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Temple pitches new on-campus stadium

Temple playing at the Linc

We could seen a new Temple football stadium, as the Owls would shift its football program from Lincoln Financial Field to a new $100-million on-campus stadium under a plan expected to be debated by the university’s board of trustees before the end of the year.

The plan calls for a 35,000-seat new Temple football stadiumstadium on the northwest corner of campus, behind the Liacouras Center and on the current Geasey Field site. While 35,000 seats might seem low when compared to other NCAA football programs, it’s right in line for the American Athletic Conference; Nippert Stadium at the University of Cincinnati, for instance, seats 40,000. Athletic-department officials say they have three-quarters of the money already raised, including $20 million from the state.

With the Temple Owls currently in the top 25 in college-football polls, there’s been increased interest in the program. The team will sell out Lincoln Financial Field twice this season (albeit for Penn State and Notre Dame, where the opposing team is a great draw on their own), and there’s some concern that a new stadium may not be financially sustainable. From

The plan, Theobald said, would also involve some borrowing. The university would divert the money it pays the Eagles annually to lease Lincoln Financial Field toward paying off a bond issue. The agreement with the Eagles runs through 2017. The new stadium, he said, ideally would open in 2018….

[Temple President Neil D.] Theobald said a stadium would bring more people onto campus, engage alumni, and involve more of the university’s 39,000 students, who would be able to walk to a game. The plan, he said, also includes coffee shops, bookstores, convenience stores, and other retail to build up the area.

“It becomes a hub of the campus around which we build the residential Temple experience,” Theobald said. “It would be a place students would hang out.”

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