The Temple Owls are already facing an uncertain future with a new head coach and quarterback set to take over the program. Now, they face serious question marks about where the team will play in the upcoming seasons.
The Temple News reported that the university and architecture firm Moody Nolan have not worked on a $1.25 million feasibility study for the proposed football stadium for months.
A spokesman for Temple told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the report was false and there is "no change is status" to the study.
We have ourselves a classic case of he said, she said.
The only agreement between the reports is that the university is researching how the local community will embrace the $130 million project. Many have opposed the stadium construction, including a group of students and local activists knows as the Stadium Stompers.
Temple football is currently leasing Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, six miles away in South Philly for $1 million annually. The lease is set to expire, but Temple has two one-year extension options if they choose to use them. The problem there is the price will go up to $3 million annually for those years. But at this point, it looks likely that they will need to stick with South Philly as their home.
The proposed 35,000-seat stadium in the vicinity of 16th and Norris streets has its pros and cons, depending on which side of the fence you are on.
The obvious is that Temple will play its football games within walking distance of the campus. No longer will students and fans need to use the Broad Street Line to South Philly to take in the game. It will also give the Owls a true home field, rather than barely filling the bottom bowl of the Linc. Best part yet, no more home games with the Eagles logo all over the place.
The team would have a home to show off for recruiting rather than make the extra trip from Main Campus to Pattison Ave. Temple has gotten a lot of good national publicity in recent years and a new stadium would keep that momentum going.
It is no secret that universities are using football programs to generate revenue. The Owls would be able to host multiple events, further increasing university revenue, rather than paying the fee to the Eagles. The community would benefit from being able to use the stadium for recreation leagues and local business would generate more revenue.
The Stadium Stompers' biggest complaint about the projected ect is traffic that it will cause in the area. Twenty protesters were able to shut down the road, and if you are a current Temple student or alum, you know the parking situation is a disaster as it is. Adding even another 100 cars, let alone thousands, is going to be a mess.
The area is already clustered with vehicles between students, local citizens and businesses. It is already hard to leave following a Temple basketball game at the Liacouras Center and the arena capacity there is 10,200, a third less than the proposed stadium. There is not a lot of room to build another parking garage either.
If you have ever driven down the streets around Main Campus, you know the streets are tight on both sides with parked cars. Imagine one drunk idiot side swiping a line full of parked cars. Now imagine up to 35,000 of them in that small space. It sounds like we are beating up on using a car, but let's face it, that's the problem here. There is nowhere to put all of them.
The stalemate looks to have Temple in a bind. The talks may not be active now, but they are not completely dead either. Groups will continue their fight, but the university has the resources to get what they want. It's terrible to say, but the money talks and one would think that there will be a stadium in North Philadelphia soon.