(Editor's note: University of Montana athletics press release)
MISSOULA—Fundraising for a transformational indoor practice facility at the University of Montana has entered the home stretch, and is on-target to be completed within the calendar year, Grizzly Athletics announced Monday.
Planning for the Grizzly Indoor Practice Facility, a 100-percent privately funded, $7.2 million project that will serve all UM student-athletes as well as the greater campus and Missoula communities, is nearly complete.
To reach the $7.2 million goal, Grizzly Athletics is reaching out to supporters to help Montana cross the goal line on the project before final approval is given by the Montana Board of Regents.
The inflatable practice structure will be a first of its kind in the Big Sky Conference, and one of the few in FCS football, improving on Montana's already elite-level facilities among its peers.
The Grizzly Indoor Practice Facility will include a permanent regulation-size synthetic football field, along with sprint lanes for UM track athletes and training areas for field and throwing events as well. The facility will also have the ability to hold soccer and softball practices.
During inclement months the 110,000 square foot bubble structure will allow year-round use of the multipurpose training surface. The bubble will be removed in warmer seasons to create an open-air training space with permanent turf and track surfaces.
No tuition or tax dollars will go toward the project.
"We have talked about the need for indoor practice space on campus for years. I am excited to see this project move from being a plan to an actual facility," said Montana director of athletics Kent Haslam.
"An indoor facility will benefit all of our student-athletes and will be a great addition to the Missoula community. I appreciate the generosity of so many people who are continuing to invest in facilities that impact the day-to-day life of Grizzly student-athletes."
The planned facility includes:
• Construction of a 110,000-square-foot inflatable multipurpose practice facility on the site of the current River Bowl fields on the north end of the University of Montana campus
• Removable inflatable structure to provide outdoor training during summer months
• Permanent structure to house a lobby, restrooms, storage, and mechanical space
• Football portion of the facility to include a regulation-size, 100-yard artificial turf practice field
• Track and Field components include four, 150-yard synthetic sprint lanes, two long jump pits, two pole vault bars, and a hammer, javelin, discus, and shot-put throwing area
• Ability to hold soccer and softball practices
• Open to all student-athletes at the University of Montana
• 100-percent privately funded
• Estimated completion by spring of 2023