
Leon and I have always thought it was really important to play this game, Verlin said.
Asked about the importance of the rivalry game, Rice said: Its important Thursday.
They met last season at the Idaho Center in Nampa, attracting more than 7,000 fans.
CenturyLink Arena officials wanted to host that game. They were able to secure this one. The game is officially an Idaho home game, but the schools and the arena are equal partners. All three share evenly in expenses and revenues.
If they continue to have it at a neutral site, we hope we can become the home to this game for years to come, Trapp said. We think its the perfect place for it.
Idaho has played games at CenturyLink Arena in two of the past three seasons, defeating Lewis-Clark State in 2009 and last year.
The University of Idaho has a lot of loyal and faithful fans in Boise, Verlin said. It was important to play a game down there if we could.
Nearly 5,000 tickets were sold by the end of business Wednesday, leaving between 500 and 700 available. No alcoholic beverages will be sold in the arena; only in suites and the Sports Zone bar. Tickets cost between $16 and $55 (or $10 for students) and are available at the CenturyLink Arena box office. Fans will be asked if they want to sit in the Boise State section or the Idaho section the arena is evenly divided.
Were going to try it out. Were messing around with this game, seeing what we can find that works, seeing what works for both schools, Rice said. I really like the arena. Its a beautiful spot. The only shortcoming would be the amount of people you can get in there, but I think its a really neat arena.