The University of South Florida engaged CSL to assess the feasibility of renovating the Sun Dome or constructing a new arena. The 28-year old Sun Dome used to be the primary indoor sports and entertainment venue in the Tampa area until the mid-to-late 1990’s when several new sports and entertainment venues were constructed. Over the years, competition has negatively impacted the event activity and revenue generating capabilities of the venue and the venue suffers from significant deferred maintenance issues. Further, USF joined the Big East Conference in 2005 and was in need of facility improvements to remain competitive in the conference.

 

CSL completed the following services: reviewed the historical operations of the Sun Dome in order to quantify the existing market and estimate incremental benefits that could be generated in a renovated Sun Dome or new arena; analyzed competitive facilities in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area to assess the relation, interaction and impact they may have on the usage of a renovated Sun Dome or new arena; evaluated the physical, operational and financial characteristics of comparable collegiate arenas in order to provide general informational background and assess potential building program, operating and financial parameters for a renovated Sun Dome or new arena; interviewed current and potential event promoters in order to estimate the market demand for events likely to be hosted in a renovated Sun Dome or new arena; completed surveys with USF constituents in order to assess market support for a renovated Sun Dome or new arena (survey respondents included season ticket holders, athletic donors, corporate sponsors, faculty/staff and various other individuals identified by Sun Dome, Inc.); projected financial operations for both renovation and new arena construction; identified and quantified potential funding sources for a renovated or new venue.

 

In June 2011, the USF Board of Trustees approved a $35.6 million renovation to the Sun Dome. The renovation included reconfiguring seating, adding a center hung scoreboard, adding a concourse level with concessions and restrooms, and restoring to the existing exterior concrete.