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Saturday, May 18, 2024

University of South Florida Gets Approval for $340M Football Stadium

  • The University of South Florida plans to borrow $200 million to build an on-campus stadium for its football and women’s lacrosse teams.
  • At 35,000 seats, the proposed stadium would be significantly smaller than USF football’s current Raymond James Stadium home.
USF plans to borrow $200 million to build an on-campus stadium for its football and women’s lacrosse teams.
Courtesy of University of South Florida.

The Florida Board of Governors voted on Friday to approve the University of South Florida’s plan to build a $340 million on-campus football stadium. The new college stadium would end USF’s tenure playing at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium.

Florida’s State University BOG approved USF’s plan to borrow up to $200 million to finance its proposed 35,000-seat stadium, which is expected to open in 2026 or 2027. The envisioned stadium planned for the east side of USF’s Tampa campus would also host the university’s women’s lacrosse team. Friday’s vote to move forward with the stadium proposal follows approval from USF’s board of trustees in July to build the stadium. 

USF will be expected to repay the borrowed $200 million over 20 years at an interest rate of 5.5%, according to WUSF. On Thursday, USF announced it received a $25 million gift from Tampa General Hospital, including The Tampa General Hospital Center for Athletic Excellence health clinic space set to open next to the planned on-campus football stadium. 

“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,” USF president Rhea Law said in a statement. “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.”

USF Bulls football has played in the American Athletic Conference since 2013. USF has played home games at Raymond James Stadium since 1998, though the stadium is about 13 miles from its Tampa campus. The NFL stadium has a capacity of around 70,000, so USF’s proposed on-campus home would fit half as many fans.

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