The University of South Florida Board of Trustees approved construction and financing of a $30 million athletics project. The plan includes new football practice fields, the redesign of the baseball stadium, a new softball stadium, and a new practice gym for the basketball team. The construction of the football, baseball, and softball facilities are expected to begin around the beginning of the year. This will affect the baseball program which is currently looking at alternate facilities to play their 2010 slate. A couple of sites that have been mentioned are the Yankees Complex in Tampa and Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg. You can check out the full press release on the new facilities below.
FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
TAMPA - The University of South Florida Athletics Department is one step closer to launching the next phase of its Athletics District after receiving approval today from the university’s Board of Trustees for the construction and financing of the $30 million project.
The project will move forward immediately, subject to approval of the financing plan by the university’s Board of Governors on December 10.
The Athletics District will forever change the face and foundation of USF Athletics. Included in construction that is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2010 are facilities for football, baseball, softball and basketball. The USF Soccer Stadium, also part of the Athletic District Master Plan, is being evaluated for possible inclusion in this phase.
The Frank Morsani Football Practice Facility will be directly east of the USF Athletics Training Center and the existing football locker room, offices and weight room. The new practice area will feature three side-by-side full-length football fields that will run north and south. Two of the fields will be natural grass, while the third will feature an artificial surface.
Both the baseball stadium and new softball stadium are expected to be located along the east side of Bull Run Drive (Check renderings Below) and provide spectacular curb appeal for the Athletics District.
The new baseball stadium will remain on the same footprint as the existing field, but will be realigned in order to create a plaza and ticketing area that is shared with the new softball stadium. Current plans have the softball field located south of the baseball stadium.
The baseball stadium is expected to include new step-down team dugouts, bullpens, covered batting cages, multiple party pavilions, a press box and a 1,500 seat spectator grandstand with a shade canopy, an elevated, shaded entertainment or hospitality deck and service amenities. The overall capacity of the stadium is expected to exceed 3,000 and is being designed to accommodate additional seating that will enable USF to host NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals.
The softball stadium is expected to feature a new lighted natural grass sports field, step-down team dugouts, bullpens, covered batting cages, multiple party pavilions, a press box and a 700-seat spectator grandstand with a shade canopy, an elevated, shaded entertainment or hospitality deck and service amenities. The overall capacity of the stadium is expected to exceed 1,500 and is being designed to accommodate NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals.
The Les and Pam Muma Basketball Center will include men’s and women’s basketball practice gymnasia and team support facilities including locker rooms, offices, meeting rooms, athletic training, strength training and equipment management facilities. The center will allow internal access to the event level of the existing Sun Dome.
The footprint for the Muma Center is currently located on the south side of the Sun Dome.
The basketball teams will continue to compete in the Sun Dome and practice in the Sun Dome and Corral while construction occurs on the Muma facility, however the baseball and softball programs will have to relocate for the duration of the 2009 competition calendar.
USF is still working on details related to practice and competition sites for the softball and baseball programs for spring of 2010 seasons. Information will be announced in the coming weeks.
USF has contracted design/build solution provider R.R. Simmons, which built the USF Athletics Training Center in 2005, and global design practice specialist and architectural firm Populous to lead the construction of the Athletics District Facilities.