USF athletic district gets final approval
A $30-million package of facility upgrades for USF's athletic district got its final approval on Thursday as the state's Board of Governors approved a financing plan for a fixed-rate debt of $23.5-million.
Thursday's approval was the final hurdle for the Bulls to clear before beginning construction on several key projects -- a new basketball practice facility on the south side of the Sun Dome, new stadiums for baseball and softball and three new practice fields for USF's football team.
Under the proposal approved, USF's athletic department is budgeted to pay back about $2.25-million toward the debt annually in the next four budgeted fiscal years. The basketball facility is a 25-year loan, while the rest of the facilities package will be paid off as a 15-year loan.
USF's baseball and softball teams are expected to be relocated for the 2010 season, with softball playing its home games at the E.C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, and baseball evaluating three options: the Yankees' complex in Tampa, the University of Tampa and Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, the former spring training home of the Rays. Al Lang would allow the Bulls to have a field of their own with no conflicts with other teams, as well as locker rooms where equipment can be stored on site. The commute would be about 35 minutes each way. A decision is expected soon on where the Bulls will play in 2010.
There's not much to it, but if you'd like to hear the Board of Governors approve the USF package, here's an audio file of Thursday's teleconference -- the USF part is at about 1:07 into the call.