This will be the last post, at least on this site, on a stadium until Temple University officially makes some sort of pronouncement about a timetable for construction. The prediction here is that will not come for another year or two, so any further speculation on the topic is really silly.
All that has happened so far is that Temple has announced it wants to build a stadium and the city has announced it is against Temple building that stadium. We have reached, with apologies to Donald J. Trump, a Mexican Standoff.
This is going to be a long, drawn-out, process. First, the uni is going to have to get past the minefield that is City Council and, once past that, artillery of the “community” and, after that hurdle, the tanks and suicide bombers of possible law suits holding up the project. People who are talking like there could be a game in the new stadium in two years are really kidding themselves. More like two years until there is the first shovel on the ground.
This post, though, is largely to tell the tale about Houston’s beautiful new facility and the similarities that Houston has with Temple, which are many. When I first heard that Temple was considering a football stadium, oh, about 50 or so years ago, I found the idea more than intriguing but necessary.
The Owls were nomads at the time, playing at a sub-standard stadium, the Vet, or at the tail end of their long-term relationship in Mount Airy. Then, the Owls talked about building a 35,000-seat indoor football/basketball complex on the site of Wilkie-Buick, and that’s probably what should have happened. The Owls would have solved two problems, football and basketball, and dealt with the community and the city once, not twice.
“There’s the games-are-at-the-(pro stadium)
excuse, so there’s no college environment,
and if UH just moves games to campus,
things will be fine. … then there’s
the neighborhood-isn’t-safe excuse.
And the traffic-sucks excuse.
Don’t forget the problems-with-parking,
It’s Houston, not TU
Now, the Owls are in a half-billion dollar palace just seven miles south of the campus with a dedicated subway stop at each end taking as many students who want to attend games door-to-door.
There are a lot of things to consider about a new stadium, and chief among them, is the question about it solving all or most of the program’s current ills. There are a couple of working studies to consider and one is the 15-year Liacouras Center history. In the years since the LC was built, Fran Dunphy had the team winning three-straight A10 titles and there were plenty of seats to be had in those years. You can complain all you want about Dunphy, but when he gives you three-straight league titles and that arena comes nowhere close to selling out on a regular basis, you’ve got a fan problem that is deeper than an on-campus facility. Another is Houston’s beautiful stadium, where the Cougars have completed their second season.
In this story, head coach Tom Herman complains about attendance, and the writer cites many of the concerns some Temple fans have about an on-campus stadium. There are a lot of sides to this stadium story, and it’s not all crystal clear.
While l would love to be able to walk from one end of the campus to a football game on the other end of the campus, it’s worth five minutes of your time to read that what happened in Houston wasn’t the be-all or end all it was cracked up to be.
Monday: Anthony Russo’s 2016 Role
Wednesday: The Second Easiest Schedule In College Football