The on-campus stadium would be built on Sycamore Fields, a 27-acre property in the Athletics District located adjacent to the new indoor training facility.
Courtesy of USF Athletics
By Max Steel
The University of South Florida (BOT) Board of Trustees selected Sycamore Fields in Tampa as the preferred location for an on-campus football stadium during Tuesday’s meeting.
Frank and Carol Morsani, longtime USF supporters and key figures in the formation of the university’s football team in the 1990s, donated $5 million to support the initiative.
“We have loved watching Bulls football over the past 25 years and are delighted to be making the first donation to the stadium,” the Morsanis said, according to a report. Press release. “A stadium on campus elevates not only our athletic programs, but our entire university.”
Sycamore Fields, the runner-up among five possible sites, is located in the Athletics District on the northeast side of the Tampa campus and is currently used for intramural sports. The 27-acre site also resides adjacent to where a new indoor practice facility is being built.
The idea of building a home stadium for the Bulls – since the team has played home games at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium since 1998 – was originally proposed by BOT President Will Weatherford in September of last year.
“These student-athletes, our 50,000 students, alumni, faculty and administration deserve a stadium on this campus,” Weatherford said, according to a Press release. “Our time has come. The sports program is ready for this challenge.
Kelly thinks Sycamore Fields is the perfect location for a stadium because of its rich history, as the fields served as the practice ground for USF’s first football team in 1997.
“It’s definitely the most historically appropriate,” Kelly said. “Our football team was literally born on these grounds a quarter of a century ago. [This project] is a great opportunity to continue our tradition in a very smart way.
USF Acting President Rhea’s Law also supports the plan and is committed to advancing the project towards its annual goals.
“The stadium’s impact on the USF campus will be transformational in ways that will extend far beyond football,” Law said. “[It will be] a place to come together, develop stronger relationships and create memories across generations.
The project will be further discussed and analyzed within the BOT at a later date in June, including options for project completion in 2026 or 2027.