This summer, the Mountaineer Bowl will get a major upgrade, thanks to the help of Paul and Katy Rady. On May 6, Western trustees announced that the Radys had pledged to donate remaining funds, up to an estimated project total of $15 million.
Western Colorado University intends to raise $2-3 million for the long-awaited renovation from other donors — and has already secured $1 million of that amount. The new complex will include two new buildings. The first is a 10,000 square foot media room which will include locker rooms and training rooms, a scorer box, broadcast booths, hospitality suites, a filming platform, restrooms and a concession area with a lobby. The second is a 20,000 square foot gateway that will house a new ticket office, two more locker rooms and training rooms, the officials’ locker room and restrooms.
The renovation will also include replacing the grass on the football pitch with artificial turf and installing new lighting and a new video scoreboard with a filming platform. The track will also be redone.
“The Mountaineer Bowl is a highly visible pillar of our campus and, in its current state, does not represent the level of excellence that we aim to achieve,” Acting President Nancy Chisholm said in the press release. “We hope to inspire our alumni, our community, our students and their families when they attend events at the resort. Now, with the generosity of Paul and Katy, we will have a facility that matches the unique and majestic view of Mountaineer Bowl.
According to Western’s website, the current incarnation of the stadium was completed in 1948 to replace an earlier facility south of the Paul Wright Gym. In the years that followed, the Mountaineers won 19 conference championships while using the complex as their home stadium.
At an elevation of 7,723 feet, the Mountaineer Bowl is the highest college football field in the world.
Paul Rady graduated from Western in 1978. The couple’s commitment to help renovate the Mountaineer Bowl follows a donation in recent years to establish the Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science and Engineering at Western, in partnership with the University of Colorado at Boulder.
“Understanding the important role athletics play on campus, Katy and I want to complement Western’s expanded academic program with a well-deserved enhancement to the athletic core,” said Paul Rady.
Mesa Properties, which also built the Rady School building, will open this summer. The renovated complex is expected to open in fall 2023.
(Jacob Spetzler can be reached at 970.641.1414 or [email protected])