DILLON — The University of Montana Western announced Wednesday a pledge from John and Phyllis Erb to donate 14 acres adjacent to the campus for the construction of a new football stadium.
The land extends from behind the Bulldog Athletics and Recreation Complex to MT 91. It includes the UM Western practice fields and the Montana Youth Challenge Academy.
“We are grateful to the Erb family for their vision, leadership, and continual support of the University of Montana Western. They have provided scholarships to numerous students over the years and have been instrumental in ensuring the health and welfare of our community,” UMW Chancellor Beth Weatherby said.
For many years, a group of alumni and friends of Bulldog Athletics have been exploring ways to provide upgrades to Vigilante Field or building a new stadium closer to campus.
“I am so grateful to the Erb family for their generosity," UMW Athletic director Bill Wilson said. "Over the last year, I was trying to determine the best course of action for an upgraded or new football stadium, and the dream scenario in my mind was to be able to construct a stadium right behind the BARC. This generous pledge to donate is the biggest step in making that dream a reality,”
The donation stipulates that UMW will raise $2 million in the next two years, approximately one-third of the estimated cost of building the stadium. State funding will not be used. The facility will be available to community teams, just as Vigilante Field has been.
“Community teams will have access to the facility, and it will also be a more competitive venue for submitting bids for other events that could be hosted here in Dillon. This will provide further opportunities to bring additional revenue to our local community,” Montana Western Foundation director Roxanne Engellant said.
A formal committee will be formed to provide campus and community members the opportunity to provide input as the project moves forward. Project Updates will be shared as they become available.