As discussion over a proposed Temple football stadium continues, some residents and members of the campus community are voicing opposition to the proposal.
It was recently learned that university president Richard M. Engler would file a project submission to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission for the new stadium. The $130-million new Temple football stadium, which would open for the 2020 season if fundraising and city approval moves forward, would be built at a site owned by the university. Its location is bound by Broad Street on the east; Norris Street on the north; 16th Street on the west; and Pearson-McGonigle halls and the Aramark Student Training and Recreation (STAR) Complex on the south.
Ultimately, the city’s approval of the project will be a major factor in whether its move forward, but members of the campus community and residents in the surrounding neighborhoods are expressing opposition to the proposal. While Engler has sought to make his case for the project, and Temple has proposed implementing a Special Services District to help maintain the surrounding area, some members of the campus community are coming out against the new stadium. More from The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Englert told the Inquirer and Daily News that discussions were ongoing with neighbors but did not answer questions about what specific meetings were taking place or who could attend.
He said people would have an opportunity to comment on the project during public hearings at the Planning Commission. The commission usually meets midday in a conference room on the 15th floor of 1515 Arch St.
“The problem is these guys have decided they want the stadium. They’ve already made up their mind,” said Jennie Shanker, who teaches at Temple’s Tyler School of Arts. “It’s an insult. It’s an insult to the community, it’s an insult to the faculty, and actually it’ll be to students’ detriment in the long term.”
Shanker was one of 502 faculty members, in the school’s bargaining unit of 2,800 members, surveyed about the stadium. Seventy-five percent of respondents said they were against it. Next week the Temple Association of University Professionals, a union of faculty, librarians, and academic professionals, will vote on a resolution calling on the university to halt its decision to build the stadium. The resolution also asks administrators to hold meaningful talks with the community and release the $1.25 million feasibility study it conducted before proceeding.
At this point, Temple is expected to continue playing at Lincoln Financial Field through the 2019 season. If the proposed new Temple football stadium moves forward, the university would look to solicit private donations and issue bonds to back the project. It would also sell stadium naming rights, and obtain gate and concessions revenue.
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