Ignorance And The Stadium


Because Temple is an educational institution, I do not expect President Neil D. Theobald or Temple University to give up educating some very misinformed individuals on the subject of a proposed new on-campus football stadium.

I do, however, understand how difficult this must be for men of their intelligence.  Now I have serious doubts that this will ever get built because of Temple’s history of having been through this with the on-campus basketball facility. Peter J. Liacouras did not get that built until he threatened to move the entire campus to Ambler, but I don’t think Theobald has the chops or permissions to make a similar threat. The extortion demands from the city and community for this are going to make that robbery look like a simple pickpocket.

That holdup aside, it seems, to me, that there are two important issues here.

One is represented by Anna in this video.

This very naïve person needs a simple economics lesson: “Temple is telling us they can’t afford $15 an hour and now all of a sudden they have $100 million for a stadium.” The $100 million is from moving the LFF money and private donations. Try going to a big donor and saying, “Err, doc, change of plans. No stadium, but can we use your $3 million contribution to raise Temple workers to $15 an hour?” Somewhat surprised Doug Shimell lets these statements to unchallenged. Maybe Jesse Watters of The O’Reilly Factor should be doing these interviews, not a local freelance hack like Shimell.


The second issue is a similar one, but slightly different. I read about 85 comments after the proposed stadium story and I cannot believe how dense people can be.

Many of them write Temple can spend the $100 million earmarked for the stadium on academics. The only reason that anywhere close to $100 million will be raised (as well at the current LFF rent) is for football. These are donors who can do whatever they please with their hard-earned money. They are galvanized by the thought of a stadium on campus. They don’t want to give to build another chemistry lab. It’s either $100 mil for a stadium or 0 for anything else.

These small-minded individuals who are doing the protesting now can get jobs for Temple asking the same people to give to academics and they will get the same response, probably a hangup click.

When will they get it through their enormously thick skulls that this money isn’t for a stadium OR academics, but it’s for a stadium or nothing? If their skulls are that thick, Temple must redo the entrance examination and weed out this stupidity before they get to the registration desk. Being able to pass Logic 101 should be the base requirement before admission to Temple University.

That’s the reality.

24 thoughts on “Ignorance And The Stadium

  1. I’ve been tracking these conversations on both philly.com and Scout and some of the postings are absurd. The latest paranoid delusion has Villanova taking our place at the Linc and having an invite to the ACC waiting (I can’t make this stuff up). I think this is the normal course and speed of life these days in a world where people select the news they want to hear based on the station or website with a media whose goal is ratings not accuracy.

    The university is going to have to navigate many hurdles, both real and imagined, to make this happen. I think the stadium will get built but it will take a small miracle for it to be close to budget and on time. I remember when ‘the Apollo of Temple’ as it was know was built and similar brain damage from local activists and certain students who felt the need to protest something because they were in college.

    In the end this stadium will continue to elevate temples image in both football and academics which will lift the overall university. Meanwhile ‘enjoy every sandwich’ as a wiseman once said.

  2. Hey Mike, i don’t know if I ever read a post on here that I agreed 100% with u but this is the one. Amen to u my brother.

  3. College students today speak of “micro-aggressions”, “trigger warnings”, and the bravery, courage and beauty of Caitlyn Jenner.

    The foreign country that drew the ire of students back when I was in school was apartheid South Africa. Today, for the protest-happy students the target is Israel.

    Back in the day, a few checks would be made to the community and a few community leaders and the protests would cease.

    Not today. I’m not judging but merely analyzing. See the protests at Yale due to “offensive” Halloween costumes.

    There are many aggrieved groups and all are seeking satisfaction.

  4. I don’t know why it’s so hard for people to connect the dots. A stadium on campus would bolster the football program, which in turn would bolster the university. If the football program is given the chance to make money instead of paying upwards of $3M a year to rent a stadium, the money would trickle down to the other sports and academics.

  5. Mike, I think your language is a little harsh at places, but your analysis is certainly correct. These student protestors don’t see value in intercollegiate sports. If we do not build a stadium, I would expect them to argue that we should simply not field a football team and spend the rent money we save on not using the LFF to satisfy whatever goal they think is more important. They want to impose their values on the entire university community.

  6. Forget the noise on this issue. The local community along with some radical students (Milienials might just be the worst generation Americans ever produced )are just trying to shake the University down for stuff. We’ve been through this before, The stadium will be built and life will go. Just keep plugging forward.

  7. So the argument here is that that $100M should be used for academic purposes and/or raising salaries of TU employees (which btw ARE awfully low). The counter to that is that donors will only donate to a capital project (in this case, a new stadium), not to operating expenses (employee salaries), which is usually true of wealthier donors (unless it’s for an endowment that fuels some operating needs). Since the protesters will never succeed in forcing the administration to use donated monies for raising salaries, it’s a rather moot point. The real debate is whether it’s worth the investment to build a new stadium to begin with. If, between money saved from Linc rent and donations, the stadium can be financed, why not do it? The only other reason for doing a new stadium (other than ego) is if it will actually help Temple get into a P5 conference, which is a looming necessity to survive in today’s college D-1 football world. But I would hate to see this project put TU in financial stress or cause an abnormal rise in tuition and fees for students. And, damn it, Temple should raise employees salaries to $15 PH no matter what happens with a stadium!

    • workers tying any protest for $15 an hour into the stadium issue is probably a sign that the workers don’t have the intellectual skills required to make $15 an hour. The two issues are completely separate.

    • Why $15 per hour? Why not $20 or $30? Who decides the arbitrary figure? The malcontents of society who offer nothing from a skill perspective and expect/demand wages that will satisfy their sense of self esteem? See, that’s the problem with folks who don’t understand economics which includes supply and demand. The labor market sets the wage rate, not a bunch of aggrieved people who think everyone owes them something. You want to increase your wages? Get a skill and or an education that is in demand by the marketplace and be good at what you do, that’s how you increase your wages. Temple is a not a for profit organization and of course wages are low compared to the for profit world. As for the stadium, just build it and move on. You cannot please everyone, opinions are like you know what, everyone has one. The Administration has a plan and they should see it through, the university is on the move in a positive direction and this is one more step in the right direction.

      • If you don’t think the labor market is a stacked deck that is anything but efficient you’re watching too much Fox News. I’ve been very fortunate in my career and it galls me that places like Walmart don’t pay a living wage and I’m required to make up for it with my taxes. I think this page best serves temple football when it sticks to those issues directly effecting the team we’re passionate about and leave politics aside as much as possible.

      • There ‘s the catch phrase, a living wage. Someone has to explain that to me. The word goes right next to that other word comrade! Let’s see, if you have a lot of people with no skills and jobs that require little skill then you have wage depression. The old staple, its Fox news’ fault. America, the land of the aggrieved it’s always someone else’s fault. Your taxes are going to deadbeats who lack the drive and motivation to get off their lazy butts, learn a skill or trade or get an education! You should be offended by that instead of Walmart. I never heard of anyone being sentenced to work at Walmart. Life’s about choices!

      • More of my taxes go to support corporate welfare, subsidized farming, and a bloated military industrial complex then to support welfare queens. My father was an immigrant from Ireland with limited education who raised six kids working a factory in southwest philly for thirty years. Those opportunities don’t exist anymore for people who didn’t have the priveledge of attending college. I respect anyone who shows up to a job trying to carry their own weight.

        Don’t try to sell me on your simplistic view of a Randian world because if you’ve ever really been around the block you’d see that’s not how it works. I spent six years in a union working my way through Temple and have been a vp in a Fortune 500 company for the past decade so spare me your bullshit comrade!

  8. Hold more town meetings! Let’s see a hysterical millennial freak out on camera or a local agitator rant that the stadium is equivalent to a holocaust. In the 1980’s we didn’t protest anything, but I survived three teacher strikes and condensed school schedules. We worked to get good grades, graduate, and get a job. No Spring Break for us. We hit the workforce, and the 1990’s was the most productive decade ever. Millennials spend way too much time on their smartphones, snapchat and twitter. They live in a silicon world with glass images saturating their google-addled brains. Football games are a time to put the phone down and socialize. It is a focal point and link for students and alumni to network face-to-face.

  9. Most public universities lose money on their athletic programs — and many have been running up ever-bigger debt to finance stadiums. The trend has occurred even though there is little evidence that football provides major revenue for expanding academic programs or reducing skyrocketing tuition. Instead, as college football has become a multibillion-dollar business demanding state-of-the-art facilities and massive coaching salaries, it is taxpayers and already debt-burdened students who ultimately pay the bill.

    “There is this notion that by building the stadium you are going to go up to some higher class of college sports, and being in this higher class of college sports you are going to get more exposure, you are going to get more out-of-state applications and you are going to get more people donating to your school or to your athletics program,” said Smith College sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, in a 2013 presentation about the economics of college stadiums.

    “The problem is that the empirical data — the evidence that’s out there — is not very supportive of those claims or of those hopes,” he said.

    The football spending binge continues at large and small public universities alike.

    Between 2009 and 2013, public universities reported increasing their annual expenditures on football to more than $1.8 billion — a 21 percent jump in inflation-adjusted dollars, according to Knight Commission data reviewed by International Business Times. In that same time period, public universities’ reported debt on their athletic facilities has grown to $7.7 billion — up 44 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars in that time. In all, two thirds of Division I public universities increased their spending on football or athletic facilities in that time period — when average tuition and student fees at public universities have risen more than 40 percent in the last decade.

    The payoff for all that investment? Nearly three quarters of all Division I football programs now run deficits, which are eventually covered by the rising tuition and student fees.

    • Temple will build a football stadium on campus.., that train has left the station..,

      the debate should shift to the design and to the home team winning at home

      • To me, a stadium is no different than Morgan Hall or the library or the E-0 or Alter Hall. It’s Temple’s property and the uni can build whatever it wants on it. I don’t think, though, it will ready for the 2018 opener. More like 2021 or a couple of years after that.

    • I like how you referenced inflation adjusted numbers until you got to tuition. Of course inflation wouldn’t make tuition go up at all right? Classic example of using biased statistics to support your opinion

  10. Wow, hit a nerve here huh? The issue of salaries came up in relation to the stadium because that’s what the protesters were arguing. Interesting to see the disparate opinions of regulars on this site when it comes to politics. I happen to feel that anyone who is willing to work, no matter what their job (or “intellectual skills”) may be, should be able to make an above poverty level, livable wage. Period. anyone who doesn’t agree with that probably thinks slavery is ok. Yeah, let’s go back to that! I agree with you totally Dayowl87.
    Now, what were we talking about? Oh, yeah, Temple football and stadiums. There are too many things that could occur, especially considering Temple’s history, to make a definitive statement that a new stadium will bolster the football program and consequently the uni. You know, like Rhule falls flat on his face or leaves and they hire another Bobby Wallace, the already crappy fan base won’t increase by much, no guarantees even with success that they can fill even 35K seats, Nova goes D-1A and a P5 conference takes them and not Temple for that Philly TV market (never thought of that, huh?) continuing the old Temple bad luck syndrome, Temple’s new stadium is no more successful than schools like Akron, well I could go on but you get the idea. Plus, I really wonder how much of this push is simply resume building by the President and AD, positions that are temporary (why trust them being from such a mediocre football school as IU. TU should keep planning but wait to see if the program can stay successful for awhile. And kj, at this point the train may be warming up but hasn’t necessarily left the station – and anyway trains have breaks if there’s an obstacle on the tracks.

  11. Big city (NFL franchise city) schools/no stadium on campus/share with NFL or similar: Temple, Pitt, USF, SD State, USC, UCLA, Miami
    Big city (NFL franchise) schools/on campus stadium: UWash, Houston, Minn, SMU, Tulane, Cinci, Ga Tech,

    Works both ways.

    • Yea but the Eagles are demanding significantly more than any of those other NFL teams for temple to stay there. The current contract is already one of the higher paying ones and they want to more than double it to 3 million per year and 0 concessions or parking money. As it stands this is a big loss of money every year for temple, something the stadium would eventually recoup

  12. Read your article again, Mike, and chuckled over the “logic” statement. Not only does logic often get trumped, but similarly, critical thinking seems to be non-existent any more. And Drididkdj, Temple football loses money with or without the Linc rent. Sure it adds on to the debt but isn’t the only thing that does. If they can truly get all the monies donated (which I doubt), money from naming rights, concessions AND rid themselves of that rent maybe it will work out ok. The big question is just how much of a debt will thy end up with? Let’s say they get only 1/3 up front when all is said and done, they still will have an 85 million debt. Lurie’s deal is 30 years, 12 mil up front and 2 mil a year = 72 mil. So I guess a $13 million debt is within reason. But then there is maintenance and upgrades over those 30 years above the 13 mil. Of course that’s also assuming the projected costs don’t end up exceeding the new $126 million price tag – ha, ha.

    • if this thing looks anything like the Tulane disaster, it is not worth building. Minimum do a better version of Boca and I think the fans will be satisfied, but I don’t think that’s possible for $126 mil

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