Temple announces next step in on-campus stadium plan in North Philadelphia
Temple’s student section cheers during Notre Dame’s 24-20 win at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Oct. 31, 2015. (Sean Simmers | firstname.lastname@example.org)
Temple will take another step in its quest for an on-campus football stadium when it files a project submission with the City Planning Commission, the school announced Thursday.
The current proposal site is within the Temple campus’ existing footprint, and the stadium would be bordered by Broad Street, Norris Street, 16th Street and two halls. According to the university, no additional land is needed for the stadium aside from the closure of 15th Street between Norris Street and Montgomery Avenue.
The cost estimate for the facility is $130 million, the school said.
The project will be funded “primarily” by private donations and bonds, including the money that be used to rent Lincoln Financial Field, according to the university. Temple has extended its lease at the Linc in South Philly for the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and the university hopes to have the stadium built by 2020, according to Philly.com.
“We have said from the start that our first priority has been to engage with our neighbors and local leaders to determine the potential for, and impact of, this facility,” Temple president Richard M. Englert said in a release. “After more than two years of these discussions, and in light of the project’s tremendous value for Temple and North Philadelphia, I have concluded that the time is right to take this step.”
It’s been nearly two years since Temple’s board of trustees “authorized the development of preliminary studies and designs for a multipurpose retail and stadium project.” The plan for the stadium also includes space for retail on North Broad Street to help “create a vibrant, pedestrian-focused experience that will benefit students and the community alike.” The university also said there will be classrooms, meeting space and research space in the project.
A goal of the project is to move Temple’s pregame festivities from South Philly to its North Philly campus and create a tailgate experience similar to those of other colleges.
“The opportunity to explore bringing the public, alumni and fans back to campus to experience Temple’s continuing transformation is one we can’t pass up,” Englert said in the release. “I am confident we can design and build a facility that makes sense for Temple and for the community. “
“Our goal is to build a project that can be a source of pride for Temple, our neighbors and our city.”
There is some neighborhood opposition to the project. A group made up of students, faculty and community activists called the “Stadium Stompers” planned protests at board of trustees meetings in the fall, according to Philly.com.
“They’re not looking to the future — not for the future of the neighborhood. They’re looking for the future of Temple University,” resident Gail Loney told Philly.com in October. “In their future, they just want Temple University to take over the whole neighborhood. Since we’re the focus for them, they’re the focus for us.”
Englert said in the release that Temple “will continue our conversations with neighbors to address concerns over the impact of the project.”
According to the university, designers were instructed to minimize the impact of the facility’s height, lights and noise. The school also said “core elements” of its research have been working with the community and government to address local residents’ concerns on noise, parking, traffic and trash.
“These discussions have been invaluable not only in terms of the proposed facility but also in helping us understand and develop better working relationships in the community,” Englert said in the release. “It is important for us to be better neighbors, and we have taken a number of steps to address community issues as a result.”