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These 3 companies want to build USF’s on-campus football stadium

One built Raymond James Stadium and the Trop. Another has built two Super Bowl venues.
Three companies have submitted bids to build the football stadium on USF's campus.
Three companies have submitted bids to build the football stadium on USF's campus.
Published Aug. 11|Updated Aug. 11

Three companies submitted proposals to build USF’s proposed on-campus football stadium, including one that helped build the Tampa Bay area’s major sporting venues and another that constructed a pair of Super Bowl sites.

Hunt Construction Group, Barton Malow Builders and M.A. Mortenson Company all sent formal invitations to negotiate before the July 22 deadline, according to USF. Details about their bids — including potential costs — are not yet public.

Related: What will USF Bulls gain from an on-campus football stadium?

A Mortenson spokesperson declined to comment out of “respect to the procurement process.” Hunt Construction and Barton Malow did not respond to requests for comment.

Hunt Construction helped build what was then called the Ice Palace (now known as Amalie Arena) in Tampa.
Hunt Construction helped build what was then called the Ice Palace (now known as Amalie Arena) in Tampa. [ Times (1996) ]

Hunt Construction has significant ties to the region. It helped build Raymond James Stadium, Tropicana Field and the Ice Palace (now Amalie Arena).

Related: USF on-campus football stadium ‘going to happen,’ Jeff Scott says

Hunt Construction has also been involved in the construction of at least four other venues that have hosted or will soon host the Super Bowl and College Football Playoff national championship: Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, State Farm Stadium outside Phoenix and the Los Angeles area’s SoFi Stadium. It also renovated Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.

Hunt Construction built SMU's on-campus stadium in 2000. The Mustangs and USF both play in the American Athletic Conference.
Hunt Construction built SMU's on-campus stadium in 2000. The Mustangs and USF both play in the American Athletic Conference. [ ROGER STEINMAN | AP (2019) ]

The firm was the general contractor for the 32,000-seat on-campus stadium SMU opened in 2000. SMU, like USF, plays in the American Athletic Conference and has aspirations of joining a Power Five league. The Mustangs’ Gerald J. Ford Stadium also hosts the First Responder Bowl.

Mortenson was the primary contractor for Colorado State’s Canvas Stadium. The 36,500-seat, $220 million stadium opened in 2017 and has been seen as a potential model for what USF might want to build. Canvas Stadium has classrooms and an alumni center built into it, in addition to training areas and office space for the football program.

Colorado State's Canvas Stadium has been seen as a model for what USF might like to build.
Colorado State's Canvas Stadium has been seen as a model for what USF might like to build. [ DAVID ZALUBOWSKI | AP (2019) ]

Mortenson also led Missouri’s $99 million south end zone project, which put the Tigers’ football operations center into Memorial Stadium. That is notable because the Bulls’ plans include an operations facility in or adjacent to the stadium.

Missouri built out the south end zone at Memorial Stadium for a $99 million facility that includes the football operations area.
Missouri built out the south end zone at Memorial Stadium for a $99 million facility that includes the football operations area. [ MATT BAKER | Tampa Bay Times (2021) ]

Other Mortenson construction projects include: the Minnesota Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium, site of Super Bowl 52; Nevada’s $2 billion Allegiant Stadium, which hosts the Las Vegas Raiders and UNLV and will be the site of Super Bowl 58; and renovations to Amalie Arena in 2015.

Orlando's Exploria Stadium was a project of Barton Malow.
Orlando's Exploria Stadium was a project of Barton Malow. [ JOE BURBANK | Orlando Sentinel (2019) ]

Barton Malow’s recent college football projects include stadium renovations at Penn State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan and the Rose Bowl. The company, which has an office in Tampa, was also a general contractor at Northwestern’s Ryan Fieldhouse and Walter Athletics Center — regarded as one of the nation’s finest football facilities.

Related: As USF’s on-campus stadium takes shape, Tampa companies aim to benefit

Barton Malow built Exploria Stadium, home of Major League Soccer’s Orlando City SC, the Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League and the Cure Bowl.

Barton Malow also renovated Daytona International Speedway.
Barton Malow also renovated Daytona International Speedway. [ ELLIOTT, LOREN | Tampa Bay Times ]

It also renovated the famed Daytona International Speedway, creating what the track calls the “world’s first motorsports stadium.”

Related: Daytona spent $400 million to reinvent itself. Here’s what it learned

USF has targeted Aug. 19 as the date it intends to choose a design/construction firm. Though a special board of trustees meeting has been added for that date, a spokesperson said the agenda does not include anything related to the stadium. The board must approve any decisions about the project. Its next regularly scheduled meeting is Sept. 6.

This spring, the Bulls identified a site just north of the current practice fields as the spot for a 35,000-seat stadium. The goal is to have it ready for the 2026 season. USF has said little publicly about its specific budget and how the nine-figure project will be paid for.

Times staff writer Jay Cridlin contributed to this report.

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