If you’ve always wanted to participate in the tailgate experience outside Albertsons Stadium but don’t know anyone with a parking spot, you’ve now got a place to hang out.
If you don’t know if you want to buy game tickets but you’d like to soak up the game-day atmosphere, you’re invited, too. You can even watch the game on the big-screen TV.
And the cost of this new experience outside the stadium? Free, unless you want to rent a tent with couches, TVs and other amenities. The new tailgate area is The Ford Tailgate Zone at DeChevrieux Field, the Broncos’ grass practice field just west of the stadium.
“Ultimately our goal is to bring as many people in here as possible,” said Brad Larrondo, senior associate athletic director. “We feel like we can create a different area that we’ve never had before.”
The tailgating experience will be produced by blockparty, a national company that specializes in these setups. The area will have a climbing wall, inflatable play structures and games like football tosses. There will be open grass for playing and some seats for lounging. Other Boise State teams might come down to visit with the fans, perhaps participating in a skill like free-throw shooting with kids. You can bring your own food and beverages, and food trucks will be on hand, too. Boise State can’t sell alcohol in the area.
The Bronco Walk — the players’ pregame march to the stadium — will go through the tailgating area.
“We want to make it family-friendly down here,” Larrondo said.
If you want a more upscale experience, blockparty sells private tent packages that range from $400 to $2,000 per game based on the number of guests and the amenities requested. The costs break down to about $40-$50 per person.
A dozen or more tents are expected for Saturday’s home opener against UConn.
The grass field is considered an extension of the parking lot, so the same rules apply for alcohol consumption. Fans 21 and older are allowed to consume alcoholic beverages in opaque plastic cups from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. DeChevrieux Field will be open to the public three hours before kickoff (four hours for those renting spaces) and one hour after the game ends.
The expectation is that 3,000 to 5,000 people will use the new tailgating area on game days, Larrondo said. It can move into the Caven-Williams Sports Complex if the weather is poor.
“We hope that people who don’t have a place to go come here and enjoy it,” Larrondo said.