A study has been released on a proposed new University of South Florida (USF) football stadium, marking the latest step in ongoing discussions about the facility.
USF currently plays at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, but has been exploring the potential construction of a new on-campus football stadium. The exploration process includes a market and financial feasibility study from Conventions, Sports & Leisure (CSL), which has been released by the university.
The study suggested that a seating capacity of 35,000 would be an ideal fit for a new USF football stadium. Planning for a new stadium, however, is going to require funding considerations, as USF will likely have to fill some gaps regardless of whether it attempts to build a venue comparable to the 41,000-seat Canvas Stadium–which opened for Colorado State last year–or a smaller facility. Time will tell how USF proceeds with new stadium discussions, but vice president of athletics Michael Kelly believes that the university can eventually address any funding concerns. More from The Tampa Bay Times:
But USF still faces an uphill financial climb if it wants a venue similar to Colorado State’s 41,000-seat Canvas Stadium, which cost upwards of $24o million and serves as the de facto template for USF’s facility.
The study estimated USF could generate roughly $30 million (in capital gift revenue from donor seating, and other fundraising), then fund roughly $100 million in debt. But that still leaves a funding gap of around $110 million.
In terms of athletic donor revenue, USF ranks second to last ($2.4 million annually) in the American Athletic Conference, the study indicates.
If USF wanted to go more modest, it could fully fund a 35,000-seat stadium comparable to FAU’s (estimated cost of $120 million), the study indicates. And it would face only a $20 million funding gap if it opted for something similar to Houston’s TDECU Stadium (estimated cost of $150 million)….
Kelly said he’s not deterred in any way by the pricetag of a Colorado State-style facility, and believes USF can build momentum toward a stadium — financial and otherwise — by first adding the football center. Of those surveyed, only 58 percent were aware of USF’s plans to build an indoor practice facility.
USF has also been discussing an indoor football center that would feature new training facilities. The university’s football program has played at Raymond James Stadium since that facility’s opening in 1998.
Renderings courtesy USF.
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