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Boise State fans sit in the bleachers during a game against BYU on Nov. 6, 2020, at Albertsons Stadium in Boise.

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The Idaho Press is counting down the 25 biggest questions facing the Boise State football team during the 2021 season. Next up is No. 9: Can the Broncos sell out all six home games?

New Boise State athletic director Jeramiah Dickey has set a lofty but important goal for his first football season leading the department.

He’s pushing for six sellouts for the six home games.

How rare is what Dickey hopes to accomplish? In the nine years since Boise State expanded Albertsons Stadium to its current size in 2012, the Broncos have reached the listed capacity of 36,387 just seven times.

Sure the Broncos have some things working for them when it comes to ticket sales. Fans will likely be eager to return and be part of a live sporting event after the COVID-19 pandemic. The start of the Andy Avalos era has fans fired up. And the Broncos also welcome a rare Big 12 team to The Blue in Oklahoma State, and have intriguing matchups with Nevada and Air Force.

Home games against Wyoming and New Mexico in November is where things might get tough. If the Broncos have a strong season going and momentum for a big bowl game, they might have a chance. If Boise State unranked and without hope of any real relevance on the national stage down the stretch, it likely will be tough to get 36,387 fans to come sit in the stands for a pair of cold, late-November nights.

Boise State had no fans for the season opener against Utah State last year and just 1,100 fans for home games against BYU and Colorado State.

Dickey announced in late May that Albertsons Stadium would be sold to full capacity for the 2021 season. Whether they can actually sell that many tickets is a different story.

“Why not?” Dickey said in May. “We have one of the greatest brands in college football. Why can’t we sell out every game? We’ve done it before. Why can’t we do it now?”

Fans often complain about late start times, the lack of attractive opponents and sometimes even the price when it comes to why they can’t get more attendance at home football games. But for a surrounding area pushing past 750,000 residents – getting 36,000 to come watch a football game six times a year really shouldn’t be that hard.

“We will not live with excuses. We will find a way,” Dickey said. “That’s probably why I’ve promised six sellouts and I’ll still promise that today.”

One thing that will help? Alcohol sales. Boise State announced Monday alcohol will be sold in the general seating areas inside Albertsons Stadium this fall.

Boise State has seen a steady decline in season ticket sales the past five seasons. Dickey has hired multiple positions to revamp the ticket sales team and is hopeful those numbers will see an immediate turnaround.

Boise State badly needs the money, which is maybe the main reason Dickey is pushing for sellouts. The difference between 33,000 and 36,000 fans per game can equate to millions of dollars for the department.

The home opener against UTEP and home games against Oklahoma State and Nevada should be able to sell out. The Air Force one is possible as well. But Wyoming and New Mexico? We’ll find out a lot about Dickey – and know a lot about the direction of the football season – when we get to November.

This article originally ran on idahopress.com.

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