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Michael Kelly: Roughly $13 million raised for USF Football Center

The proposed $40 million project would include an indoor practice facility for the Bulls.
New USF athletic director Michael Kelly said roughly one-third of the amount needed to construct the USF Football Center has been committed. [Times files]
Published Jan. 4

Fourteen months after announcing plans to build a football-exclusive complex that includes an indoor practice facility, USF has raised roughly one-third of the money needed for the $40 million project.

Speaking on his latest school-produced podcast, vice-president of athletics Michael Kelly said "right around $13 million" has been raised for the USF Football Center, which he called his staff's "No. 1 priority for this upcoming calendar year."

No ground-breaking timetable was offered, but Kelly told the Tampa Bay Times in mid-October he's hopeful of having a ground-breaking in 2019, with the objective of having the center finished by 2020.

"Quite frankly, we look at our conference foes, we look at people around the state, we don't have (a football center); everybody else does," Kelly said on the podcast. "Everyone including myself have high aspirations and high expectations for this program, and the reality is that we have to build this."

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Kelly added he has collaborated with Coach Charlie Strong and the facility's architects to make some "slight revisions" they believe will enhance the facility further. The goal, he indicated, is to have all plans finalized so building can commence the moment all necessary funds are raised.

"(The center) needs to be done with the support of our supporters," Kelly said, "and we'll get there."