Florida Construction News staff writer
The Hillsborough County School Board approved a landmark partnership Tuesday (Oct. 17) with USL Super League Tampa Bay, the new top-tier women’s pro soccer team kicking off August 2024.
Under the agreement, Super League Tampa Bay will pay the full cost to upgrade and expand the waterfront stadium adjacent to Blake High School in downtown Tampa.
Construction timelines are not yet set, but will be complete by August 2024 when the team begins competition in the newly established USL Super League.
The team expects to invest more than $4 million in stadium enhancements, with the exact amount to be determined by the final design – permanent upgrades that will benefit the school when the team later moves to its permanent home.
“This is a unique public-private partnership that creates fantastic opportunities for our students and our entire community,” said Van Ayres, interim superintendent for Hillsborough County Public Schools.
“On the field, our athletes will have access to excellent new high-end facilities. Off the field, we’ll have new opportunities for hands-on learning for all the students at the school. Plus, our whole community will see the benefits of investing in our schools to create a stronger future for all of us.”
Enhancements paid for by the team will include expanding the stadium’s capacity from 1,800 to about 5,000, installing new FIFA-approved turf, upgrading locker room facilities, beautification projects on the adjacent Blake campus, and additional upgrades that will be identified as plans are completed.