University of South Florida chooses site for new stadium

The University of South Florida has selected a site to build a new stadium for its American football team and has received a $5m (£3.8m/€4.5m) donation towards the project.

The Sycamore Fields site on the east side of the Tampa campus has been chosen from five possible locations that were being explored. The USF Board of Trustees will now carry out further studies on the site.

The location is currently used for intramural sports and is located within the USF Athletics district. The site is near the district’s operations facility and a new indoor performance facility, close to student housing and parking.

USF’s American football team, the Bulls, currently plays at Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A new stadium would cost between $250m and $400m.

The stadium project schedule includes options for completion in 2026 or 2027. USF has not disclosed details of the potential capacity of any new stadium.

USF president Rhea Law said: “The impact of the University of South Florida’s on-campus stadium will be transformational in ways that extend well beyond football. Choosing a location with strong connectivity to other important areas on campus supports our vision for a project that helps drive the overall university experience.

“Our recommended site will give students, faculty, staff, alumni and the surrounding communities a place to come together, develop stronger relationships and build memories across generations.”

Michael Kelly, vice-president of athletics at USF, added: “Sycamore Fields is not only the stadium location that presents the most advantages, but it is without doubt the most historically fitting.

“Our football programme was literally born on those fields a quarter century ago, and they served as our primary practice and development area for over a decade as USF football rose to national prominence at an unprecedented pace.

“To have the stadium reside in an area that possesses that history and is also within our current athletics footprint, adjacent to many other athletic facilities and parking, is a tremendous opportunity to build on our tradition in a very smart way.”

USF Foundation chief executive Jay Stroman has announced a $5m gift for the stadium project from Frank and Carol Morsani, long-time supporters of the university. The Bulls currently train at the Frank Morsani Football Practice Complex, which opened in 2011.

Image: University of South Florida