BOT approves $22 million expenditure for on-campus stadium

The multi-million dollar expenditure was approved by the Board of Trustees on Tuesday and is expected to be put towards pre-construction and design, planning, financing costs and owner contingency for design services. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/USF

The Board of Trustees (BOT) met Tuesday morning at the Marshall Student Center Ballroom and approved the use of $22 million for the design of the university’s planned 35,000-seat on-campus football stadium on Sycamore Fields, located on the east side of the Tampa campus.⁠ ⁠

The proposal received a unanimous vote. There was no formal presentation of the proposal during the hour-long 9:30 a.m. meeting. It was first presented to the finance committee on Feb. 14.⁠ ⁠

As part of the Stadium Design Build Agreement, the BOT agreed to the expenditure of $22 million, with $14.8 million going toward pre-construction and design services, $3.9 million to additional planning services by the university, $850,000 toward financing costs and $2.3 million to owner contingency for design services, according to the meeting’s agenda.

Currently working out contracts with a design team, the university announced back in September that Populous and Barton Marlow had been recommended to the BOT, according to Newsroom. This initial phase of design will lead to the completion of plans for the stadium which will include “multiple opportunities for the USF community to provide input on the design of the stadium,” according to the agenda.

The project schedule predicts the stadium will be ready to use for the 2026 football season. If the stadium is not ready at that time, the design-builder team will pay $2 million to the university for every scheduled game that cannot take place at the stadium as liquidated damages. 

Teams in charge of the design and build also commit to utilizing small businesses, veteran-owned businesses, certified women or minority owned businesses and to making an effort to meet or exceed a 36% participation goal from those businesses, according to the agenda.

Next in line for the project is laying out the contract structure for the building of the stadium. The agreement with Populous and Barton Marlow allows the university to “pause or terminate” the project or design-builder team at the end of the design phase, according to the agenda.

At the end of this phase, USF leadership will provide the BOT with detailed plans for the stadium including scope, features, cost and financial strategy. Funds for the stadium will come from ‘non-state sources,” donations and investment earnings, according to Newsroom.