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USF To Explore Building An On-campus Football Stadium

May 20, 2016

Ever since the University of South Florida started playing football 19 years ago, the question has been: Will there ever be an on-campus football stadium?

We soon might have an answer, thanks to a feasibility study the university is conducting.

The study was one of the centerpieces of a five-year strategic plan USF Athletic Director Mark Harlan presented to a university Board of Trustees' workgroup Thursday. 

The study will look at possible locations, how much a stadium would cost and who would pay for it. Harlan later told reporters he appreciated the interest trustees showed in the idea.

"It's fair to say that our aggressive pursuits are beginning to really look into that, and I'm very, very enthused by the leadership's support around that endeavor, because really, we owe it to our program to really look at the best route forward," Harlan said.

Harlan didn't give a timetable on completion of the study.

The five-year plan also addresses the university's desire to move into a more powerful conference, as well as increase the number of donors and how much they give.

The plan explores the addition of a 20th intercollegiate sport, too. That would be women's rowing, which would be based at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus.

Harlan said USF should take on this issue now -- particularly since there are so many unanswered questions.

"We owe it to our student-athletes and this university to figure out if, indeed, it is in our best interest: How are we going to pay for it? Where should it be?" he said. "I look forward to working with all the leaders in this room, and others outside the room to aggressively pursue the feasibilities and decisions going forward on this possible project."