TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Florida Board of Governors on Friday approved a plan to allow the University of South Florida to take out a $200 million loan to help finance a new football stadium on campus.
The 35,000-seat stadium is projected to cost $340 million to build, and is expected to be complete by 2026.
USF Board of Trustees Chair Will Weatherford told the Board of Governors the time has come for the school to have its own stadium on campus.
” The University of South Florida is the only state university in Florida with a Division One football program that does not have a stadium on it’s campus,” said Weatherford.
Not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.
“I think they are taking a lot of funds from a lot of things that could really use it,” said USF student Millena Sampson.
USF student Jason Willman says he doesn’t plan to attend any games, no matter where the stadium is.
“Never, not once, nor will I ever. I don’t believe in supporting it. I have no interest in sports. I’m at college to learn, not watch other people play a game,” said Willmann
USF student Julioi Blanco also believes the $340 million could be better spent on other programs.
“I feel like time after time people put funds and energy and effort into sports and not the stuff that actually matters, because at the end of the day, we’re not actually here to watch those football games, we’re here to make a future,” said Blanco.
However, other students are excited by the idea.
“I think it’s awesome, I think it’s going to bring a lot of people out to games and also there is going to be a lacrosse facility there, we’re on the women’s lacrosse team and we are super excited about it,” said freshman Catherine Taylor, who will be playing on the women’s lacrosse team.
Weatherford says the stadium will bring jobs and economic growth to the area.
“The facility will bring jobs for our students, local residents, tourism dollars and other opportunities that will absolutely fuel the economic growth of the Tampa Bay region,” said Weatherford.