Phase 1 -Fall 2018
In 1997, Bozeman had 300 registered youth league soccer players, substantially more than city parks could support at the time. The Adam Bronken Soccer Complex provided a timely solution with 4 full-size soccer fields; just enough to accommodate 300 soccer players. Since then, the number of registered participants has increased ten-fold in soccer and lacrosse alone.
Today, over 3,000 players participate in Blitzz FC, American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), Bozeman Adult League Soccer, and Bozeman Lacrosse. Hundreds more participate in rugby, ultimate Frisbee, flag football, and other field sports. But there are no additional playing fields. Even when Bronken is put to maximum use, it cannot accommodate one day of games for only the youngest soccer players. Fields at Bozeman’s public schools and Montana State University add to the inventory of playing space. But access to those fields is tenuous and subject to short-term arrangements that are threatened by multiple demands, seasonal limitations, and increasing user fees. And, as Bozeman grows, the land base for recreational use rapidly decreases.
Simply stated, the demand for suitable field space and indoor practice facilities far outstrips the supply. What field space is available simply cannot meet demand. It didn’t in 1997 and, given the ten-fold growth, it doesn’t now. And the same breakneck growth is projected for the foreseeable future across all field sports. As participation in field sports grows, Bozeman must be able to accommodate more players and more practices, games, and multi-day tournaments. With the Bozeman Sports Complex, Bozeman can and, in doing so, will draw millions in financial benefit for Bozeman and our economy.
The Bozeman Sports Park is a $16-20 million endeavor at completion. Of the $7.5 million dedicated public bond funds, $2.1 million bought the 80 acres and $1.78 million is earmarked for adjacent streets - costs in excess of the project budget. This leaves $3.6 million in public bond funds for Phase 1. Private support is the only way to secure field access to ensure our community has a place to play field sports, and for the Bozeman area to benefit from tournaments, extended playing seasons, and an active community.
With the ten-fold increase in participation in soccer and lacrosse, as well as projections for consistent future growth, the need for field space is apparent. And field space is shrinking everyday due to increasing demand and development. Without the Bozeman Sports Park, there will be a breaking point where lack of field space limits the number of participants in field sports. No longer will any child who wants to play get to play. The Bozeman Sports Park prevents this and brings wide-reaching benefits to our community. This campaign is a true grassroots effort of parents, players, coaches and community leaders who have joined together to make this dream a reality. We have formed a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, seated a Board of Directors, a Campaign Committee and hired professional assistance to deliver success that will create a positive impact for generations to come.