Carroll Announces Nelson Stadium Enhancement Project

Nelson Stadium Enhancement Project

Carroll College’s Stadium Project Brings Opportunities for Carroll Athletes and Helena
– Nelson Stadium Enhancement Project is set for kick-off –

Helena, MT – Carroll College is pleased to announce the launch of the Nelson Stadium Enhancement Project. “This endeavor signifies the institution’s most substantial investment in intercollegiate athletics in over two decades. In fact, we view it as an investment in both Carroll’s students and the greater Helena community,” said Carroll College president, Dr. John Cech.

Nelson Stadium, renowned within the NAIA and one of Montana’s finest sporting venues, has consistently provided premier experiences for football and soccer competitions. The enhancement project will infuse new energy into the stadium, introducing a synthetic surface and lighting, thereby transforming the facility into a year-round venue for both athletic and community events by the fall of 2024.

The current natural grass of Nelson Stadium has its limitations due to Montana’s diverse weather conditions. Moreover, restricted daylight practice hours curtail the optimal use of the facility. The proposed enhancements will circumvent these challenges by adding a state-of-the-art synthetic turf field and stadium lights. This will allow more than two-thirds of Carroll's student-athletes to engage in high-quality training sessions and further position Carroll College at the forefront of the student-athlete experience. The project will benefit Carroll's football, men's and women's soccer, and softball athletic programs by offering lighting for evening practices and contests. In addition, the improvements provide growth opportunities for emerging sports and improved access for intramural activities for the larger student body. Additionally, this will allow Helena to proactively vie for hosting statewide tournaments and exhibition matches in football, soccer, and lacrosse, given its central position in Montana.

Beyond athletics, the enhancement will open up new opportunities for Carroll and the broader Helena community. The capacity of Nelson Stadium to host events will substantially increase, catering to not only sports and tournaments but also significant gatherings such as concerts and exhibitions. These additions promise a direct positive impact on local businesses.

“Nelson Stadium is a significant asset for Carroll and Helena and frankly it sits idle the vast majority of the time. Presently, it is used for five Carroll home football games, home soccer matches, Helena and Capital High School graduation ceremonies, and a few other activities,” said Cech. “However, this initiative will greatly increase the frequency with which this wonderful facility is utilized."

An economic impact study of the project conducted by Circle Analytics determined that over five years, Nelson Stadium would have a total economic impact of $22.77 million in Lewis & Clark County. The construction project itself represents a $3.9 million dollar impact in the county and $18.9 million will be generated by the approximately 160,000 attendees of various athletic and community events held in Nelson Stadium over the next five years.

With the improvements, Nelson Stadium will not only be better able to accommodate local events and competitions, but it is anticipated that it will create significant opportunities to host new events in Helena with those events bringing in an estimated $7.16 million in new economic impact to the county over five years.

“This significant investment into Nelson Stadium is taking Carroll to a new level and we are taking Helena with us!” said Cech. “We recognize that this will not only substantially elevate the student-athlete experience at Carroll but it is also an enhancement that will greatly benefit our students, alumni, fans, and community partners.”

The project is slated to begin when the weather allows in the spring of 2024 with an anticipated completion date of August 2024 in time for Carroll’s first home football game. Fundraising for the Nelson Stadium Enhancement Project is currently underway with a projected fundraising goal of $5,000,000. Carroll College invites the community to be part of this exciting new chapter for both the college and the Helena community. Dr. John Michelotti ’90 from Helena and Tom Downey ‘75 from Butte are co-chairing the fundraising effort along with a robust steering committee.

For more details or to contribute to the Nelson Stadium Enhancement Project, please contact Chris Aimone, Vice President for Institutional Advancement,, (406) 447-4445 or Charlie Gross, Director of Athletics,, (406) 447-5480.

To learn more about the Nelson Stadium Enhancement Project, please visit To contribute to the project, please visit the Nelson Stadium Enhancement Fund.

Press Contact:

Sarah Lawlor
Carroll College

Economic Impact of the Nelson Stadium Enhancement Project
Economic Impact of the Nelson Stadium Enhancement Project