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USF Board of Trustees approve $340 million funding for Tampa campus football stadium

 A drawing of an open, outdoor football stadium surrounded by trees, buildings, and lakes.
USF Athletics / Beck Group
An illustration of a proposed football stadium on the USF Tampa campus that was issued in 2017. Renderings of the proposed 35,000 seat stadium are expected once the design phase is complete.

If all goes as planned, the $340 million stadium will be finished in time for the 2026 football season.

The University of South Florida Board of Trustees approved spending $340 million to build a football stadium on the Tampa campus.

Two hundred million dollars of the costs will be borrowed. During Tuesday's meeting at the Marshall Student Center, Faculty Senate President Jenifer Jasinski Schneider expressed her concerns.

"What we're what we're focused on today is the build," said Jasinski Schneider. "But I'm really focused on, really worried about, the servicing of the debt, the lien on all of that, all of athletics and other areas, as well as how the expenses and operations are going to be covered."

Board of trustees Chair Will Weatherford said no resources would be spent that would have gone to academics.

And, Weatherford argued that not building the stadium is a bigger risk for the university's future.

"The risk to settling for not being able to have a place that our alumni and our students and our faculty can gather and celebrate what we are as an institution, the risk of that is greater to me, than building a stadium," he said.

"I believe the risk is greater to not do it, we we run the risk of falling behind."

In addition to the borrowed money, $140 million of the stadium costs will come from $50 million in donations, $31 million from the capital improvement trust fund, and $59 million from other sources, including the sale of TV broadband equipment and licenses, including the 2017 FCC auction of WUSF TV's broadband.

It's expected the 35,000 seat stadium will be ready for kickoff by the start of the 2026 season.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the Board of Trustees reelected Will Weatherford and Mike Griffin as the chair and vice chair of the Board. Both have served in those positions since June 2021.

I started my journalism career delivering the Toledo Blade newspaper on my bike.