First details of USF football stadium on campus could be released

TAMPA — Say this for the USF administration: She knows how to read a play.

At the de facto food gathering called USF Kickoff Luncheon on Wednesday, new president Rhea Law, athletic director Michael Kelly and third-year football coach Jeff Scott confirmed to a very receptive crowd their plans to have a football stadium built. on the campus. weather for the 2026 season.

“We do it for our Bulls, we do it for our community, we do it for USF,” Law said to a ballroom full of boosters at Armature Works on the Hillsborough River waterfront.

The difference in Wednesday’s post: Some details about the project may finally be out.

Kelly said one of three design/build companies that have submitted proposals to build the stadium will be recommended to the schools’ board at its regular September 6 meeting. A special board meeting scheduled for Friday is not expected to include anything. stage -in relation.

During that Sept. 6 recommendation, Kelly said some long-awaited cost details — at least in terms of the stadium design — will be revealed.

Funding details “would probably be down the road for the whole project,” Kelly said, “but we would have a good idea of ​​that, and what we would be asking for help with would be the amount that we know we would. would need to spend on a design aspect.

“It’s still a major commitment, so we’ll negotiate and work out what it is with the recommended vendor, so at this point we’ll know what will be spent over the next 12-16 months.”

Kelly’s update coincided with the school announcing a banner year for the fundraising arm of the athletic department. The USF Bulls Club raised $22 million for the 2021-22 fiscal year, with $1.2 million in unrestricted donations to the club’s annual fund, according to a school press release.

The total represents an increase of nearly $15.7 million in funds raised over the previous year. The club closed 16 donations of $50,000 or more during the fiscal year (a 23% increase), welcomed 25 new Iron Bulls (donors of $10,000 or more annually) and secured eight gifts to seven figures to the department, three of which were gifts. $5 million or more.

Last spring, the Bulls identified a site just north of the current training grounds as the location for a 35,000-seat stadium. On Wednesday, Kelly told the audience — which included the entire 2022 Bulls football team and coaching staff — that when complete, USF will have one of the best hallways of athletic facilities in the country.

“I’m not just saying this in hyperbole,” Kelly said.

“When you think that we will have a brand new stadium, a very big arena (Yuengling Center) that we already have, and all of our sports venues are about 300 meters from each other, nobody has the ability to s rely on a relatively new campus to be able to do this.

The stadium would be almost adjacent to the sprawling new indoor training facility, which the football team hopes to be able to use at some point early this season. In fact, Law, chosen as the school’s eighth president in March, told the audience on Wednesday that her inauguration would take place in the indoor training facility.

Contact Joey Knight at [email protected]. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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