The University of South Florida released renderings off its new football stadium, and the plans contained at least two surprises: The stadium will not sit north-to-south and will now take a year longer to bake.
The new target opening is instead for fall 2027.
And for shading and comfort purposes, the stadium will sit east-to-west.
University officials say in a new release after Tuesday's trustee board meeting that features include:
A dedicated section for students in the west end of the stadium that includes a design unique to USF featuring the "Bull horns" and amenities that will cater to the student experience
An open concourse around a majority of the stadium that provides views of the field, even as fans are walking to concession or restroom areas
A tailgating space on the north side of the stadium
A variety of premium seating options, including suites, loge boxes (small, separated areas for select attendees) and club areas
Groundbreaking on the stadium is scheduled for fall 2024, with a scheduled opening in fall 2027.
University communication officials say they will be better prepared with a delayed opening: "The timeline factors in current global supply chain issues, and provides the flexibility to have a few months prior to the facility opening to the public to ensure stadium operations — such as food service, ticketing and security — are fully prepared to welcome and best serve fans from day one."
USF officials say the design "incorporates the feedback the university gathered through listening sessions with dozens of stakeholder groups, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members."
The process is also not completed: "More specific distinctive stadium features will be shared as the design process moves forward into a more advanced stage," the university says in a news release.
USF also says it got a $6 million gift from the USF Federal Credit Union to name the walkway that will lead into the main entrance of the new stadium. The walkway will serve as home to the football team's traditional "Bulls Stampede pregame walk," from the buses into the stadium.
USF says it will create signage at the entrance to the newly named USF Federal Credit Union Champions Way, located off USF Genshaft Drive.
USF says it now has raised more than $43 million of its $50 million goal for the stadium project.
Jim Stinson is the Business Observer's Tampa Bay business reporter and editor, having previously written about business and policy in Washington, D.C.; Rochester, New York; Gary, Indiana; and Daytona Beach. He attended Boston University for business and Indiana University for journalism.