Published: March 26, 2012
To accommodate future needs for University of Tampa students in co-curricular and athletic activities, the UT administration today announced it plans to build a student intramural and athletic field and stadium on the north side of Kennedy Boulevard, on the west side of campus.
While construction, design and timeline details are in the final planning stages, proposed plans reveal that the facility will include a multi-purpose field, a 1,450-seat stadium, two spectator berms, restrooms, a concession area, parking, team meeting rooms and a support building. The field, which will be used for numerous intramurals as well as other sports, will also be home to the UT men’s lacrosse team, which is playing its inaugural season this spring. It will also be home to a new women’s lacrosse team, which will begin play during the 2013-2014 academic year. The women’s lacrosse coach will be hired this coming fall.
The new complex is expected to be completed by December 2012.
The facility, which will be named the Naimoli Family Athletic and Intramural Complex, is being funded in part by Tampa’s Naimoli family, which has been involved with UT since the 1980s. Vince Naimoli, chairman and founding partner of the Tampa Bay Rays, is a chairman emeritus of the UT Board of Trustees and in 1999 established UT’s Naimoli Institute for Business Strategy. The Naimoli family’s support has also funded improvements at UT’s tennis and softball complexes, now called, respectively, the Naimoli and Young Family Tennis Complex and the Naimoli Family Softball Stadium, as well as endowed scholarships for a male and female student athlete.
“The progress The University of Tampa has made in the past 25 years, in academics, athletics and the entire college experience, has been impressive,” Naimoli said. “I’m pleased to support such a fine institution and future generations of its students.”
To prepare for construction of the athletic and intramurals complex — which is roughly bordered by Kennedy Boulevard to the south, North A Street to the north and Delaware Avenue to the east — UT will clear several UT-owned properties fronting Kennedy Boulevard. UT is also expecting to transplant a grand oak on the property.
Ronald Vaughn, UT president, said the addition of lacrosse teams and the demand for intramurals, as well as the increasing need for academic and athletic space, necessitates the development. He added that the University will eventually build academic buildings on the site of the existing intramural field on campus.
“This project will give us more flexibility and green space into the future, and allow for academic expansion,” Vaughn said.
The field is planned to be artificial turf. A custom fence, similar to the one along UT’s current campus bordering Kennedy Boulevard, will be erected, as will a high net to keep athletic balls from disrupting traffic. The new facility would be consistent with UT’s design and use standards that have already taken place on campus and on Kennedy Boulevard, and would provide an appealing entry into Tampa’s downtown.
This project comes on the heels of UT announcing the construction of a new 11-story, 523-bed residence hall also on Kennedy Boulevard, between North Brevard Avenue and North Boulevard.
R.R. Simmons of Tampa has been named to build the athletic facility.