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The cost of a USF on-campus football stadium is estimated at $340 million

illustration of football stadium surrounded by university buildings
University of South Florida
An illustration of a proposed football stadium on the USF Tampa campus that was used for discussion purposes during a 2021 Board of Trustees meeting. Renderings of the proposed stadium are expected sometime after trustees sign off on an estimated price tag and funding.

A proposal a USF Board of Trustees committee is set to take up estimates a 35,000-seat football stadium on the Tampa campus would cost $340 million to build.

There's finally a proposed price for the University of South Florida on-campus stadium.

According to an agenda for the Board of Trustees finance committee meeting set for next week, the total cost would be $340 million.

That would cover the design, construction, equipment, and furnishings for an approximately 35,000-seat, five-level stadium located near the northeast side of the Tampa campus. The stadium would be home to the USF football and women's lacrosse team.

The agenda shows $200 million will be debt taken on by USF over 20 years at a projected fixed interest rate of 5.5%. That debt will be secured by a lien on stadium operating revenues (ticket sales, concessions, parking, merchandising) and non-stadium athletic revenues.

The other $140 million will come from the university:

  • $50 million from the USF Foundation;
  • $31 million from the university's capital improvement trust fund;
  • $34 million from auxiliary funds and proceeds from the 2017 FCC auction of WUSF TV's broadband signal;
  • $25 million from the sale of broadband licenses later this year.

USF holds the licenses of WUSF Public Media.
Other stadium features included in the plan are 10,000 student seats, 1,200 club seats, 40 loge boxes and 24 luxury suites, and a party patio and field level club of up to 800 members.

The consulting group Conventions, Sports & Leisure International put together a detailed, almost 70-page study comparing the proposed stadium and possible amenities to those at other universities nationwide, including the University of Central Florida, Notre Dame, Minnesota, and Baylor.

The design phase started in October of last year, and construction is expected to start this October. The design-build team of Barton Marlow and Populous is contracted to receive up to $22 million for the design phase.

Barton Marlow is expected to present a final maximum price sometime in 2024. The hope is that the stadium will be ready in time for the 2026 football season.

The finance committee will review the plan Tuesday. If it signs off on it, the full USF board is expected to vote on it at its June 13 meeting.

One other concern the board has to address is the relocation of several student recreational facilities, including the Sycamore field complex (four field grass complex, two softball fields, and a 1.3-mile fitness trail).

Those facilities are used by intramural sports teams, clubs, the Herd of Thunder Marching Band, and the USF ROTC.

The current proposal would see those facilities temporarily moved to a vacant USF Research Park location, as well as an annex building and parking lots for Shriners Hospital for 7-10 years while a more formal project is developed.

The relocation is estimated to take about one year with an overall cost of a maximum of $18 million.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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