The University of South Florida Athletics department released plans today for the USF Football Center, which will house all football activities and include a much-needed indoor practice facility.
Athletic Director Mark Harlan from the release:
"We are very excited about the plans for this truly transformational facility, which will provide a world-class training center and base of operations for our outstanding football program," Harlan said. "The addition of more than 160,000-square feet of state-of-the-art space dedicated to student-athlete excellence will have a profound impact on our ability to recruit and prepare the best and brightest for competition at the highest level."
The estimated cost of the facility is around $40 million and will be a “donor-driven” project according to the release. The practice facility will be 83,000 square feet, with wa 100-yard turf field and a two-story building strictly for football.
With this new building, it will mean the other Olympic sports currently housed inside the Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Center will get additional space for locker rooms and meeting rooms.
From head coach Charlie Strong:
"There is so much potential in this university, this athletic department and this football program that we have just begun to tap," USF football head coach Charlie Strong said. "The USF Football Center will be a key step in drawing high-level student-athletes to USF and empowering our coaches and staff to develop those student-athletes, tap that potential and compete on an elite level."
Strong has said on multiple occasions that he needed something to show recruits when they got on campus during their visits and an indoor practice facility was more important than an on-campus stadium.
Highlights of what to expect in the new building:
Among the highlights included in the initial plans for the USF Football Center provided by the global design firm HOK are:
• A stunning entry lobby and multi-purpose space for recruiting
• Indoor practice facility with a 100-yard turf field
• More than 12,000-square foot football strength and conditioning center
• Nearly 10,000-square foot football locker room
• Players' lounge and adjacent social patio
• Team auditorium with tiered seating
• Sports medicine and rehabilitation facility
• Nutrition center
• More than 12,000 square feet of team and position meeting spaces
• Coaches and staff offices
• Equipment room, video operations, laundry and other support operations
HOK is also the firm that put together the USF on-campus feasibility study earlier this year.
We mentioned on the podcast last week that this was very close to being announced but the main question remains: How will they pay for this? The school doesn’t have the rich donor base that a lot of other schools have, so coming up with the money will be interesting.
"Our athletics program and our football program, in particular, have never been stronger and we are committed to putting the resources in place to achieve success at the highest level," Harlan said. "This will be a donor-driven project with a vision toward elevating our program and ensuring we remain nationally competitive. We are confident that our donors, alumni and fans share in our commitment and will support our vision for the future excellence of USF Athletics."
Donors, time to step up. Please.