Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin said it so matter of factly Monday.
“We expect a sellout crowd in Albertsons Stadium,” he said in reference to Saturday’s Mountain West opener against Hawaii (8:15 p.m., ESPN2).
If only it were that easy.
The Broncos haven’t sold out a Mountain West home game since 2011. Since the stadium expanded to its current capacity in 2012 (36,387), it has been filled just three times: in 2012 vs. BYU, in 2014 vs. BYU and this year vs. Washington.
As of Wednesday, the Broncos had distributed 33,000 tickets for this week’s game. Even the students hadn’t sold out their allotment (there were 700 left).
Still, coaches, administrators and players are pushing.
“We’re starting championship week now,” junior linebacker Ben Weaver said. “Winning this game starts our quest toward the Mountain West championship. Hopefully it’s going to be a packed stadium. We love playing at home and what better way to start than at home?”
Why the sudden plea for a sellout?
One reason is that this is a critical recruiting weekend for the athletic department.
“In football, we only have six opportunities a season to showcase our program to a regional and national audience,” Athletic Director Curt Apsey said in a statement. “This weekend, as with others, includes on-campus visits from potential student-athletes for many different sports. Filling the seats and creating a home-field advantage is imperative to both the result on the field, and in helping to continue the growth of our programs.”
Tickets remain available in all sections, with prices as low as $29.
Here are Boise State’s largest home crowds:
36,864: vs. BYU, 2012
36,836: vs. Washington, 2015
36,752: vs. BYU, 2014
36,084: vs. San Diego State, 2012
36,069: vs. Air Force, 2013
36,012: vs. UNLV, 2012
Bronco Nation, we need you out strong Saturday against Hawai'i, and remember to wear pink to help Buck Cancer! pic.twitter.com/VMT8AqB3RZ— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) October 1, 2015
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