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The possibility of a stadium at UCF is generating a lot of interest among students, faculty, neighbors, area residents, sports fans and others. Questions range from "How can I help?" to "Where are all of those fans going to park on game day?"
That's why we're setting up this Web site — to be able to answer those questions and more, quickly and accurately. Having the facts can alleviate needless confusion and concern.
We invite you to visit the FAQ section for frequent updates. Ask questions and visit the site often. There is no better place to get the most accurate and timely data about the proposed stadium. Also, if you haven't done so, please visit our campus. It is a beautiful, thriving major metropolitan university and we are proud of it. There is no substitute for the firsthand experience you'll gain from a campus visit.
Now, let's address some of the major topics.
UCF has commissioned a traffic study to specifically address the impact of game-day traffic. The study will take into account current traffic patterns, available on-campus parking, shuttle bus routing and capacity, the number of students within walking distance of the stadium, and other related facts. It will also include a look at best practices on other college campuses.
Other relevant information:
UCF is working with architects and engineers who have specific expertise and experience in minimizing the effects of stadium lighting on surrounding communities. These experts have designed and built solutions that are working successfully in similar situations. Part of the solution will be to maximize the light directed onto the playing field. That will not only minimize the impact on neighborhoods but also decrease energy costs.
Lighting technology becomes more sophisticated each year and UCF is looking for the solution that's best for athletes and fans in terms of quality entertainment, for neighbors in terms of impact and for the environment in terms of energy costs.
Here again, UCF will turn to the experts and hire engineers with particular proficiency in this area. Today's stadium sound systems are far more sophisticated than the ones often used in older facilities. UCF has the advantage of buying a new system and won't be saddled with inheriting old technology.
Our goal for these events will be to offer a family-fun atmosphere that is comfortable and friendly for our students, parents and neighbors with entertainment and shopping venues, restaurants and football.
UCF will institute game-day safety guidelines that clearly outline acceptable behavior.
Special security teams — in-house personnel, contract officers and off-duty police as well as other security officers — will work as a unit to enforce safety and security plans and carry out specific tasks during the day. Perimeter patrols will monitor parking areas to deter ticket scalpers and keep an eye on cars. Security officers will screen fans at each gate and patrol inside the stadium.
In the event of an emergency, UCF will have medical and fire teams, police, crowd control and security staff on hand. Security and parking patrols will be present during the time leading up to the game and continuing until crowds have dispersed. Our campus is well lit and there is a network of strategically placed emergency phones.
Like other structures on campus, the proposed stadium would be built to blend in with its surroundings. UCF has spoken with several organizations to date, all of which have extensive experience in stadium design — HOK S+V+E, 360 Architecture and Dant Clayton are leaders in each of their respective fields.
Once there's a decision on the final look, we'll have drawings here on the Web site.
There are three locations on campus that could reasonably be considered for locating a football stadium on campus.
(1) The least desirable site is near the old wastewater treatment plant on the southeastern end of campus. It has been deemed unsatisfactory for a number of reasons: difficult accessibility for pedestrian and vehicular traffic; it would cause relocation of a number of College of Engineering and Computer Science facilities; and it is remote from existing parking. Since this site is served from the north only by two-lane Libra Drive, it would require massive roadway improvements to function adequately and would be very near four residential neighborhoods. A stadium would also impact wetlands and transmission electric lines.
(2) The second potential site, located in the southwestern corner of the campus, has the advantage of not being near family neighborhoods, and it is in walking proximity to student residential neighborhoods across Alafaya Blvd. and the Academic Villages.
Disadvantages include the two environmentally sensitive wetlands that diminish the available acreage, the amount of infrastructure required to adequately improve the roads to handle the traffic, and its remoteness from other amenities available to campus guests.
This site is now being developed into a series of intramural playing fields and a support building – and has been under construction long before the proposed stadium was even a consideration.UCF fields hundreds of intramural teams serving thousands of students in various sports. For example, there are more than a hundred flag football teams using the available fields. These will be lighted fields. If the stadium moved to this area, not enough acreage would be available for the intramural fields on other sites in the intercollegiate athletics area.
Additionally, this site is also being developed for a marching band practice field and a band building to support the various marching band, jazz band and pep band activities. Marching band practice is a very noisy activity with practices every afternoon during the entire football season. Interestingly, when this was originally located on the northern part of campus, it was the source of some complaints about noise. These complaints were a factor in our decision to relocate the marching band practice field to the southwestern corner of the campus. Additionally, the student recreational fields are in close proximity to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center and its planned expansion.
There are no alternate sites that compare favorably for these activities on campus.
(3) The third, and preferred, option is the ground near the existing arena in the area of campus devoted to intercollegiate athletics (including baseball, basketball, softball, soccer, track and field, and football). The proposed stadium site would be on land that is already cleared, much of which is currently being used for athletic practice fields. It is adjacent to existing and planned intercollegiate athletic buildings, and it is a good location for access by pedestrian traffic.
The planned 10,000-seat Convocation Center and the adjacent Arena, along with the planned restaurants and shops surrounding the Convocation Center, will provide for pre- and post-game activities for visitors to the stadium. From a traffic perspective, these amenities will extend the arrival and departure times to and from the campus, which will help with the traffic flow. While the entire campus will be used for parking, this location offers two existing garages and two planned garages in easy walking distance.
The Fairwinds Alumni Center is currently being constructed across the street from where the Convocation Center and stadium will be located, and the Student Union is within easy walking distance of the site. These two facilities will also be used before and after games for events, again easing the peak traffic flows. This location further allows UCF to center the majority of pre- and post-game activities in one location on campus. The roadways and wide walkways in the area will assist in accommodating bus and shuttle transit access on game days.
UCF has no way of predicting homeowner property values should a proposed stadium be built, since there are many variables that go into resale and property value calculations.
We can say that the proposed stadium would complement the student housing, alumni center, convocation center, retail shops and restaurants already planned for the area, and we intend for this complex to be a valued asset for our UCF community and our neighbors. We want to contribute to the quality of life both on and off campus for residents in general, not just those who attend games, and we'll continue to work hard to provide education, recreation, entertainment activities and cultural opportunities for our neighbors.
Interestingly, when Universal Orlando underwent a major expansion a number of years ago, homeowners were concerned about the potentially negative impact of a much larger theme park across the street from their lakefront homes. Instead, home values have risen since that expansion.
UCF and its Alcohol and Other Drug Programming Office are concerned about the behavior and safety of fans, our students and neighbors. As evidence of this commitment to our fans, the proposed stadium will not sell alcohol. In addition, we expect fewer fans will be driving because of the proposed stadium location. The closeness of the stadium to many of our students and employees should actually decrease the number of cars on the road. Over the last three decades, countless UCF students and other fans who live in the UCF area have been driving more than 30 miles to attend each downtown game.
No. Tuition will not be raised to pay for the stadium. In fact, no taxpayer money will be used for the stadium. The stadium will be funded through ticket and merchandise sales, corporate sponsorships and donations.
As the university continues to develop planning for the proposed stadium on campus, several activities typical of campus construction will be undertaken.
When available, we'll share results from these studies with our neighbors on this Web site.
The football schedule is normally posted in February for the upcoming football season on the UCF Athletics Web site. UCF News For Neighbors also has a calendar of upcoming UCF events on the back page.
UCF is currently discussing how to encourage our neighbors to attend many UCF functions. There may be family ticket packages for all sports teams — baseball, basketball, soccer and softball — and for theatre, music and special guest events.
We plan to offer discount season tickets for football games to our neighbors and friends. With an alcohol-free stadium, UCF football games will be family-friendly and a great bargain for our neighbors to enjoy an afternoon of fun and become more closely connected to their hometown university.
If you live anywhere in Central Florida, there's a good chance UCF impacts your life in some very positive ways. Yes, things are changing and we're growing, but we're also working hard to provide educational access to people in our state who want to improve their lives with an advanced education. At the same time we're exploring ways to improve all of our lives by conducting research in many fields, including health-related issues and diseases, the environment and social problems, and contributing to cultural development. Many of the teachers in our community graduated from UCF. Of the new teachers hired in Orange County Public Schools, 40 percent graduated from UCF's College of Education.
Many of our events on campus are free and open to the public. We've had world-famous speakers, such as George Will, and television personalities, such as Dr. Phil McGraw, along with others who have addressed concerns and issues of interest to our society. People such as authors William Styron, Maya Angelou, Joyce Carol Oates and Toni Morrison have lectured on campus. Alumni Youth Sports Day enables neighbors' children to get sports instruction from UCF athletes for a nominal price. At the UCF Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, services are free to the public, and the Communication Disorders Clinic provides low-cost or free services.
The UCF Conservatory Theatre on campus and the Orlando Repertory Theatre downtown draw good local reviews and often sell-out crowds. Music performances, many of them on campus, are often free or at a $10 fee. Art shows are free. So is use of the library and its rotating displays and shows.
UCF has a number of different publications, including UCF News For Neighbors, which goes to approximately 45,000 homes near the university. Since printed publications take longer to produce and distribute, UCF built this Web site to provide timely and accurate information about the proposed stadium. Remember, communication needs to be a two-way street. We're going to keep this site current and relevant, and we want to hear from you as well.Back to Questions