Bobcats Host First Game After Stadium Expansion

first_img Email Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. BOZEMAN – When the Montana State football team runs out onto the turf of the newly renovated Bobcat Stadium on Saturday afternoon, they’ll be greeted by a sea of gold and what should be the largest home crowd in school history.The $10 million renovation included removing a grandstand in the south end zone and replacing it with concrete seating that bowls in the stadium and adds 5,200 seats. The stadium’s capacity is nearly 18,000.“It’s going to be fantastic,” said MSU coach Rob Ash. “The whole appearance of the stadium has changed with the end zone being completely bowled in” along with a brand new scoreboard on the other end.A new video scoreboard was added on the north side of the stadium.The sixth-ranked Bobcats host UC Davis in their “Gold Rush” game for which fans are asked to wear gold shirts.“It’s going to be a privilege to play in an environment like that,” wide receiver Tanner Bleskin told The Billings Gazette. “I get excited just looking at it. So to think about what it’s going to be like … it’ll be pretty amazing.”Ash just wants to make sure the team can focus on the game and not the surrounding hype, which will include live music, skydivers and pregame fireworks.“It won’t be like the comfortable confines we’re used to,” Ash said. “It’ll be a much different feeling. I just hope our guys can stay focused on the game and not get too caught up in the atmosphere.”Both MSU and UC Davis are coming off losses to Pac-12 teams. Montana State fell 27-10 at Utah State while Arizona State beat UC Davis 48-14.Ash said he watched the Arizona State-UC Davis game and felt the Aggies were competing well.“They’re physical, strong, very well coached, very solid in their schemes on both sides of the ball,” he said.The only other time the two teams met, UC Davis beat Montana State 45-0 in 2006, making it MSU’s worst nonconference home loss in Bobcat Stadium history.The Aggies are joining the Big Sky Conference next season.“You’ve got a team here that’s going to be a conference colleague and I’m sure both teams would like to establish a little bragging rights before we start playing for real next year,” Ash said.Across the state in Missoula, No. 15 Montana is hosting Cal Poly, another team that will be a part of the expanded Big Sky next season.Both games kick off at 1 p.m.last_img read more