Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

UT announces plans for new sports complex on Kennedy

TAMPA — A seven-figure gift from Tampa Bay Rays founding partner Vince Naimoli is paying for a new athletic field at the University of Tampa, the school announced Monday.

The turf field, facing Kennedy Boulevard on the west side of campus, will be used primarily by UT's lacrosse and intramural sports teams. It's expected to open by December.

"It'll be a very nice, visible venue for UT's athletics," said university spokesman Eric Cardenas, "and kind of extend the gateway into downtown."

While design details are still being worked out, plans for the Naimoli Family Athletic and Intramural Complex include a 1,450-seat stadium, a concession area, restrooms and team meeting rooms. The school will erect a fence similar to the one bordering the rest of the campus along Kennedy, as well as a high net to keep balls from soaring into traffic.

The new women's lacrosse team will play its first games there during the 2013-2014 academic year — joining the men's program that started this spring.

The complex has been planned for several years, but it was Naimoli's recent $1 million-plus donation that helped make the vision a reality.

Naimoli, former president and CEO of Anchor Industries International, is a chairman emeritus of UT's board of trustees. He's been a longtime benefactor to the university, Cardenas said, supporting improvements to UT facilities and scholarships since the 1980s.

The school is also home to the Naimoli and Young Family Tennis Complex, the Naimoli Family Softball Stadium and Naimoli Institute for Business Strategy

"The progress the University of Tampa has made in the past 25 years, in academics, athletics and the entire college experience, has been impressive," Naimoli said in a news release. "I'm pleased to support such a fine institution and future generations of its students."

The university plans to eventually build academic buildings on the area currently used for intramurals, adjacent to Pepin Stadium at Cass Street and N Boulevard.

The project comes at a time of busy construction across UT. The Bob Martinez Sports Center on N Boulevard is in the midst of a facelift, and the university just broke ground on an 11-story residence hall at the old Valencia Garden property on Kennedy — the 25th new or substantially redesigned building on campus over the past 15 years.

"Certainly an increase in enrollment is fueling our need for new facilities and updated facilities," Cardenas said. "We're eager to get it going."

To prepare for this new project, UT will clear away several of the properties it owns facing Kennedy, just west of Delaware Avenue. Tampa-based R.R. Simmons construction company was named as the builder.

Kim Wilmath can be reached at or 813-226-3337.

UT announces plans for new sports complex on Kennedy 03/26/12 [Last modified: Monday, March 26, 2012 9:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Orioles Buck Showalter's Trop takedown includes bullpen mounds, bathroom options, bladder probelms


    Orioles manager Buck Showalter has never been a fan of the Trop, and after Monday's 5-0 win he - with some prodding from O's TV man Gary Thorne - took a few more shots during their MASN interview, specifically about the location of the bullpen mounds, and the lack of bathroom facilities.

  2. What a perfect USF football season would and wouldn't mean


    TAMPA — USF held its first fall practice Monday. A mere technicality. It's mind-bending how many people think that USF, sure to be ranked in the preseason Top 25, is going to throw down a 12-0 regular season with the schedule placed before it. This from a team that has never won a conference championship in its …

    The hiring of Charlie Strong, shown here, cente,r with USF president Judy Genshaft and athletic director Mark Harlan during his introductory press conference non Dec. 15, 2016, is one of several reasons for the Bulls' high football expectations this season.  [ JOEY KNIGHT | Times]
  3. HomeTeam 100: Players 31-40


    Wesley Chapel High School running back Dexter Leverett (6) runs the ball past Hudson High School offensive linebacker Cody Sutphin (8) during the second half at Wesley Chapel High School in Wesley Chapel, Fla., on Oct. 8, 2016. Wesley Chapel won the game 39 to 34
  4. 'I called for help, not for them to kill him.' Dead man's mother says Pasco deputies mishandled shooting


    CRYSTAL SPRINGS — The mother of a man shot to death by deputies believes authorities were too quick to fire their weapons and used unnecessary force in dealing with her son.

    Steve Steele, 47, was shot by Pasco deputies on Thursday, July 13 [Photo Courtesy of Trish Manson]
  5. New Florida drivers licenses, ID cards coming in August

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE – A new look is coming to Florida licenses and ID cards.

    Starting in August, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will begin to issue the new Florida driver license and ID card. [Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles]