The Bozeman Sports Park Foundation is asking the city to borrow $2 million for the nonprofit with the argument that, if that happens, Bozeman can compete as a destination for soccer and lacrosse tournaments.

The city commission will consider the request during its regular Monday night meeting.

“We would be doing the borrowing, but they’re willing to make the loan payments,” said Assistant City Manager Anna Rosenberry as she explained the nonprofit’s request.

In 2014, Bozeman bought 80 acres on the corner of Baxter Lane and Flanders Mill Road to create the Bozeman Sports Park, a public recreational and athletic complex.

The first phase of the fields are set to wrap up this year. More than $8.4 million of city Trails, Open Space and Parks bond money is slotted for the fields. At this point, the foundation has raised more than $335,000 in cash and $742,000 in pledges for the space.

Recently, the city awarded the bid to complete the first four grass fields at the northern end of the site. With $176,000 from the foundation, the fields will be sodded so players can use them by this fall, a year earlier than what would happen if the grounds were a product of seeds.

That would bring Bozeman up to eight grass sports fields citywide, including the four at Bronken Park. The foundation says that falls short of the 10 fields the city needs to host tournaments.

The $2 million in question would go toward building two turf fields. If all that falls in line, the nonprofit would pay the debt off over the next 20 years through user fees.

“There is a need for artificial turf fields so that our playing season can be extended in the spring and fall months and the fields can be used more intensely each day that they are needed,” according to the document.

The request comes on the heels of the city agreeing to pull an additional $927,000 from its trails and parks bond to help finish the first phase of the project when it fell over-budget. At that Jan. 22 meeting, commissioners said it was time for locals to step up and finish the park athletes and their families have advocated to build.

If commissioners throw their weight behind the request Monday, the city and foundation would start developing the agreement around how that would happen.

Katheryn Houghton can be reached at or at 406-582-2628. Follow her on Twitter @K_Hought.

Katheryn Houghton is the city government reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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