Bobcat Stadium End Zone Project

Thursday Mar. 24th, 2011

Construction of a new end zone at Montana State University’s
Bobcat Stadium is on schedule and the first of the concrete risers have been
poured, according to university officials.

MSU’s $10 million Bobcat Stadium End Zone Project will feature a new
grandstand wrapping around the south end zone and adding 5,200 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 September 10.

The first four of the end zone’s concrete risers were poured on Saint
Patrick’s Day by Missoula Concrete Construction and will be shipped by
semitrailer. The company is owned by MSU alumnus, Doug Bauer. Excavation and
concrete footing work for the new grandstands also began last week.

The stadium’s old risers had been slated for a metal recycler, but the
project’s general contractor, Martel Construction, of Bozeman, found new
homes for them. The risers will go to Ophir School at Big Sky, the soccer
fields of Rocky Mountain College in Billings, and motocross clubs in
Billings and Gallatin County.

The stadium’s 60-foot-high and 38-foot-wide scoreboard will go to Bozeman
Senior High School, home of the current state football champs, the Hawks,
who had a perfect 13-0 season.

“Martel Construction did a great job of placing these back in the
community,” said Bob Lashaway, associate vice president of MSU’s facilities
services. “They deserve all the credit for making this happen. We’re really
pleased communities around Montana will get use and enjoyment out of the
stands and scoreboard.”

Under the construction contract, the stands and scoreboard were to be
disposed of, but did not stipulate how that should happen. Various entities
around the state found out about the disposal of the stands and scoreboard
by word of mouth and contacted Martel Construction, said Tony Martel,
company president.

“The schools and clubs have to pay to move them, but otherwise they’re
free,” Martel said. “We’re really happy that we could help these have a
second life. It’s really kind of neat to me that everybody can keep enjoying
this equipment.”

The end zone project was made possible by more than 700 donors, who
contributed more than $6 million. The university provided another $4 million
as a match that will be paid back from revenue generated by MSU Athletics,
including ticket sales.

The fundraising campaign for the end zone was launched 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 Quarterback Club,
a devoted football booster organization, played a key role in making the
campaign a success, according to university officials.

University officials estimate the project will create more than 200 jobs.
The general contractor, Martel Construction, and the project architects, A&E
Architects, of Billings and Missoula, are both owned by MSU alumni.

The largest bid package of the project – for the concession stands, locker
rooms and support structures – will be opened on March 28.

“It’s great to see work progressing on the stadium,” said MSU President
Waded Cruzado. “I’m looking forward to the first game of the season. The new
end zone will make it a truly exciting experience.”

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.

“We couldn’t have done this without the support of our students, fans,
alumni, benefactors of MSU and the Quarterback Club. We’re very grateful for
all their efforts,” Cruzado said.