In February of 1961, at a meeting between the officials from the North Dakota National Guard and Bismarck Junior College (BJC), members discussed the idea of a “practice” football field. The concept was to carve the field into the natural bowl that existed on BJC land. The field was created by the National Guard after 500 man hours. Long-term plans for the site were rolling.
Three decades later construction of the modern-day Bismarck Community Bowl began. The site was further constructed to fulfill the original intent, which was to serve the community as a multi-use, outdoor sports venue, as well as an outdoor gathering space for large special events. The redevelopment of the Bowl included a state-of-the-art track and field to accommodate high school and college events. Construction was geared not only to the athletes and event participants, but also to the comfort of spectators. Parking, permanent stadium seating, restrooms and concessions were added.
Redevelopment was completed in the fall of 1997. A grand opening event dubbed “Play the Bowl” was hosted for local high schools and colleges and public tours were directed.
Bismarck Community Bowl construction was financed through public agency commitments, private contributions, and the use of existing city sales tax through the Community Betterment Package. The following is a breakdown of the 1996 campaign.
- Public Agency Contributions $800,000
- Bismarck Public Schools $700,000
- Bismarck Parks and Rec District $100,000
- Private Contributions $1,023,970
- Community Betterment Package #1 $2,300,000
- Development Funds Grand Total $4,123,970