After 30 long years, it was hard not to see how the Sun Dome arena at the University of South Florida needed a little bit of a facelift. The rickety seats, the interior ripped straight from the late 70′s, the exposed rafters; they all contributed to the Sun Dome’s stature as an old, dated arena.
So, just over a year ago, the USF Board of Trustees got the ball rolling and approved a $35.6 million renovation project for the Sun Dome. Over these past 12 months, the arena has undergone a myriad of upgrades including a new club lounge, boxes, concession stands, a concourse, a new audio visual system including a center scoreboard and television monitors, and seating around a new lower bowl in the arena which replaced the often-shaky retractable seating inside the arena before.
So, now we’re here, the new Sun Dome is done, and Elton John is set to perform for its official grand opening concert on September 14 with an expected 30 additional years of basketball and concerts like these to follow.
Of course, there are some kinks that need ironing out, mostly in the acoustics department as many found out at the venue’s first concert, the Fresh Music Festival just over a week ago. The concert featuring R&B acts like K-Ci and JoJo and Keith Sweat garnered complaints from the crowd and even an artist-led chant of “fix it, fix it, fix it!”
With all these great additions to the Sun Dome, it’d be near-tragic for an issue like this to be its downfall. We’ll all find out on September 14 when Elton John plays, but in the mean time stay tuned here at 813area as we’ll keep you updated on all the important news regarding the new USF Sun Dome.