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New synthetic turf at Carroll College's Nelson Stadium nearly ready

Nelson Stadium turf
Posted at 5:02 PM, Jun 17, 2024

HELENA — The newly coined Valley Bank Field at Nelson Stadium began undergoing renovations in March, the first major upgrades since its inception in 2001.

Carroll College is installing a new synthetic turf that will be ready for use in about two weeks. This new turf will allow Saints football players a safer place to practice and play with reduced risk of slippage and injury, said Saints coach Troy Purcell.

“The practice opportunities now will increase where we’re not slipping out here on this practice field. You know, you got 125 football players stepping on a blade of grass. It doesn’t take long to beat it down,” says Purcell.

The turf will also be able to host soccer, softball and lacrosse, as well as provide a space for crosstown high school football games. There’s also an opportunity for concerts and other events.

“To bring more people in just helps everybody. Everybody that goes, you know, has breakfast in the morning to dinner at night, to filling up on gas on the way home and then the hotels. So, as many events as we can have in Helena, the better,” Purcell said.

“Giving us a surface like this and an opportunity and a venue like this for concerts and soccer and lacrosse and football and bringing everybody together in a centrally located place is very beneficial for everyone.”

Another addition coming to the stadium includes seven new permanent light pole installations. The poles will arrive in July. These will allow for easy early morning practice and night games.

Carroll is also having concrete work done, installing an ambulance ramp and adding in dugouts for softball. The total cost for all these renovations is around $5 million.

Purcell said the stadium will be ready for fall season games with the first at-home Saints game taking place Sept. 7. The entire project is expected to be completed before Oct. 1.

The college is considering other add-ons in the future such as visitor seating on the south side, an increased media box on the south side, and a new scoreboard/media board.