USF seeks designers for on-campus football stadium

Plans are moving forward for a football stadium on the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus. But the university’s board of trustees learned last week that the project still had no price or plans.

USF officials have confirmed two facts about the new stadium: the search for a design and construction team is underway and the stadium will accommodate 35,000 enthusiastic Bulls fans.

With the stadium’s completion, the USF football team will move out of Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where it has played since 1998.

The university recently received the go-ahead for the project’s initial traffic and parking assessment. Officials have promised that the recommended site on the east side of campus, named Sycamore Fields, can accommodate future growth for years to come.

USF vice president and athletic director Michael Kelly said the stadium should serve more than just the football team.

“We want to find ways to activate this facility well beyond six or seven football games, beyond maybe 10 or 15 lacrosse games, but to be able to use it on a daily basis,” he said. -he declares. “It’s not only great for the university’s mission, but also for being great community partners. So finding ways to maximize student and staff contribution to opportunities is certainly something we know is possible.

Kelly added that building a stadium near most student dormitories was a priority in site selection.

“We believe this creates the most opportunities to create a very special game day experience and a sense of belonging,” he said.

USF Athletics / Beck Group

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An illustration — not an actual rendering — of a proposed football stadium on USF Tampa’s campus was used for discussion purposes at a Dec. 7, 2021, board meeting.

While officials did not discuss the price of the stadium during the meeting, Kelly told the administrators last year that new stadiums can cost between $250 million and $400 million.

Board chairman Will Weatherford said he was looking forward to getting closer to fixing a price tag for the stadium.

“It’s exciting to talk about building a stadium, but you have to know what it’s going to cost and what you’re going to get for that cost,” Weatherford said. “That’s the next step.”

The university will issue an “invitation to negotiate” next month to select the design and construction team. Then USF will return to the Florida Board of Directors and Board of Governors to approve the project.

The university plans to complete the stadium in 2026.

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