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Enhancement project for Carroll College's Nelson Stadium set for 2024

Carroll Nelson Stadium.jpg
Posted at 5:30 PM, Sep 05, 2023

HELENA — Carroll College has announced an enhancement project for Nelson Stadium.

“This project, in a way like never before, will bring us together to celebrate our state, our community and our wonderful young athletes,” said Carroll College president, Dr. John Cech.

Nelson Stadium has consistently provided premier experiences for football and soccer clashes. This groundbreaking enhancement project will infuse new energy into the stadium, introducing a synthetic surface and lighting, thus transforming the facility into a year-round venue for both athletic and community events by the fall of next year.

The current status of Nelson Stadium has its limitations due to Montana’s diverse weather conditions as it embraces the only natural grass field in the Frontier Conference.

“This project has been discussed for well over 15 years, but now were actually doing it,” added Cech.

Beyond athletics, the enhancement will open up new opportunities for Carroll College and the broader Helena community. The capacity of Nelson Stadium to host events will substantially increase, catering to not only sports and tournaments, but significant gatherings such as concerts and exhibitions as well. These additions promise a direct positive impact on local businesses.

An economic impact study of the project conducted by Circle Analytics determined that, Nelson Stadium would have a total economic impact of $22.77 million in Lewis & Clark County. The construction project itself represents a $3.9 million dollar impact in the county and $18.9 million will be generated by the approximately 160,000 attendees of various athletic and community events held in Nelson Stadium with an estimated $7.16 million in new economic impact to the county over the next five years.

Nelson Proj one
"This significant investment into Nelson Stadium is taking Carroll to a new level and we are taking Helena with us!” said Cech.

The proposed enhancements will circumvent these challenges by adding a state-of-the-art synthetic turf field and stadium lights. This will allow more than two-thirds of Carroll's student-athletes to engage in high-quality training sessions and further position Carroll College at the forefront of the student-athlete experience. The project will benefit Carroll's football, men's and women's soccer, and softball athletic programs by offering lighting for evening practices and contests.

“It is lights and turf,” said Charlie Gross, Carroll athletic director.

The project is slated to begin, weather permitting, in spring of 2024 with an anticipated completion date of August 2024 in time for Carroll’s first home football game. Fundraising for the Nelson Stadium Enhancement Project is currently underway with a projected goal of $5 million.

Dr. John Michelotti (’90) from Helena and Tom Downey (‘75) from Butte are co-chairing the fundraising effort along with a committee. For more details or to contribute to the Nelson Stadium Enhancement Project, contact Chris Aimone at caimone@carroll.edu or 406-447-4445.

Additional information provided by Carroll Athletics