University of South Florida Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly said on The Bulluminati Podcast live from AAC Media Days in Newport, Rhode Island that USF has gotten over $20 million committed for the new USF Football Center and hopes to have the groundbreaking in April 2020 for the facility to be in place for the 2021 season.
“We did reach our goal of getting over $20 million before July 1,” Kelly said. “We keep getting verbal commitments everyday and we have to work toward getting written commitments. Last year when we talked, we were at $8 million, so [$12 million] in a year is great, but it’s not where we need to go.”
Of the $8 million raised for the football center prior to Kelly becoming the new AD, $5 million of it was the lead gift by Pam and Les Muma made at the time of the announcement.
“This project is continues to be not only essential for the future of our football program, but to elevate it to where we want to be,” Kelly said.
Once the center is complete, the football team will move in to the new place which will open so much more space for the other team sports still inside building. Kelly went on to say that the Indoor Practice Facility portion will also be used by all sports when needed in case of rain, lightning, extreme heat.
“I’ve asked for [all designs, tinkering, and any other construction needs] to be ready to go by April 2020,” Kelly said. “It’ll all depend on how our funding falls into place on whether we can go. If we can go in April, it’ll be a 14-month project which would get us in before that 2021 season.”
Kelly knows there’s still a lot of hurdles to jump to make this a reality, but he wants everyone on his staff to start ramping up further to make sure construction can go on as planned when the funding is complete.
“I’m trying to set people’s minds in focus, particularly on the construction document side. We’re approaching it as if we have the money because I don’t want that to be the hold up.”