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New soccer stadium could join facility upgrades



As USF starts construction this month on its athletic facility upgrades -- new stadiums for baseball and softball, a practice complex for basketball and new practice fields for football -- the Bulls are working on adding another piece to the project: a new soccer stadium, directly east of the main athletics building.

Soccer has been among USF's most successful sports, with the men's team winning a Big East title and making the NCAA Elite Eight in 2008, and the proposed stadium would have 1,000 permanent seats in a "bowl" design and would cost about $3.5-million. The stadium, which could accommodate as many as 2,000 fans with temporary seating, would put USF in position to host Big East tournaments and potentially NCAA postseason games.

USF's current timetable has baseball and softball playing in their new homes for the 2011 seasons, which start in February, and the basketball facility being completed by the spring. USF's financial proposal for $30-million in upgrades was approved in December, and soccer could soon move into the current package of construction projects.

By next summer, USF will also have a student wellness and nutrition center open next to the Sun Dome, and while the facility would be open to all students, it also provides a supervised area to facilitate meal planning and better nutrition for student-athletes.

USF hasn't moved beyond its current package of facility upgrades, but the next major undertaking would be a renovation of the Sun Dome, which will celebrate its 30th birthday in November. The Muma Center practice facility will actually be situated 30 feet south of the arena, allowing for construction on the arena's exterior without disrupting the practice facility.

[Last modified: Friday, July 16, 2010 11:26am]


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