On September 8, the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) voted in favor of the financing plan for the University of South Florida’s (USF) new on-campus stadium, signaling state-level support for the transformational facility scheduled to open in fall 2026.
USF Board of Trustees Chair Will Weatherford and USF President Rhea Law presented the BOG with their vision for a 35,000-seat stadium by detailing how the project will positively impact the university community and broader Tampa Bay region as it hosts USF football and women’s lacrosse, as well as concerts and other events. The stadium will provide an opportunity to enhance campus culture, serve as a powerful recruiting tool and raise USF’s overall profile.
“Bulls Nation deserves to have a stadium on USF’s campus. Our time has come. Our 50,000 students, our alumni, faculty, staff and our greater community all deserve the benefits that come with a stadium on our campus,” Weatherford said. “The stadium will be a rallying point that brings people together and helps connect and inspire generations of Bulls fans far and wide.”
The proposal approved by the BOG is for a stadium estimated to cost approximately $340 million. The USF Financing Corp. will issue a debt of up to $200 million that the university will repay from several sources, including operating revenues from the stadium and other revenues generated by USF Athletics. USF has also identified the other funding sources on the project, including capital gifts ($50 million, of which nearly $40 million is already raised); the Capital Improvement Trust Fund ($31 million); contingent cash contribution from the sale of educational broadband service licenses ($25 million); administrative overhead from auxiliary expenditures ($15 million); auxiliary funds ($11.5 million); and proceeds from a 2017 Federal Communications Commission auction ($8 million).
“An on-campus stadium will lift the University of South Florida to new heights, creating a brighter future for our university, our students and the entire Tampa Bay region,” Law said. “We are grateful for the support of the Board of Governors as we move forward with our plans for a transformational stadium that will take our university to the next level.”
Approval from the BOG follows the September 7 announcement that USF received a $25 million gift from Tampa General Hospital to name the Center for Athletic Excellence, an operations facility that will be included as part of USF’s new on-campus stadium project and feature dedicated clinical space for TGH. The gift will also name the university’s athletics district.
The stadium will be built on the east side of the Tampa campus on a site known as Sycamore Fields, providing synergy with the ongoing expansion of the athletics district and in close proximity to residence halls and other student facilities.
For more information, visit www.usf.edu/stadium.