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USF Sun Dome Reopening After Major Renovation

The USF Sun Dome is coming back to life. It's been out of action since last summer, when a major renovation began. Now the work is done, and the ribbon will be cut Tuesday afternoon.

It's taken more than $35 million and nearly a year, but the USF Sun Dome is about to make its maiden appearance after a floor-to-roof renovation.  It will bear little resemblance to the arena that first opened in the 1980's, and hosted events from Frank Sinatra to the White Stripes.

The 10,000 seat bowl area has been reconfigured to an oval, with a state-of-the-art LED scoreboard hanging overhead. There's new entryways, more concessions and restrooms, and 10 new loge boxes.

During a recent tour, USF men's basketball coach Stan Heath got an up-close look at the renovations.

"And now, when you add a brand new Sun Dome, it doesn't get much better than this," says Heath. " I mean this the creme de la creme for any basketball coach."

The dome is reopening just in time for USF Tampa's graduation ceremonies Friday and Saturday.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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