Temple University’s board of trustees voted to move forward with a 35,000-seat stadium on the northwest corner of campus, despite objections from community members and students.
There was no debate on the matter; the vote was unanimous.
The cost of the new stadium is estimated to be $125 million, but it won’t actually move forward until enough is raised on the fundraising front. The school’s athletic department has already raised $12 million and is waiting $15 million more toward a goal of $50 million. The vote from the trustees allows the expenditure of $1 million toward an environmental study.
Temple football has been successful in recent years, both on the field and at the box office, playing out of Lincoln Financial Field, paying $3 million annually in rent. Temple officials see a new stadium as turning from a negative on the ledger sheet to a big positive, eliminating the rent while reclaiming all the revenue.
But not everyone is excited about a new stadium in their backyards, and they spoke out against the proposal both at the trustees meeting and outside at a protest. The issue for opponents came on two levels: community members who see their neighborhood disrupted by the noise and drunken tailgating that comes on college gameday, and students who don’t see an investment in a new football stadium benefiting them. From Philly.com:
Community residents were irate.
“The university is consistent in excluding the community,” said resident Priscilla Woods. “There is no transparency.”…
Some of the comments took on racial tones, as the African American residents addressed the largely white Temple board.
Deandra Jefferson, a Temple student and community member, accused the university of “systematically destroying a hub of black culture and creativity that has been here for years.”
“That is not a good neighbor,” she said.
Temple officials say an alumni center and perhaps a campus health-care building could be part of the development.
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