(AUDIO) Doug Woolard: USF Serious About an On-Campus Football Stadium Now
For an entire hour, The Commish Justin Pawlowski and Jim Lighthall had an exclusive interview with USF athletic director Doug Woolard, and head football coach Willie Taggart. Justin and Jim asked Doug about a wide range of topics. Doug talked about the AAC, the former Big East, and the potential for an on-campus football stadium in the near future.
“I’d love to have an on-campus stadium,” Doug Woolard said on Thursday.
“Having an on-campus stadium would give us a chance to get the 40,000 or 50,000 people who come to a game on our campus 6, 7, or possibly 8 times in a fall,” Woolard continued.
Money is always a concern when it comes to building big athletic structures in the Tampa Bay area as we have seen with the Rays. However, with a university, the state can get involved along with donors.
“It’s a very expensive venture, “Woolard cautioned. “We would want to build something that is substantial. Our fans are used to a high quality and great experience. The University of Minnesota just built a 50,000 seat stadium, which is probably where we’d like to be, for $325 million and the state of Minnesota gave the university $200 million out of that $325 million to build it.”
USF has seen many renovations to their athletic facilities over the past few years including a complete renovation of the Sun Dome, new basketball practice facilities, new stadiums for soccer, baseball, and softball, a new practice facility and fields for football, new state-of-the-art locker rooms for the football team, and much more.
These new facilities have been mostly, if not fully, paid for by donors to the university for those specific aspects.
One thing is certain to Doug Woolard, if they can get the money, an on-campus stadium would get done.
“It is something the university continues to talk about. They do have space that has been identified in a long-range plan to be able to do it.”
When asked by Justin Pawlowski when they would get serious about an on-campus stadium, Doug Woolard did not hesitate.
“I think they’re serious about it now.”
Doug also went into detail about his thoughts on the state of college athletics, and if he felt realignment was finally going to start coming to an end.
Willie Taggart joined Justin and Jim in our third segment and they asked Coach’s honest assessment of this team heading into this season.
Follow Justin Pawlowski on twitter and listen to him live daily from 9-12.