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Barton Malow, Populous set for USF stadium contract

The University of South Florida (USF) has recommended selecting the design/build team of Barton Malow and Populous to deliver an on-campus stadium.

USF vice-president of athletics, Michael Kelly, and USF Foundation CEO, Jay Stroman, the co-chairs of the stadium planning committee, informed the USF Board of Trustees yesterday (Tuesday) of the intent to award to Barton Malow and Populous following what was described as a competitive procurement process. The selection is still subject to board approval in the coming weeks.

“The University of South Florida’s plan to construct an on-campus stadium is taking a major step forward with the recommendation of a design/build team,” Kelly said in a statement.

“The selected partner will play a critical role in helping us develop a more complete understanding of the scope of the project, including many of the details and design features that we know Bulls fans eagerly anticipate.” 

The latest news comes after a new American football and lacrosse stadium was last week included in USF’s facilities masterplan, with a completion date of autumn 2026 having been set for the project.

Earlier this year, USF selected the Sycamore Fields site on the east side of the Tampa campus to build a new stadium for its American football team. The location is currently used for intramural sports and is located within the USF Athletics district.

USF’s American football team, the Bulls, currently plays at Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Barton Malow/Populous team has a wealth of experience in Florida, including prior work with USF. The firms have collaborated for more than 25 years on more than 40 sport venues across the country, such as Penn State’s Beaver Stadium, Orlando City Soccer Club’s Exploria Stadium, Gillette Stadium for the New England Patriots and Truist Park for the Atlanta Braves.

Additionally, both companies are currently partnering on Vanderbilt University’s circa $300m athletics master plan.

USF leaders will now work to finalise negotiations with the selected partner and aim to come back to trustees for approval in the next month.  From there, the design phase of the project will kick off and continue for approximately 18 months.

“We continue to make significant progress toward turning the vision for an on-campus stadium into a reality,” Stroman said.  “The important planning that we’re doing now is going to result in a transformational project that the University of South Florida community and the entire Tampa Bay region will benefit from for generations to come.”

A new stadium will reportedly cost between $250m (£218.5m/€251.6m) and $400m. Kelly yesterday said he had no fresh information on how USF intends to pay for the project, although he reiterated that donations will play a “big part.”

“We have to figure out what we want, how much does it cost, then we figure out and finalise the plan on how we get there…” Kelly said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “We will build the very best facility we can afford.”

Image: USF