HAVRE — Five months ago, MSU-Northern broke ground on the school’s new football stadium. And though the Lights will have to wait until 2021 to play their first game, the turf is installed, the seats are in place and on Wednesday evening a ribbon was cut.
Even with no football until the spring, there’s still plenty to celebrate in Havre.
"Someone told me it's a field of dreams. That's an appropriate title for it,” MSU-Northern chancellor Greg Kegel said. “It is a dream come true, and these are hard projects in small communities. When you have to rally the community to get their support behind it and then have them step up and make contributions to make it happen, that's a feat in itself.”
Phase 1 on the project is complete with the playing surface ready to go and the visiting stands erected. There’s still more to go, but it’s a step in the right direction for a team that has shared a high school stadium for the past 20 years.
”We had our first team meeting in the stadium last night and the kids were speechless,” said MSU-Northern football coach Andrew Rolin. “We've talked about it and we've brought in recruits with the mindset that they'll be playing in a new stadium and it's come to fruition. Just sheer excitement from our guys, and the looks on their faces says it all.”
The stadium wouldn’t have been possible without contributions from the community, including longtime benefactor and Hi-Line football legend Mike Tilleman and his family.
"This is beautiful. Really neat and it should be here for a long time,” Tilleman said. “We need football here and it's a proud sport and we're happy as the Tilleman family to be a part of putting this together."
Tilleman and family were honored in a separate ceremony following the ribbon cutting for his longtime dedication to MSU-Northern. MTN Sports will have more on Tilleman’s impact later this week.