TAMPA — Though much remains undecided about USF’s plans for an on-campus football stadium, athletic director Michael Kelly has one detail in mind.
Sept. 4, 2027. That’s when the Bulls are scheduled to host Miami and, if Kelly has his way, a great target date to debut the building.
“I think that would be a pretty cool opening day for the stadium …” Kelly said Wednesday during a wide-ranging news conference. “If I can get it done faster, I think my bosses would be happier. If it takes a little longer, it’s understandable.”
USF officials said at last month’s board of trustees meeting that 2026 is the earliest feasible date a stadium could open. An opening date in the 2026-28 range would also work well with the Bulls’ lease at Raymond James Stadium, which runs through the ‘27 season.
Kelly didn’t have much to update Wednesday but did discuss the next steps he’d like to accomplish by the summer: identifying a location and figuring out some financial details.
The Bulls are considering a handful of locations, including the corner of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Fowler Avenue, the intramural fields, the Museum of Science and Industry and Fowler Field. Cost estimates range from $250 million to $400 million. Kelly hopes to narrow that figure down and where the money will come from in the coming months.
Though progress will be incremental, Kelly said the project remains a “north star” for the athletic department and the university as a whole.
“That’s going to be a big part of the whole strategic plan, clearly,” Kelly said.
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