Montana State University

Construction milestone reached for Bobcat Stadium End Zone

July 21, 2011 -- By Tracy Ellig, MSU News Service


Crews from Martel Construction install a final section of cement cap Wednesday for the new base structure at Bobcat Stadium. MSU photo by Neil Hetherington.   High-Res Available

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
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Crews finished the last major structural steel and precast concrete work on the new end zone at Montana State University's Bobcat Stadium this week, giving passers-by a view of the final structure.

"For people driving by, this takes away all the speculation about what the end zone will look like," said Tony Martel, president of Martel Construction of Bozeman, the project's general contractor.

"This is really a milestone for us," Martel said. "We had planned to be at this stage by July 25 and we reached it early."

MSU's $10 million Bobcat Stadium End Zone Project replaces the old 2,000-seat end zone bleachers with 7,200 modern stadium seats, taking the 38-year-old stadium's capacity to more than 17,000. Work on the end zone began in January and is scheduled to be completed in time for the Bobcats' first home game on Sept. 10.

"Watching the end zone complex rise throughout the summer has created great anticipation, and reaching this point in the process is very exciting," said Peter Fields, MSU Athletics director. "We see fans viewing the construction every day, which tells us that many people share our excitement."

MSU Foundation President and CEO, Michael Stevenson added "When we began these conversations a little over a year ago, we knew we were asking for the impossible, but over 700 Bobcat fans and MSU alumni delivered. The Martel team and their subcontractors are no exception, meeting challenging and tight deadlines, as evidenced by today's milestone."

The fundraising campaign for the end zone launched publicly in October when an anonymous donor gave $1 million in honor of Bobcat football legend Sonny Holland, who both played and coached for the Bobcats. The Bobcat Quarterback Club, a devoted football booster organization, played a key role in making the campaign a success, according to university officials.

"Now we can see what an impressive gift we have been given by all those who donated to this project," said MSU President Waded Cruzado.

Improving the game day experience for fans, providing additional student access to the games, increasing affordability for the community and additional scholarship and financial support for MSU Athletics were the driving motives behind the end zone project, Cruzado said.

A dedication ceremony for the renovated Bobcat Stadium will be held at the stadium the evening of Sept. 9. The public is invited to attend. The Bobcats will open their home season against UC Davis the following day. It's the Bobcats' "Gold Rush" game where all fans are encouraged to wear the gold of the university's blue and gold colors.

Contact: Tracy Ellig, 994-5607, tellig@montana.edu