BOZEMAN — Montana State raised more than enough money for the first phase of its planned renovation of Bobcat Stadium in just over a month, and it wants to use that momentum — and this weekend's Cat-Griz game — to try to bring in the money needed for the second phase.
Because the fundraising has been so successful, MSU officials asked the state Board of Regents Thursday for permission to make up to $10 million in improvements to Bobcat Stadium.
MSU officials told the Board of Regents that it has more than $5 million in private donations. The university has said it would match the first $4 million and it also asked the regents for permission to borrow that money, to be repaid with revenue from athletic events.
Michael Stevenson, interim president and CEO of the MSU Foundation, says Gene and Jane Thayer of Great Falls doubled their $500,000 gift to the EZ (end zone) Campaign and challenged other backers to double their gifts, as well.
The first, $8 million phase of the renovation will replace grandstand seating in the south end zone, add 2,500 seats along with new locker rooms, public restrooms, concession facilities and a new scoreboard.
Another 2,700 seats would be added in the second phase, expected to cost $2 million.
MSU set up another way for supporters to donate to the EZ Campaign. Fans with cell phones can text the word "Cats" to 20222, and a one-time donation of $10 to the stadium campaign will be added to their phone bill.
MSU football coach Rob Ash is offering to match text donations that come in through the end of Saturday's Cat-Griz game with money from the Coach's Excellence Fund.