USF Stadium

Capacity35 000
Country United States of America
ClubsSouth Florida Bulls
CategoryDesign awaiting implementation
Cost$340 M
Design Populous


USF Stadium – design description

When were the first plans to build USF Stadium conceived?

In 2016, the University of South Florida (USF) began work on a feasibility study to build a new stadium to serve the university, specifically the South Florida Bulls football. The preliminary report was made public on August 8, 2017, and with it also the first renderings showing the possible appearance of the future stadium.

Where are the South Florida Bulls performing so far?

The South Florida Bulls football team, representing USF, was founded in 1997. The team initially played at Tampa Stadium, and since 1998 has played at Raymond James Stadium, which was built to replace the old stadium. The more than 65,000-seat facility that the Bulls share with the NFL team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, exceeds the needs of a college team.

What were the initial ideas for the USF Stadium?

USF's intention is to build a new stadium on the university's main campus, which is located in north Tampa. The feasibility study, published in 2017, considered four potential locations on that campus, two in its southwestern part and two in its southeastern part. According to initial renderings, the facility was to have an oval shape.

The stadium's initial capacity was expected to be 40,000 spectators, with the possibility of expanding to 50,000, and the initial estimated cost of construction was $200 million. The USF has been investing in its own sports facilities for years, but the construction of a new, large stadium is by far the largest undertaking in this regard to date.

How have plans for the construction of USF Stadium evolved?

The subject of building a new stadium came back to life in 2021. In September of that year, USF board chairman Will Weatherford declared the university's intention to build the facility. In late 2021, a Campus Stadium Planning Committee was formed. One more location, on the eastern part of the campus, was added to the four previously considered.

On March 8, 2022, the USF board of trustees recommended this new location as the preferred site for the new stadium. The facility would be built on Sycamore Fields, in the eastern part of the campus, where the university's other sports facilities, including USF Track & Field Stadium, are also located.

On September 6, 2022, the stadium planning committee recommended companies to handle the design and construction of the stadium, these were Populous and Barton Malow, respectively. In March 2023, USF's board of directors allocated $22 million to complete the project.

In June 2023, a financial plan was adopted, assuming an investment cost of $340 million, of which $200 million was to come from a loan and the rest from own funds, including donations projected at $50 million. Meanwhile, plans for the stadium were also clarifying, with a capacity set at 35,000 spectators and an opening date of 2026 or 2027.

On December 1, 2023, the USF announced that it had changed project delivery method to Construction Manager at Risk, and as a result, the search for a contractor began again (although Barton Malow had already been tentatively appointed for this role).

When were new renderings of USF Stadium shown?

On December 5, 2023, new renderings of the future stadium, developed in cooperation with Populous, were presented. The concept is based on several years of preparation and may still evolve.

In addition to the release of new details about the stadium, it was also announced that $43 million in donations for the construction have already been raised so far (out of a planned $50 million), and that USF Federal Credit Union will become the sponsor of the main walkway leading to the stadium (it will be named USF Federal Credit Union Champions Way).

When will the USF Stadium be built?

In the initial planning phase, it was assumed that the stadium could be ready in 2026 or 2027, but in the end 2026 was considered too tight and the adopted timetable calls for the stadium to begin construction in the fall of 2024 and to open three years later, in the fall of 2027.

What does the USF Stadium concept entail?

The new University of South Florida stadium is to be built on the east side of the university's main campus, in place of Sycamore Fields. The facility will have a soccer-specific profile, and its stands will hold 35,000 spectators (with the possibility of future expansion). Interestingly, contrary to prevailing trends, it was decided that the best solution would be to orient the field on an east-west axis.

The auditorium will tightly surround the pitch on all sides, although each of the stands will have a unique shape, and the facility will be given a consistent, albeit irregular, form. The stands will be uncovered, and the main stand, with a large pavilion with boxes towering over the rest of the auditorium, will be located to the south.

The stand behind the west endzone will be dedicated to students, and will be topped by the distinctive horns familiar from the Bulls logo. A large-size video screen will stand to the east. A large tailgating space will be created behind the north stand.

A Center for Athletic Excellence is also to be built next to the stadium. It will include a covered football field and a medical area, in addition to locker rooms, training and rehabilitation facilities, a gym as well as offices for coaches. Thanks to the donation, the complex will be called Tampa General Hospital Center for Athletic Excellence. It is scheduled for completion in August 2026.

What role will USF Stadium play?

Plans for the stadium are being developed primarily with the South Florida Bulls football, which represents the USF, in mind. The Bulls play in the American Athletic Conference, within the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Since the Bulls will only play six or seven home games per season, the facility is also expected to be used for other purposes. The women's lacrosse team will also play there, and it is also to be used by the university, such as for various activities and events, like graduation ceremonies. The stadium is expected to host various sports and cultural activities. It is also intended to raise the prestige and attractiveness of the university itself.



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