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Master plan for Daylis Stadium in Billings balances academics, athletics and safety

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Posted at 4:36 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 19:55:35-04

BILLINGS - Daylis Stadium has long been the home for many high school sports Billings.

It's had some major makeovers, with new turf and lighting in recent years.

Now, Billings School District 2 is looking to build a new stadium with the hope it could also become a venue for concerts and other events.

Plans are in the works for a new Daylis Stadium and improvements that would help Senior High School.

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Courtesy: A & E Architects and Billings Public Schools

The school district says this master plan, which is still in its early stages, will be better for both fans and athletes.

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KTVQ photo

"Felt like 6,000 seats might be enough," said Mark Wahl, director of athletics and activities for Billings School District 2. "But then again the comment was, well how many did you have for the Senior-Skyview crosstown championship football game? Well, there were probably 7,500 people here. And we didn't have seats enough for them."

Wahl says that title game in 2003 partly led to the proposing a capacity of 7,500 for a new Daylis.

That increased capacity could lead to concerts and also serve as a home track for MSUB and Rocky.

Those major changes come as the school district has determined that Daylis needs to be replaced.

"I spent 85% of my time over here in the fall just trying to keep it going for football games," Wahl said. "And then we have a custodian that comes over and helps. But we're making it work. Whatever the case, we're going to do the best we can."

A new stadium would be shifted slightly to the south toward Grand Avenue and west towards Senior High School.

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KTVQ photo

"All the support amenities that make for a great visitor experience as they're watching a football game on a Friday night and then from the players, West, Senior and Skyview all having home locker rooms at this facility," said Dusty Eaton, CEO of A&E Architects. "So they've got their own space to call theirs because this is really their home."

Eaton and his firm have drawn up the master plan that would potentially replace Daylis Stadium.

He says it maintains the tradition of Daylis, while adding new home and away locker rooms, making the field better for soccer, as well as having a 10-lane track to potentially host state track meets and serve as a home track for Rocky and MSUB.

"It has a rich history. It has one that we want to make sure continues," said Eaton.

The master plan has also been made with improvements for Senior and includes a drive-through or walk-through along with a parking garage.

"An important balance between academics, athletics, and student safety," Eaton said.

"We're not looking for a Taj Mahal," Wahl said. "We're just looking for a nice stadium."

Click here to see the full master plan.