When can USF open a football stadium on campus? How about 2027 against Miami?

TAMPA – While much remains undecided about USF’s plans for an on-campus football stadium, athletic director Michael Kelly has one thing in mind.

September 4, 2027. That’s when the Bulls need to host Miami and, if Kelly gets her way, a great target date to start the building.

“I think that would be a pretty cool opening day for the stadium …” Kelly said Wednesday at a high-profile press conference. “If I could do it faster, I think my bosses would be happier. If it takes a little longer, that’s understandable.

USF officials said at last month’s board meeting, 2026 is the earliest possible date for a stadium to open. An open date in the 2026-2028 lineup would also work well with the Bulls’ lease at Raymond James Stadium, which runs throughout Season 27.

Kelly didn’t have much to update on Wednesday, but discussed the next steps he’d like to accomplish by the summer: identify a location and figure out some financial details.

The Bulls are considering a handful of locations, including the corner of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Fowler Avenue, Intramural Fields, the Museum of Science and Industry, and Fowler Field. Cost estimates range from $ 250 million to $ 400 million. Kelly hopes to reduce that number and where the money will come from in the coming months.

Although progress is gradual, Kelly said the project remains a “north star” for the sports department and the university as a whole.

“It’s going to be a big part of the whole strategic plan, clearly,” Kelly said.

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