Historically, Boise State homecoming games have yielded success for the football program. Since 2010 the Broncos are undefeated in homecoming games, and attendance ratings for those games are higher than the season average.
It’s no secret that the athletic department has struggled to sell tickets in the post-Kellen Moore era.
Season ticket sales last season dipped down to 22,416, and the numbers for this year have yet to reach that mark.
Homecoming games have been the redeeming factor for Boise State athletics, however.
The last five homecoming opponents (UC Davis, Toledo, Air Force UNLV and Southern Mississippi) combining for a record of 24-38 in the season they faced the Broncos, only UC Davis in 2009 had a lower attendance than the season average for that year.
Boise State outscored those opponents 245-77.
This year’s homecoming game is also the earliest in the season homecoming has been during that five year span.
According to Campus Programs Coordinator Erin Mahn, this has caused Homecoming Week to flow with Bronco Welcome.
“It’s a little bit more hectic, but it’s really just flowed together with the start of the school year,” Mahn said. “It makes everything run a little faster.”
The past five homecoming games for the Broncos have another similarity however: all were against one of the weakest opponents on the schedule.
A spokesperson for the Alumni Center could not be reached to explain how the homecoming date is selected, but assistant athletic director of media relations Max Corbet told The Arbiter via email that the athletic department has some input in selecting the homecoming date.
There are several possibilities to why homecoming games coincide with the Broncos’ weakest opponent.
If there is the possibility that there will be difficulty to fill Albertsons Stadium, homecoming can be used as a draw to bring in those fans who don’t want to see a blowout.
Another possible reason for this pattern is few alumni would want to make the trek back to Boise and end up seeing the Broncos lose.
According to athletic director Mark Coyle, the athletic department has begun working closely with the Alumni Center to get alumni more involved with the Broncos, and hopefully increase those ticket sales.
Coyle considers athletics to be the “elastic band” that keeps alumni involved with the school.
“How we kind of look at it is, how can we engage our students and get them involved so when you all graduate [you] still want to be a part of our program,” Coyle said.