Michael Kelly: Spring ground-breaking possible for USF Football Center

The Bulls athletic director says $20 million in committed money has been raised for the project
USF athletic director Michael Kelly (right) chats with quarterback Blake Barnett (left) and tight end Mitch Wilcox at Tuesday's American Athletic Conference media days in Newport, R.I. [JOEY KNIGHT | Times]
USF athletic director Michael Kelly (right) chats with quarterback Blake Barnett (left) and tight end Mitch Wilcox at Tuesday's American Athletic Conference media days in Newport, R.I. [JOEY KNIGHT | Times]
Published July 16

NEWPORT, R.I. ― Roughly 20 months after the first renderings of the USF Football Center were released to the public, a ground-breaking for the ambitious project still hasn’t formally been set.

But on Tuesday, fans were put on a shovel alert of sorts.

Athletic director Michael Kelly confirmed the Bulls reached their objective of securing $20 million in committed funds for the center by July 1, and are hopeful of a ground-breaking in early 2020.

The projected price tag for the center remains around $40 million.

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“Realistically, we’re focused on trying to make it happen in the spring,” Kelly said during the American Athletic Conference media days in Newport. “Maybe it’s around the spring game or something.”

The center would include a football-centric complex (coaches’ offices, meeting rooms, players’ lounge, weight room, etc.) and indoor practice facility that could be used by other sports.

Kelly added the school remains committed to building it all at once instead of constructing it in phases.

“We really are, because it’s kind of a connected (project),” Kelly said.

“It truly is a football center. I mean, the (indoor facility) is a portion of it, but people I think so easily say just say it’s an indoor practice facility.”

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampbay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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