Central Florida team to get new $51M stadium

Updated: December 15, 2005, 3:18 PM ET
Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The University of Central Florida is set to build a $51 million stadium for its vastly improved football team.

The school's board of trustees on Wednesday approved a financial plan for the 45,000-seat stadium, which could open for the 2007 football season.

The Golden Knights have made the second-biggest turnaround in NCAA history. They went from 0-11 last season to 8-4, playing for the Conference USA championship and going to a bowl for the first time. UCF will play Nevada on Dec. 24 in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

"If you had said two years ago that by now we'd have formal approval for a stadium, I think people would have been dubious," university president John Hitt said. "We've broken the losing streak. We're confident where we are with the fan base. Everything looks more rosy."

The team will move out of the downtown Citrus Bowl when the new stadium is finally ready.

The approval came only after trustees were assured the stadium could generate enough revenue to cover costs.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press