The next step in the on-campus stadium for the USF Bulls has happened. The figurative foundation proposed a design for $14.8 million. That means that we are one step closer to the Bulls leaving Raymond James Stadium. The proposed time for them to move is 2026. It means the next three seasons will take place at the same place as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is big for the university. The one question that fans have had for a long time is when where are they going to get an on-campus stadium. This will be great for everyone. The issue I have seen is that in the last five years, there has been low attendance in some cases when it comes to the student section. This will make it easier for the students to make the game and enjoy themselves. We all know that tailgating is huge.
The USF Bulls want a 35,00o seat stadium with five levels. The field, the main concourse, club level, suite level, and press level would all be included. USF will pay for this phase through non-public funds. That is a good thing up till this point. The deal calls for a 2.9% design-build fee beyond the cost of labor and materials. Once the construction begins USF will make monthly payments based on how much work was done in the previous month. The stadium deal will also include athletic training and a football and women’s lacrosse performance center. The Bulls are the only entity that can authorize the design phase. If for some reason the two-sided can’t come to an agreement USF can walk away. That is good because they still have Raymond James until they decide on the stadium.
The cost of the on-campus stadium is $22 million. That total was approved on March 7th. The rough timeline is 14-16 months of preconstruction and 20-24 months of construction. In the 2026 season, the Bulls are set to open the season against Florida International. That series is two games which means USF will travel to play FIU. For every game home game, the stadium is not available USF will receive two million in damages taken out of the design fee. The problem is the lease with Raymond James Stadium ended after the season. But athletic director Michael Kelly told the Tampa Bay Sports Authority that they will exercise an extension for another five years. They might end after two years with the new on-campus stadium in place. This is moving in the right direction.
I am happy that the on-campus stadium is going to happen. This is what the USF Bulls fans wanted. Those fans and the new ones need to show up. With Alex Golesh in place hopefully, he can get the program out of the dark days it is now. Seeing what happened at the spring game it looks like this team can win games. Winning games brings fans and that is what the USF Bulls need. Also, the Bulls, like in-state rival the UCF Knights, need to get into a power five conference. The AAC will be winnable this year with UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston all leaving for the Big 12. The on-campus stadium will help with this and let’s see what the 2023 USF Bulls season brings us.
Will the on-campus stadium change things and move forward for the USF Bulls? Leave a comment below.
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