BSU breaks ground on new football facility

Sixteen golden shovels tossed dirt in the air Thursday, taking the ceremonial first steps for the new Boise State football facility scheduled to open in June of 2013.

Click here to see President Custra, AD Mark Coyle, & Chris Petersen's speeches (raw video) from Thursday's groundbreaking ceremony.

Coach Chris Petersen, University President Dr. Robert Kustra and newly-hired athletic director Mark Coyle joined the project's donors for the ceremony, which took place right next to the former field entrance on the west side of the north end zone tailgating area.

"This program is what builds this great university, and this great university is what builds this great city," Kustra told the crowd of about 75 people.

The new facility will grow the team's locker and weight room facilities, as well as coach offices and team meeting space. It will add a player's lounge similar to what the basketball teams now have in the Arguinchona Complex and academic areas as well.

"it's just going to be such great functional space," Coach Petersen told media after wards. "We're going to have a team room - our guys right now kind of use the locker room like their bedroom, now they're going to have a place to hang out," he quipped.

The construction schedule - which also includes new bleacher seats at each end of the field - will be completed in time for a June 30, 2013 grand opening. That time line is tight, but senior associate athletic director for advancement Kurt Apsey said they have confidence - and contingency plans - with their construction partners.

Apsey also said, while the track is no longer usable it isn't going to be pulled out of the stadium entirely - yet.

"We're still back and forth about what we want to do; that's more of a phase two - phase three thing that we're really undecided about right now," he said.

Petersen - who is notoriously protective of who sees his practices - has welcomed the beginning of construction during spring football practice. He told donors during the groundbreaking, the promise of the new facility had already helped lure assistant coaches to the blue turf.

It's going to be unique," said Petersen. "I don't think there's going to be a facility like it, in terms of the design and some of the materials we're bringing into it."