USF close to deal for Sun Dome management
As a $35 million renovation continues on the Sun Dome, USF's athletic department is finalizing an agreement that would turn over management of the basketball arena to Global Spectrum, a national firm that already manages several arenas around the state.
No contract has been signed, but Global Spectrum is already at work with the Sun Dome -- USF will pay the company a management fee, but the plan is that Global Spectrum can increase the revenue created by the arena, whose renovations should be completed by May. Global Spectrum, based in Philadelphia, already manages UCF Arena in Orlando and the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami.
USF made a similar move to outsource management of its golf course, The Claw, in 2006; it has been operated by Billy Casper Golf since 2008. The Bulls have had a marketing agreement with IMG College and last year added a promotional partner for ticket sales in TicketCity. Scott Glaser, who has been director of Sun Dome Inc., will continue in his role as USF's associate athletic director for facilities and event management.
USF has played all of its men's basketball games off-campus this season while the arena undergoes its massive facelift, which includes the installation of a permanent second level and a concourse underneath, an open club area on one side of the court and a new center-hung scoreboard. Renovations are due to be completed in time for USF's spring commencement ceremonies in May, with men's basketball playing most of its home games downtown at the Tampa Bay Times Forum; the USF women have played their conference home games next to the arena at the USF Rec Center.