Opened in December 1980, the recently renovated Sun Dome Arena serves as the home venue and facility for the USF men's and women's basketball teams as well as the volleyball program. Based upon total gross ticket sales and attendance from December 1, 2013 thru November 30, 2014, the Sun Dome ranked 5th among all University venues in the nation with a capacity of 10,001-15,000 according to Venues Today Magazine and second within the state of Florida.
The Sun Dome celebrated its Grand Opening followin following a $35.6 million renovation with a sold out Elton John show on September 14, 2012. The arena has hosted an abundance and variety of other events both internal and external to USF including, commencements, concerts, sports and entertainment events, consumer shows, religious services, conventions, ethnic festivals, rodeos, wrestling, youth sports camps, gymnastics and cheerleading competitions, lectures, and political rallies among other corporate, community and USF events. The Arena is owned by USF and is managed and overseen by Spectra by Comast-Spectacor.
In June 2011, the USF Board of Trustees approved a $35.6 million major renovation to the 250,000-square-foot Arena including, but not limited to, the complete reconfiguration of the approximately 10,000 seat bowl (to oval bowl seating setting), adding a state-of-the art center hung LED scoreboard, additional concessions and restrooms at the concourse level (by adding a concourse under and throughout the permanent second level seating), modifying and enhancing the southeast and southwest entries, and the restoration of existing exterior concrete amongst other cosmetic improvements.
The project included the creation of a hospitality and viewing club area along the north sideline immediately placed above the lower bowl seating area anticipated for a capacity of ~600-900 patrons depending on configuration and event type. Additionally, the project provided for 10 loge boxes with a total capacity of ~60 seats to be sold by the USF Athletics Department. Basketball loge box holders have the first right of refusal to purchase tickets to other external events (e.g. concerts). The project, which was completed in May 2012, is anticipated to extend the useful life of the Arena for a 30-year time period.
The Arena serves as the exclusive home for all USF men's and women's basketball games, in addition to, women's volleyball matches to be conducted in the adjoining Corral Gymnasium. The Corral Gymnasium has a capacity of ~725 seats and ~6,700-square feet with the bleachers extended vs. ~11,500-square feet with the bleachers retracted.
The Arena serves as a strategic asset and iconic focal point of the University in engaging the Tampa Bay community to the Tampa campus through a mix of hosting internal and external events. The USF men's and women's basketball home-game schedules, typically 16 home games per each program for a total of 32 games per year, have priority in scheduling over other events.
The American Athletic Conference releases conference basketball schedules generally within the late August to early September timeframe prior to the corresponding and upcoming conference basketball season to be held from January to early March. As a result, dates from January to early March must be held until the conference schedule is released. The overall basketball season (i.e. conference and non-conference games) extends from early November through early March. USF will assist, to the best of its ability, in requesting flexibility from the conference office for certain advanced and preferred event dates in an effort to maximize the event schedule and host additional profitable and significant external events.
The USF men's and women's basketball programs will conduct regular team practices in the new Pam and Les Muma Basketball Center, which is immediately affixed to the south side of the Arena. As a result, practice times for the basketball programs shall not interfere with the Arena's event schedule. The USF women's volleyball program will continue to conduct regular practice times and sessions in the Corral Gymnasium and have priority scheduling of its competitive matches, typically 12 event dates each fall semester, prior to the hosting of other events in the Corral Gymnasium.
Directions: From I-75 Get off at the Fowler Avenue exit and head west. Turn right on Bull Run Drive (MOSI will be on your left). Sun Dome will be visible on your left.
From I-275 Get off at the Fowler Avenue exit and head east. The University is about three miles from 275. Go past the main entrance to campus and then make a left at the next light (Bull Run Drive). Sun Dome will be visible on your left.