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UMW Announces Donation Pledge of Land from John and Phyllis Erb

January 30, 2019

The University of Montana Western is excited to announce the pledge to donate 14 acres of land by John and Phyllis Erb adjacent to the UMW campus for the creation of a new stadium. The Erb family, whose donations have been the catalysts for numerous community enhancement projects in the Dillon area, including the Jaycee Park Renovation, have generously pledged to donate the plot.

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The area extends from behind the Bulldog Athletics and Recreation Complex (BARC) to Highway 91, including the practice fields currently used by the Montana Western football team and the Montana Youth Challenge Academy.

“We are grateful to the Erb family for their vision, leadership, and continual support of the University of Montana Western. They have provided scholarships to numerous students over the years and have been instrumental in ensuring the health and welfare of our community,” said Chancellor Beth Weatherby.

For many years, a group of alumni and friends of Bulldog Athletics have been exploring ways to provide much needed upgrades to Vigilante Field or building a new stadium closer to the campus.

“I am so grateful to the Erb family for their generosity. Over the last year, I was trying to determine the best course of action for an upgraded or new football stadium, and the dream scenario in my mind was to be able to construct a stadium right behind the BARC. This generous pledge to donate is the biggest step in making that dream a reality,” said UMW Director of Athletics Bill Wilson.

The donation stipulates that UMW will raise $2 million in the next two years, approximately one-third of the estimated cost of building the stadium. State funding will not be used for this project. The new facility will be available to community teams, just as Vigilante Field has been.

“Community teams will have access to the facility, and it will also be a more competitive venue for submitting bids for other events that could be hosted here in Dillon. This will provide further opportunities to bring additional revenue to our local community,” said Montana Western Foundation Director, Roxanne Engellant.

Still in the early planning phase, a formal committee will be formed to provide campus and community members the opportunity to provide input as the project moves forward. Project updates will continue to be shared as they become available.

For more information, please contact Bill Wilson by email: [email protected], or call 406-683-7391.

If you would like to find out more about the fundraising efforts for the project, please contact Roxanne Engellant by email: [email protected], or call 406-683-7305. Donations are also accepted online by visiting