The Montana State School of Mines attempted to build an activity field in 1920 but was unsuccessful due to lack of funding. In 1931, the Silver Bow County Emergency Relief Association took on the task of creating the field, with the assistance of unemployed miners. It was the beginning of the Great Depression, and the men were paid with bags of beans. The field was referred to as the “Bean Bowl” for years to come.
Leonard Field was officially named in 1933 after Nathan Leonard, the university’s first president. The first football game was held on October 15, 1933, against the Dillon Normal College Bulldogs. At the beginning of games, the football team ran onto the field from an opening in the western wall, from a tunnel connected to the Gymnasium building, now Science & Engineering Hall. In addition to being used for football, the field also served as a baseball field, a running track, tennis courts, and was flooded with water in the winter to make an outdoor skating rink.
In the 1970s the western wall of the field was mortared for safety purposes by the Public Service Employees Program. Today the field is used for various activities, including by the local hurling club.