Committee recommends site for USF football stadium on campus

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The University of South Florida has taken a step closer to securing a stadium on campus as its development committee narrows the list of recommended building sites. to one.

The Sycamore Fields site on the east side of the Tampa campus was the one presented for further study during a presentation to the board of trustees on Tuesday. The 27-acre site is currently used for intramural sports.

“The stadium’s impact on the University of South Florida campus will be transformational in ways that will extend far beyond football,” said USF President Rhea Law. “Choosing a location with strong connectivity to other important areas of campus supports our vision for a project that helps energize the overall university experience. Our recommended site will provide students, faculty, staff, alumni, and surrounding communities with a place to come together, develop stronger relationships, and create memories across generations.

The committee listed 10 advantages for building at this location, by far the most of all the sites considered. Some of these included its proximity to the USF Athletic Village and student housing, numerous tailgating options, proximity to future development, and site topography allowing for setback land.

The only two drawbacks presented were that it is not a prominent location on campus and that the school will have to find a new location for the intramural fields.

A total of four other sites were considered, but were ultimately deemed unfeasible for a number of reasons.

The Bulls currently play at Raymond James Stadium, the same stadium as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Its capacity is 65,890. USF hasn’t averaged more than 40,000 fans per home game since 2012.

The school also announced a $5 million donation to the stadium project of Frank and Carol Morsani, who have contributed to both college and athletic projects in the past.

“We have loved watching Bulls football over the past 25 years and are delighted to be making the first donation to the stadium,” they said. “A stadium on campus elevates not only our athletic programs, but our entire university. We look forward to others joining us in making a financial commitment that will help make this project a reality.

First construction would begin in mid-2024, with possible completion dates in 2026 and 2027.

The committee will revert to the BOT at a later date once further studies have been conducted on a number of factors including traffic and land valuation.

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