Bronco Beat

Boise State's Bronco Stadium is now Albertsons Stadium

This season marks Bronco Stadium's first name change since the current venue opened in 1970.
This season marks Bronco Stadium's first name change since the current venue opened in 1970.

Bronco Stadium has been renamed Albertsons Stadium. Albertsons LLC will pay $12.5 million over 15 years.

“This is a 15-year deal,” Albertsons CEO Bob Miller said. “We bought the stores a year ago March. We’re anxious to let people know we’re here to stay, this is our corporate headquarters and it’s going to stay that way. And this is a good way to reinforce that message.”

Learfield Sports, which owns Boise State’s marketing rights, will receive 25 percent of the Albertsons deal. That breaks down to $625,000 for the athletic department and $208,333 for Learfield.

Susan Morris, president of the Intermountain Division of Albertsons, said the stadium deal will not affect the company’s support of the Albertsons Boise Open. The golf sponsorship runs through 2016. “Hopefully it goes on beyond that,” Morris said.

The stadium deal runs through 2028. It still must be approved by the State Board of Education next month. Albertsons will have its name in two spots on the field, on the top of the Stueckle Sky Center inside the stadium, on the outside of the Stueckle Sky Center and on the large banner outside the south end zone, which will read “Albertsons Stadium: Home of The Blue.”

The money will help Boise State afford upcoming NCAA reforms, such as cost-of-attendance scholarships, Athletic Director Mark Coyle said. The scholarship reform alone could cost Boise State $687,000 per year.

Albertsons receives the best suite in the stadium as part of its deal, in place of the company’s existing suite lease. That’s a $40,000-$50,000 benefit. The suite was reserved for a future naming-rights partner and leased on a per-game or per-season basis.

Albertsons can terminate the contract after the completion of the fifth year with two years of notice. The termination fee is not disclosed.

If Boise State does not play six home games in a year or incurs sanctions that prevent the team from appearing in conference championship games postseason events, Albertsons will receive an adjustment to the terms. Albertsons also can terminate the agreement if Boise State incurs sanctions.

Here is our story on naming rights from today’s paper.


Bob Miller, CEO of Albertsons

“We have Albertsons in all the western states — Texas, New Mexico, Washington, California, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota. We cover all the west and it’s kind of where Boise’s home is in the West. Glad to support the Broncos. This also helps us get our name out in other areas, so it was great.”

“We were thinking about doing something with the basketball arena when that contract was up. But (Athletic Director Mark Coyle) talked about why don’t you do something now and one thing led to another and we said, ‘OK, let’s see if we can put it together.’ ”

Bryan Harsin, football coach

“You talk about playing in Albertsons Stadium and still Home of The Blue, I think that’s still a cool connection. The whole local connection with Albertsons and Boise State, both programs, how similar they are as you listen to the stories, makes it pretty unique.”

“It even makes it more unique to add Albertsons on top of (the blue turf). That gives it even more credibility, rather than just Bronco Stadium. We know it as that and that’s a great brand for us as well and we like that but this to me makes it even more fitting for that uniqueness we have in the stadium.”

Mark Coyle, athletic director

“Obviously with the changes in NCAA governance, we’re able to secure a partnership like this with Albertsons — that’s a difference-maker for our program and will help us address some of those concerns that are coming up in the future.”

Coyle got to know Miller and his son on a personal basis. They even watched the Super Bowl together this year. “We had a conversation and obviously things went well,” Coyle said. “This is a big project.”

“It’s been a priority for us. When I was hired, we talked about we’ve got to grow our revenue streams. We have a tremendous asset in Bronco Stadium and that asset had not been sold.”

Press release quotes:

Boise State President Bob Kustra: “Since the 1930s, when Boise State and Albertsons each began just a couple of miles away from each other, the two institutions have shared a passion for the community and for improving opportunities in higher education. It’s appropriate that in the year we celebrate the anniversary of the Albertsons Library, we announce this new partnership that also will benefit Boise State students for many years to come.”

Albertsons LLC CEO Bob Miller: “It is our privilege to support Boise State,” said Bob Miller, CEO of Albertson’s LLC. “Albertsons has chosen to link our name with Boise State because we admire and share their commitment to the values of becoming part of the community, integrity, hard work, developing leadership and continuously learning and improving. This July marks our 75th year as a company, and growing our partnership with Boise State is a wonderful way to celebrate that accomplishment and extend our reach as the Official Grocer of Boise State Athletics.”

Albertsons history from our business department:

Boise State last month named Albertsons CEO Bob Miller the inaugural winner of its Champion of Commerce Award. He spoke publicly at the award event, revealing that he hadn't been sure Albertsons would survive when Albertsons Inc., the chain that grew from Joe Albertsons first Boise grocery store, was broken up and sold off in 2006.

Back then, Albertsons Inc.'s best divisions — including all Idaho stores — were sold to Supervalu, based in Minnesota. Its weakest divisions, consisting of more than 600 stores, were bought by a consortium led by New York private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. That firm created a new Boise company, Albertsons LLC, and hired Miller to run it. Each chain kept the Albertsons name.

Albertsons LLC closed or sold most of the stores it bought in 2006. A struggling Supervalu put what remained of its Albertsons Inc. holdings up for sale in 2012, and the Cerberus-led consortium bought the Supervalu stores and put them under Miller's control as well.

Since then, Albertsons has made a play to grow. The ownership consortium decided to buy ailing supermarket giant Safeway and put it under the control of Boise-based Albertsons.

Read more: A fresh start for Boise's Albertsons chain

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