Does USF Need An On-Campus Stadium?

USF Needs Their Own Info Commercial Stadium

Let’s face it an on-campus stadium has been talked about for the South Florida Bulls for quite some time now. But with the hire of Charlie Strong has talk just gotten hotter?

In Strong’s introductory press conference he told the crowd that he had already been in discussion with USF president Judy Genshaft about an on campus stadium and the crowd exploded with applause. Now an on-campus stadium has been a hot topic for the past week.

Early in the 2016 year the Museum of Science and Industry announced they would be relocating to downtown Tampa. That initially sparked USF football fans to urge the school to buy that land to build an on-campus stadium.

Of course there has been much debate on whether USF needs an on-campus stadium or not. So let’s get into it.

Disadvantages Of Having An On-Campus Stadium

A big selling point for the Bulls is the chance for players to play in a NFL stadium. With tough recruiting that is definitely something USF could use to their advantage. With an on-campus stadium the school would no longer have Raymond James Stadium as a recruiting tactic.

There is also the maintenance and upkeep of an on-campus stadium. Right now USF doesn’t have to worry about since the Tampa Sports Authority manages Raymond James Stadium. But really that might be a small sacrifice to the benefits of having an on-campus stadium.

Advantages Of Having An On-Campus Stadium

Just as Raymond James Stadium is a recruiting selling point, it is also a downfall. A home game for Bulls players involves always being bused to and from their games. Ray Jay is also the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which means USF is not truly playing in a home stadium of their own. Despite having a field painted in the USF logo, the rest of the stadium is decked out in Buccaneers attire. It could be said that USF games are one big giant info commercial for the Bucs.

“I feel like once you get a stadium on campus it’s (the players) home, it’s what they defend, it’s their house and that’s going to be critical and that’s going to happen,” Strong said during his introductory press conference.

Photo: USF Bulls

Of course attendance has been an issue for USF for the past few seasons. Even with a 10-2, possibly 11-2, season attendance has been a struggle. Of course more than one 10-2 season is going to be needed to rebuild the low point the program had hit, but with attendance averaging 27,887 per game this season many say an on-campus stadium would help with that issue. Currently students have the ability to ride a bus from USF campus to Raymond James Stadium. But doesn’t it seem more fun to be able to drink in the frat houses and walk to the football game whether than worrying about a designated driver or catching the bus?

Even with attendance not being an issue, an on-campus stadium is something that sets the atmosphere at college football games apart from any other sport. The Bulls may one day grow into one of the top programs in the state of Florida, but the Bulls need their own home to make it a program that draws Tampa Bay football fans to them to continue their growth.

Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.