High School Football

Players are ready for the high school football season. But parking at Dona Larsen Park isn’t.

Fans will need to arrive early for games Thursday and Friday at Dona Larsen Park as Boise State has yet to finalize a parking contract with St. Luke’s, which purchased the old URS Building in March.
Fans will need to arrive early for games Thursday and Friday at Dona Larsen Park as Boise State has yet to finalize a parking contract with St. Luke’s, which purchased the old URS Building in March. doswald@idahostatesman.com

High school football fans have long complained about the lack of parking at Downtown Boise’s Dona Larsen Park. They better arrive even earlier for games this weekend.

A new parking contract between Boise State and St. Luke’s Health System still isn’t finalized, forcing Boise State to run a shuttle from Albertsons Stadium to Dona Larsen Park for the season-opening games Thursday and Friday night.

Centennial takes on Boise at 7 p.m. Thursday at Dona Larsen, then Timberline faces Capital at 7 p.m. Friday in the stadium.

St. Luke’s purchased the Washington Group Plaza, better known as the old URS Building, in March. The parking lot at Front Street and Broadway Avenue served as the main parking area for fans attending events at Dona Larsen Park, requiring a 5- to 10-minute walk to Dona Larsen.

St. Luke’s purchase required Boise State to negotiate a new parking contract. Five months later, the two sides have not come to terms, but Boise State athletics spokesman Joe Nickell said the school plans to have a contract finalized in time for next week’s games.

“It’s a new ownership group over there,” Nickell said. “They’ve been awesome to work with, but it took time. And unfortunately we didn’t get done in time for the first week.”

Instead, a school bus will pick up fans on the east side of Albertsons Stadium. A shuttle should arrive every 8 to 10 minutes from 5:45 to 10 p.m.

Boise State has previously run shuttles for Dona Larsen parking, including for the state track meet in May.

Parking has long been a sore spot for fans. The Boise School District’s four high schools share Dona Larsen for their varsity football games, but the stadium only has 69 parking spots, none open to the public. That has pushed fans to the URS Building and into the surrounding neighborhoods.

The Boise football team began walking to games at Dona Larsen Park in 2012 out of necessity. Now it's tradition.

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