New turf at Nelson Stadium nearly ready for players

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Posted at 3:55 PM, Jun 17, 2024

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

They just put in a brand-new synthetic turf that will be ready to be practiced on 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 says Troy Purcell, Head Football Coach at Carroll College.

“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 cross-town high school football games. There’s also an opportunity for concerts and other events. Purcell says this will help bring in more people, consequently boosting the economy.

“And 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. 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,” says Purcell.

Another addition coming to the stadium includes 7 new permanent light pole installations. The poles will arrive in July. These will allow for easy early morning practice and night games. They are also doing some concrete work, installing an ambulance ramp, and adding in dugouts for softball. The total cost for all these renovations is around $5 million.

Purcell says the stadium will be ready for fall season games with the first at-home Saints game taking place on September 7. The entire project is expected to be completed before October 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.