USF puts deadline on new campus stadium location

Officials at the University of South Florida will confirm a campus location for their planned new stadium during the first half of 2022.

The USF Board of Trustees discussed the relocation plan earlier this week as the school accelerates its switch away from Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which has been its ground since the late 1990s.

Michael Kelly, USF’s vice president of intercollegiate athletics, outlined five possible locations on the Tampa campus, which measures 1,500 acres. He also told trustees that a final funding plan for the stadium will be key to cementing a timeline on its expected completion.

It is hoped the new venue can be completed by the start of the 2026 football season.

According to WUSF News, Kelly said: “Finding things to be the best thing for the overall experience, for being close to student housing, being the right gameday experience and provide the right operational efficiencies on a daily basis for a facility that we want to use much more than obviously just six or seven times a year.”

The university has convened a stadium planning committee and contracted with a firm to refresh a market and feasibility study that the school commissioned about four years ago.

Trustees chair Will Weatherford said that building a stadium would represent an opportunity to make USF more enticing for students and to keep alumni connected to the school.

“The idea behind an on-campus stadium is bigger than football. Certainly, it will have an impact on our football program and what we’re building there,” Weatherford said. “But, in all truth, the stadium is about building an on-campus experience. It’s about the students. It’s about giving the alumni an added reason to come back and experience this campus once again with their kids and their grandkids.”

Image: University Of South Florida