MSU President Waded Cruzado today announced the kick-off of the EZ Campaign, which will raise funds for the MSU Bobcat Stadium End Zone project, after receiving approval from the MSU Foundation Board of Directors as well as the Board of Regents for the Montana University System.
Both organizations were required to approve the plan, which calls for raising private funds for a project that will essentially bowl-in the lower level and upgrade the 37-year-old stadium. Old wood and metal bleachers on the south end of the stadium will be replaced with grandstand-style seating to match the seating on the east and west sides of the facility, for a gain of an additional 2,500 seats. Cruzado informed that every home football game has been sold-out this season. The plan also includes new locker rooms, public restrooms and concession facilities. The project will add ADA access and required egress and site utilities.
Private donations will represent more than half of the total funds. Through a financing arrangement, the university will match up to $4 million that will be repaid from future athletic revenues. Cruzado emphasized that by law no state funds, student fees or tuition dollars will be used to fund the project.
She said that the EZ Campaign has already raised nearly $3 million for the project, including a $1 million gift by an anonymous donor in honor of Bobcat great Sonny Holland.
"We are convinced fundraising for this project will be successful," Cruzado said. "We have been inspired by the amount of enthusiasm from students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members for this project, which will give our students and Bobcat fans the game-day experience they deserve."
She added that the improvement and renovation to the stadium will reflect MSU's excellence and inspire students and student-athletes to achieve even greater levels of success.
MSU Athletic Director Peter Fields said the stadium improvements would create an environment more conducive to NCAA Division I athletics.
"This project will generate excitement among our students, and Bobcat fans everywhere," Fields said. "We are creating a better environment at the stadium for our student fans and the additional capacity will bring more people to Bozeman on game days. That will not only raise the intensity of the game day experience at Bobcat Stadium, but also help the community as these fans book hotel rooms, eat at local restaurants and shop at our stores. I'm encouraged by the enthusiastic response we've already received. I want to thank our fans and those who have donated to the project so far, because they make this possible."
Bobcat Stadium, originally Reno H. Sales Stadium, was built in 1973 and renovated prior to the 1998 season. That renovation included new concession stands and restrooms in the stadium's west stands and a new north end-zone complex. The stadium received another facelift in 2008 with the installation of artificial field turf. The field turf was a gift from the 1984 Bobcat Football national championship team and friends. Bobcat Stadium currently holds more than 13,000 fans. Bobcat Stadium has been sold eight out of the last 10 as of its 2010 homecoming game on Oct. 9.
Further details about the EZ Campaign may be found at: www.montana.edu/EZ
Cathy Conover (406) 994-4571, firstname.lastname@example.org