The University of South Florida is closer to making a pivotal addition for its football program.
USF’s Board of Trustees approved a financing plan for a new on-campus stadium on Tuesday, the school announced in a press release. This investment into the Bulls’ football program could help them be more competitive in the American Athletic Conference, as they haven’t enjoyed a winning season since 2018 and have won eight total games since then.
“There is incredible commitment and alignment from our university leadership to bringing a high-quality stadium to our campus,” USF athletic director Michael Kelly said in a press release. “The approval by the Board of Trustees should instill great confidence from the USF community that we are going to build a ‘home’ that we can call our own, will attract the best and brightest and will continue the tremendous elevation of our athletics programs and entire university.”
What’s the Capacity of USF’s New Stadium?
The University of South Florida’s new stadium is expected to include about 35,000 seats. It wouldn’t be nearly as large as the program’s current venue, but it would be USF’s own stadium which would obviously come with its own benefits.
How Much Will USF’s New Stadium Cost?
South Florida is estimating its new venue for football will cost $340 million.
The university will repay a $200 million debt from USF Athletics income sources like operating revenues from the stadium. On top of six or seven home football games per year, the venue could potentially host university and private events as well as concerts, festivals, and other sporting events.
The other $140 million is expected to come from other sources like $50 million from cash advances on future capital gifts, $31 million from the Capital Improvement Trust Fund, $34 million from auxiliary funds and proceeds from a 2017 FCC auction, and $25-40 million from contingent cash contribution from the sale of educational broadband service licenses.
When Is USF’s New Stadium Expected To Open?
South Florida scheduled its new stadium to open by the fall of 2026, assuming other steps in the process occur on time.
USF is still in the design phase for the venue as officials are receiving input from a variety of stakeholders and supporters.
Where Will USF’s New Stadium Be Built?
South Florida’s new football venue is expected to be built on the east side of the university’s Tampa campus on Sycamore Fields.
USF hopes this new site will provide “synergy” with the expansion of its athletics district. This location also means recreational fields and other small facilities like those for club and intramural sports will be relocated to other places on campus.
Where Does USF Play Now?
South Florida plays football at Raymond James Stadium and has done so since the arena was built in 1998. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL also play there, which obviously presents challenges logistically.