TAMPA, FL. – Since the beginning of last football season, there has been much discussion at the University of South Florida about an on-campus football stadium.
On Tuesday, a significant layer in the process was peeled away when the university announced a site was recommended to the USF Board of Trustees by co-chairs of the stadium planning committee, athletic director Michael Kelly and USF Foundation CEO Jay Stroman.
Of five potential locations, the one that was recommended to the university’s board of trustees was the Sycamore Fields, adjacent to the football practice fields and used for intramural athletics.
The committee will report back to the board at a later date for approval.
“The impact of the University of South Florida’s on-campus stadium will be transformational in ways that extend well beyond football,” said Rhea Law, USF’s interim president, in a statement. “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.”
The other four potential stadium sites were the southwest corner of campus near Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Fowler Avenue, intramural fields near Juniper-Poplar residence hall, Museum of Science and Industry on Fowler Avenue, and Fowler Fields, which are next to the Patel Center for Global Solutions.
Kelly said during a press conference in January that his desire was to have the stadium ready to go for the 2027 season opener against Miami.
“That would be a pretty cool opening day for the stadium,” said Kelly. “In my mind, that’s what I am thinking. If they get it done faster, my bosses will be happier. If it takes a little longer, that’s understandable.”
Momentum for an on-campus venue picked up some serious steam in September. During a groundbreaking ceremony for the new indoor practice facility, which is expected to be ready in August, board chairperson Will Weatherford emphasized the university was ready for such a project to go forward.
“The great enthusiasm for this (indoor facility) project has shown us that the time is right for an even greater commitment at USF athletics,” the former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives said that afternoon. “Frankly, this community, the students, and the athletes deserve a stadium on their campus. We can do it and we are going to do it.”
The university came one step closer to achieving that reality Tuesday when it was also announced that longtime USF supporters, Frank and Carol Morsani, gave $5 million toward the stadium. The football practice complex, which opened in 2011, is named after the couple.