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Design & Development

USF confirms groundbreaking date for stadium, UWF set for new facility

Featured image credit: University of South Florida

The University of South Florida (USF) has selected a construction manager and set a groundbreaking date for its new on-campus stadium, while the University of West Florida (UWF) has detailed plans for a new facility of its own.

Following a competitive bid process, USF has selected Manhattan Construction Company, H.J. Russell & Company and DuCon, LLC as the construction manager for its new stadium.

The team has worked extensively with college and professional stadiums throughout the US, as well as numerous facilities in the Tampa Bay region and the wider state of Florida. It has also worked with Populous, which is leading the design of USF’s new stadium.

USF’s new stadium is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2027 and it has now been confirmed that a groundbreaking ceremony for the project will be held during the university’s annual Homecoming Week celebration, scheduled for October 14-19.

USF has also released two new daytime renderings of the stadium, which follow the first set of renderings published in December. The USF’s board of trustees approved a financing plan for the facility back in June 2023.

The stadium will serve as the home of USF’s American football team, the Bulls, which currently play at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium. It had initially been hoped that the stadium would open by the autumn of 2026, but this has been pushed back by a year due to global supply chain issues.

Meanwhile, UWF president Martha D. Saunders has announced a gift of more than $9m (£7.2m/€8.5m) from Darrell and Debbie Gooden to break ground on the Darrell Gooden Stadium, which will replace the current Pen Air Field.

It represents the largest gift from a living donor in the history of the university and will help fund the construction of a new college football stadium. UWF is located in the city of Pensacola. Darrell Gooden is a Pensacola native and studied accounting at UWF.

He said: “Today is a fun and great time to be an Argo with the new football programme and now our very own stadium. It is an honour to have the new stadium and field named after me, and I also would like to thank all the numerous people that have worked so hard in getting football to this point. Again, I am very blessed today to be able to give this gift to the university to give back what they have given me.”

Gooden said the 7,500-seat stadium is likely to be ready for the 2028 college football season, with work set to begin in 2025.