Be All, Or End All?


Houston is more like Temple than any other AAC school.

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.

If that.

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,
or there’s-not-enough-good-spaces
-for-tailgating excuses.”
Sound familiar?
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

4 thoughts on “Be All, Or End All?

  1. I went to the conference championship game last year.., nothing but praise for the Houston fans.., they had tailgate tents set up adjacent to the stadium, most of the students walked to the game from the dorms, they have an adjacent parking garage.., and the place was LOUD, that teams plays for the home crowd..,

    home field advantage there is easily worth 7-10 points…,

    Houston has the one thing Temple does not enjoy – a committed billionaire who sits on the Board of Regents..,

    Theobald and Kraft have put their professional reputation and futures on the line with the very public support of an on-campus stadium.., they fail if the project fails.., and yet, I could hear stadium fatigue in Kraft’s voice this month.., tons of effort so far but only inches of progress…, I’m convinced Theobald won’t get it done, he underestimated the drama and depth of Philly politics…,

    the unions are our only hope.., this project may not be big enough to warrant the union expending the huge amount of political capital required to push the program over the top..,

    there is a less than 40% chance the stadium will be built, the sad part is it really does make financial sense in the long run..,

    the Eagles really f%*k Temple with a very one-sided lease, and this remains the number one illogical fact in this whole equation…, too many Eagle fans who support everything that organization does at the expense of a public institution…, very sad state of affairs

    • You’ve summed up where we are nicely. If this were Morgan Hall or the Library, an announcement would be made to built it, shovels in the ground and complete disregard for the city and the community. Shutting down 15th Street changes the whole dynamic of this, even though the entire project will be on Temple’s property and it has the right to build a replica of the Taj Mahal on it if it wanted to. 15th Street forces Temple to go begging to City Council and the votes are just not there for this.

  2. Political pressure on the Eagles to lighten up on the Linc deal? Bob Brady to the rescue? If no on-campus building will happen without a lot of arm twisting, maybe a plan B uses less political muscle to come about and it’s easier for all the politicos to jump on board the train.

  3. Possibly, but when directly asked by the students in a video a few weeks ago, Theobald said he really doesn’t care about the rent as much as he is committed to building an on-campus stadium. Temple seems to want one thing and the city wants another.

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