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USF leaders vote to approve $22M design expense for stadium build

The University of South Florida is one step closer to bringing a highly anticipated football stadium to campus.

TAMPA, Fla. — The University of South Florida's Board of Trustees voted to approve the design agreement and cost for its 35,000-person stadium, the next step in the school's quest to build its own football field.

Officials hope this will be a game changer for the future of the university.

Board members met Tuesday for a scheduled meeting and on the agenda was approving the USF Stadium Design Build Agreement and approving up to $22 million for the design phase costs.

Without any debate or discussion, leaders approved the project — one that the university hopes will propel the athletic program to the next level.

"It's going to create a very unique gameday environment that we think we can create in addition to really close proximity to student housing and our Greek village and everything else. So, it's a perfect site for us," USF Athletic Director Michael Kelly previously told 10 Tampa Bay.

It's important to note the $22 million figure only applies to the design phase of the stadium. Additional financing and construction costs will be subject to approval as the project continues past the design phase.    

"This initial design phase will result in the preparation and completion of the plans for the stadium and will include multiple opportunities for the USF community to provide input on the design of the stadium," the meeting agenda's summary says, in part.

Here's how the costs will be broken down: 

  • $14.8 million for preconstruction and design services
  • $3.9 million additional planning services by USF
  • $850,000 financing costs
  • $2.3 million owner contingency for design services

"This capital project will be one of if not the largest projects in the history of our university," board member Michael Griffin said. Leaders previously said the total cost is estimated between $250 million to $400 million.

Back in September, USF leaders announced it would move forward with Barton Malow and Populous. The companies have worked together on more than 40 sports venues across the country.

The two firms have worked on facilities like Penn State’s Beaver Stadium and Orlando City Soccer Club’s Exploria Stadium. If everything is approved, the design phase of the project will start and continue for 18 months. 

For now, the USF Bulls will continue to play their home games at Raymond James Stadium. 

"I’m looking forward to the stadium, I won’t be here but I will be coming back to be here, I will be coming back 20 years from now to be here," USF quarterback Gerry Bohanon said.

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