TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The University of South Florida has advanced a plan to build a new 35,000-seat stadium on campus, which comes with a $340 million dollar price tag.
The schools Board of Trustees Finance Committee wants to take out a 20-year, $200 million loan to help pay for the stadium.
On Tuesday, they approved the issuance of the debt. Now the Florida Board of Governors will need to approve their proposal.
Some students questioned the need for the stadium when their tuitions and fees are costly.
“I feel like there is a lot of projects possible on campus and that’s going to cost a lot of money and I’ve been a little skeptical about it personally,” said Aaron Maguire, an engineering student at USF.
“As long as it doesn’t mess up our tuitions and all that, but if it does?” another student, David Hunter, added, shrugging his shoulders and nodding his head.
Even some faculty members are questioning the cost of the stadium.
“I kind of think faculty have mixed feelings about this I think a lot of people recognize the benefits of having an on campus stadium, certainly the experience of on campus games, better there than at Ray Jay,” said Associate Professor, Dr. Timothy Boaz, who pointed out that there was a financial crisis at the school just two years ago. “We just went through a very trying experience two years ago, where we were faced with having to cut $93 million out of our budget. Are we really in that much better financial shape now where we can make a decision to spend $340 million on a stadium?”
Boaz, the Faculty Senate Past President, says many faculty members have expressed concerns about the stadium funding.
“We haven’t had enough money to do our basic operations and the concern is, if we now have to start supporting this, from those funds, I think people would see that as a big problem,” Boaz said.