USF Approves Financing for Athletics District

The University of South Florida Athletics Department is one step closer to launching the next phase of its Athletics District after receiving approval today from the university's Board of Trustees for the construction and financing of the $30 million project

USF Athletics received approval today from the university's Board of Trustees for the construction and financing of the $30 million Athletic District project.

Included in construction that is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2010 are facilities for football, baseball, softball and basketball. The USF Soccer Stadium, also part of the Athletic District Master Plan, is being evaluated for possible inclusion in this phase.

The project that will change the face and foundation of USF Athletics will move forward immediately, subject to approval of the financing plan by the university's Board of Governors on December 10.



The new football practice area will feature three side-by-side full-length football fields that will run north and south. Two of the fields will be natural grass, while the third will feature an artificial surface.

The Frank Morsani Football Practice Facility will be directly east of the USF Athletics Training Center and the existing football locker room, offices and weight room. The basketball Center will include men's and women's basketball practice gymnasium and team support facilities including locker rooms, offices, meeting rooms, athletic training, strength training and equipment management facilities. The center will allow internal access to the event level of the existing Sun Dome. The footprint for the Muma Center is currently located on the south side of the Sun Dome.

Both the baseball stadium and new softball stadium are expected to be located along the east side of Bull Run Drive and provide spectacular curb appeal for the Athletics District.

The baseball stadium is expected to include new step-down team dugouts, bullpens, covered batting cages, multiple party pavilions, a press box and a 1,500 seat spectator grandstand with a shade canopy, an elevated, shaded entertainment or hospitality deck and service amenities. The overall capacity of the stadium is expected to exceed 3,000 and is being designed to accommodate additional seating that will enable USF to host NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals.

The new baseball stadium will remain on the same footprint as the existing field, but will be realigned in order to create a plaza and ticketing area that is shared with the new softball stadium. Current plans have the softball field located south of the baseball stadium.

The softball stadium is expected to feature a new lighted natural grass sports field, step-down team dugouts, bullpens, covered batting cages, multiple party pavilions, a press box and a 700-seat spectator grandstand with a shade canopy, an elevated, shaded entertainment or hospitality deck and service amenities. The overall capacity of the stadium is expected to exceed 1,500 and is being designed to accommodate NCAA Regional's and Super Regional's.

The basketball teams will continue to compete in the Sun Dome and practice in the Sun Dome and Corral while construction occurs on the Muma facility, however the baseball and softball programs will have to relocate for the duration of the 2009 competition calendar.

USF is still working on details related to practice and competition sites for the softball and baseball programs for spring of 2010 seasons. Information will be announced in the coming weeks.

USF has contracted design/build solution provider R.R. Simmons, which built the USF Athletics Training Center in 2005, and global design practice specialist and architectural firm Populous to lead the construction of the Athletics District Facilities.

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