USF on-campus stadium will bring positive change and challenges, Temple Terrace mayor says

Temple Terrace mayor Andy Ross called the development of USF’s on-campus stadium a “critical part” of the growing county ecosystem. ORACLE GRAPHIC/JUSTIN SEECHARAN

The USF on-campus stadium will not only alter the landscape of the university, but also the surrounding Tampa Bay area.

Andy Ross, mayor of Temple Terrace, said he sees the development as a positive addition to an area surging in population. 

“I think this is a fantastic development for this part of the county,” he said. “There’s a lot of good synergy going on.” 

Such a development doesn’t come without concern, however. 

Related: Look back at the years-long evolution of USF’s on-campus stadium plans – The Oracle

Traffic – for students, alumni and city residents – will only be heightened by such a development, according to Ross. He said the city is figuring out plans on how to address the issue. 

A stadium in a densely packed area presumably would come with challenges. 50th Street – which borders the baseball and soccer stadiums – is often inundated with campus traffic. 

Fletcher and Fowler Avenue – two bustling roads that parallel the university– are also prone to heavy traffic during rush hour. 

As USF expects to begin construction this upcoming fall, the clock will begin to tick for the city – and other entities such as the university and county – to figure out a plan. 

“I want to get ahead of this,” Ross said. “We don’t want to wait until the problem blows up.”

Ross pointed to a road-widening project already underway on 50th Street, as well as renovations in the works for Fowler Avenue.

He said the city is looking to increase connectivity between Temple Terrace and the stadium – including the development of a pedestrian and bike path along Fowler Avenue. 

“We’re trying to build a network so that if the weather is nice and you’re physically able, you could ride your bike and walk to the stadium,” he said. “That right there is going to have a huge impact on traffic reduction.”

Ross said that further development across the area is “inevitable,” but making sure the development works into the framework of the city is crucial. 

“There’s a lot of energy coming along here, and a lot of revitalization,” he said. 

Related: Will USF’s on-campus stadium be more trouble than it’s worth? Faculty speak up

The revitalization Ross speaks of has been occurring across the city for years – now the area straddling Fowler Avenue is being targeted, known as the ‘Uptown District,’ 

Ross pointed to areas around the university that are currently in the process of being revitalized. These include the area surrounding the Museum of Science and Industry, as well as The Claw – which has been vacant since closing on Sept. 5

“Success breeds success and energy breeds energy, all of these things combined I think over the next 10 years or so we’re really going to transform this area,” he said. 

The Tampa Bay region is growing rapidly, with Hillsborough County boasting the title of being the fastest-growing county in the state since 2020. 

Related: BOG approves $200 million debt issuance for on-campus stadium – The Oracle

The stadium is slated to begin construction this fall, according to the university’s timeline. It is set to open during the spring of 2027. 

USF is currently searching for a construction partner, which will be selected on April 2

Related: On-campus stadium update: USF searching for construction partner – The Oracle

Ross highlighted the balance between development and making sure the development is sustainable for the community. 

“Every project has unintended consequences or things that need to be mitigated, that’s just the nature of it,” he said. “But if you shy away from it, you never build anything.”

Correction: A previous version of this story referred to Fowler and Fletcher Avenue as county roads.