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BOISE — Boise State announced plans Thursday for a renovation of the east side of Albertsons Stadium that will include premium seating, an expanded concourse, upgraded amenities and a new academic center.

A timetable for the project will be determined once Boise State raises enough money through private donations to move forward, but it’s possible it could be completed prior to the 2022 football season.

The exact cost of the project won’t be known until it is approved and put out for bid, but initial estimates have the cost around $22 million.

The project will be funded by private donations as well as money from the new premium seating options that will be added. No taxpayer money or student fees will be used to pay for the renovations.

“I’m really excited about it, and I hope we can get this done sooner than later because it’s been much needed over the last 25, 30 years,” Boise State Athletic Director Curt Apsey said on KTIK radio. “That side needs to be fixed for the fans that have been dedicating their time and money coming to our games.”

Fans have been asking for improvements to be made to the east side for several years. Restrooms and concession stands are outdated, and the thin concourses often make it difficult for fans to maneuver around.

“That really is the basis of this whole project, changing that concourse and improving the restrooms and concession areas,” Apsey said. “It’s so bottle-necked there when you get 15,000 people on that side of the stadium, and people are waiting too long. We don’t want that anymore.”

The project will feature an ‘exterior facelift,’ according to Boise State. A new academic center for all student-athletes and a dedicated home for the BroncoLife program, geared toward student-athletes’ personal and academic development, will also be included.

New seating options will become available on the east side of the stadium including a reconfigured lower bowl that will bring fans “closer to the field than ever before,” according to the university’s press release.

New premium seating will include approximately 300 club seats and 36 four-person loge boxes. Both areas will have direct access to a new premium indoor club space that will feature “expanded” food and beverage options.

“Enhancing the east side of Albertsons Stadium with additional premium seating, upgraded fan amenities and experience options and developing an area that will benefit our student-athletes academically, nutritionally and in life skills and career development is absolutely vital to the success of our program,” Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin said in the release. “This project is a game changer for Bronco football on so many levels.”

Those wanting more information on how to donate to the project or add their name to a waiting list for one of the premium seating options can visit a new dedicated website for the renovations at broncosports.com/eastside.

B.J Rains has covered Boise State athletics for the Idaho Press since 2013. He is an Associated Press Top 25 men's basketball poll voter, and also contributes to KBOI-TV as a Boise State insider.

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