Join Helena Regional Sports Association at Bert & Ernie’s for Greater Helena Gives May 3rd!

Give Where You Live

Join Helena Regional Sports Association Board Members upstairs at Bert & Ernie’s to kick off Greater Helena Gives on May 3 @ 6pm!

Bert & Ernie’s Toby DeWolf agreed to give a portion of pizza sales to HRSA! We’ll buy the first pizza!

Can you imagine Helena with a brand-new indoor sports center? Full of kids playing soccer? Basketball?
Seniors playing pickleball? Swimmers? People of all ages, all abilities playing together? Happy? Healthy?

Helena Regional Sports Association can! With your help we can make this vision a reality.

Thank you for your support of our mission to make Helena a more livable community!

P.S. If you can’t give on May 3–4, please mail a check and give to us today!

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New Facility Could Have Significant Economic Impacts

The potential economic benefits of a multi-sport complex in Helena, Montana have been estimated by Highland Economics. These benefits may include:

  • Attracting and retaining residents and businesses by improving amenities and quality of life in the area,
  • Improving health outcomes and saving users money on health care costs, and
  • Increasing tourism in the Helena area and thus increasing spending by attracting out-of-town visitors for athletic tournaments.

Among the study’s most significant findings are that:

  • Lewis and Clark County lacks the sports facilities common in other large Montana cities, which presents an opportunity for a new sports complex to improve the area’s quality of life relative to its peers.
  • For every 30 households that the new sports facility helps attract and retain in the local area (representing approximately two to five percent of the projected annual membership), their household spending alone could expand the local economy by approximately 15 jobs and over $572,000 per year in labor income. Additional benefits from attraction/retention of households would likely be felt from additional skilled labor in the regional labor force, and potentially direct job creation if entrepreneurs were among those attracted/retained in the area.
  • Visitor spending during sports tournaments has the potential to bring in $1.36 million per year to the Helena area, which would support approximately 20 jobs and $487,000 in income annually for local workers. This level of labor income exceeds the annual budget shortfall for the proposed facility identified in the facility feasibility study of roughly $103,000 to $335,000 (Ballard King & Associates Ltd, 2017). Thus, at the community level, community financial support for the facility to make up for operating losses would likely be more than recouped in total increased community income.
  • If the facility encourages physical activity by individuals who are currently physically inactive, then the facility could provide such users up to $1,500 per year in health care savings, and can potentially save local employers over $600 per employee per year (in increased productivity and reduced absenteeism) for such employees that use the facility.
  • Retirees, whose income is frequently independent of local labor markets, tend to use quality of life when making decisions about whether to stay in or relocate to communities. For every 30 retiree households that chose to relocate to the Helena area, household spending could expand the local economy by over 12 jobs and $504,000 per year in labor income.

The Helena Regional Sports Association encourages area business owners and other residents to review the full study to see how a new sports facility might positively affect the entire community.

Helena Overwhelmingly Supports a Facility that Includes a Fieldhouse

Thank you Helena area residents for supporting the Helena Regional Sports Association at the Lewis & Clark Brewing’s Ales for Charity night!  Not only did  you turn out on a sub-zero night in February to share your thoughts on our facility options, but you helped us to raise over $2,000 toward making our vision a reality.

A summary of the responses we received, both online via our website and at the Ales for Charity event, are shown below.

Online Survey Draws Nearly 900 Responses

During the month of June 2016, an online survey was made available to Helena-area households to provide input on sports & recreation facility needs.  The survey received nearly 900 responses, thanks in part to the Helena Chamber of Commerce and Helena Youth Soccer Association reaching out to their membership to encourage them to complete the survey.

All Helena-area residents are invited to review the survey results, which are published with the economic & demographic analysis of the Helena area and input from community & business leaders and sports enthusiasts.

Sports Groups, Community and Business Leaders Give Input

Sports enthusiasts, community and business leaders participated in a two full days of interviews in May 2016.  Representatives from Ballard*King conducted the interviews on behalf of the Helena Regional Sports Association to assess the sports facility needs of the Helena region.  The interviews followed after Ballard*King’s economic and demographic analysis of the region found that the Helena region is large and prosperous enough to  support a sports facility.  All Helena-area residents are invited to review the findings of the economic & demographic analysis and summaries of the community interview and online survey.


The Helena region is large enough to support a significant indoor recreation facility, and the population is projected to continue to grow over the next five years. The region has a reasonably high median household income level and there is expected to be growth in the youth age categories in the future. These factors will contribute to higher rates of participation in most recreation activities.
There are no true public indoor pools in the market area and no indoor pool that is able to support competitive swimming. No comprehensive indoor recreation center exists to serve Helena-area residents, and availability is limited for the use of school gyms for community based sports organizations.


The population of the City of Helena alone is not sufficient to support a significant indoor recreation facility. Such a facility must draw support from the entire region in order to perform well financially.
There are a considerable number of private health clubs in the Helena area already providing indoor recreation facilities; a new facility will need to provide facilities that do not already exist.

Local sports enthusiasts discuss facility needs

Helena Regional Sports Association hosted a meeting of local sports groups to gather input on facility needs on October 19, 2015 at the Lewis & Clark Library in downtown Helena.

Nearly 50 people from diverse sports and recreation organizations attended a listening session hosted by the Helena Regional Sports association.  Attendees included advocates for volleyball, soccer and swimming, as well as ballroom dancing, pickle ball and roller derby.  HRSA board members listened to the Helena sports community as they detailed the types of spaces most needed in Helena, and the types of tournaments and events that could be hosted here if facilities were available.  With this initial input, the vision for a multi-sport complex begins to take shape!