Fake News: On Campus Stadium


Long before Donald Trump popularized the term “Fake News” it applied to one story surrounding Temple football.

At least for me.

From this perspective, the proposed new stadium on campus is and has always been “Fake News.”

Yet every thread on a message board about it will have about 1,000 responses, more than any other issue involving Temple athletics.

The term “done deal” about the stadium was first spoken by a member of the board of trustees to a big-time donor at the North Carolina State vs. Temple basketball game in 2013.


Moody Nolan: Spilled Beans

It is now 2017 and there hasn’t been a single shovel in the ground or a bulldozer on site.

I hate to tell this to the stadium backers, but there won’t be.

To understand that is to understand the political climate in the city.

It’s frosty toward Temple. Downright frigid.

Former President Peter J. Liacouras had to fight tooth and nail to get the Apollo of Temple built, and the reward for that fight was taking that great name off the facility and putting his name on it.

Liacouras had to resort to the “Nuclear Option” to get it done: Threaten to move Temple out of the city. There is no more “Nuclear Option” anymore simply because of the result of the investment Temple has made its campus since then.

Temple’s current leadership doesn’t have the stomach for the threat or the Capital to bribe the city for getting this done. A bare-bones $130 million price tag is all you need to know about how little money they want to spend. There is no extra money set aside for a community center, a health clinic or anything else that might sweeten the pot for the community.

Sure, they have done all of the requisite things to pave the way for the stadium, including clearing the Geasey Field area for the build.

It will not matter, though, if they cannot get the proposal through City Council and Temple has very few if any votes to get that done.

That’s why the most recent  development–a CEO for Moody Nolan telling the press that the whole idea is “on hold” for now, followed by a hasty denial from Temple, tells you all you need to know about the project.

Temple, no doubt, told Moody Nolan that the whole idea was on hold, while mantaining the difficult balancing act of telling its big-ticket donors that it is not.

Who to believe?

When real news conflicts with fake, go for the preponderance of evidence. In my mind, it leads to one conclusion: They have realized they cannot do it with the makeup within this current City Council and, unless Mayor Kenney and Councilman Clarke show up with hardhats and shovels soon, on hold means tabled.

They never had all of their ducks in a row and that’s why this never was a real story in the first place.


16 thoughts on “Fake News: On Campus Stadium

  1. Theobold would have fought for that stadium. Bet you most people don’t know who the current president is. Current administration won’t fight for anything. Fact is, as soon as Comcast became a major player in global media, I would have had someone visiting them everyday pushing a partnership with the Owls. On top of that there’s been no push back on the neighborhood resistance nonsense. There is no neighborhood anymore and is now a Temple neighborhood. Those pushing the neighborhood meme are extortionists looking for a payout like John Street got for the BB arena. In addition, no one from Temple, except for Theobold got in front of this thing. Once he was gone, so was the stadium. About the crowd argument over 40 thousand people descend on that campus every day. I know they don’t all come at once but it’s a good argument against those who complain about the crowds. Finally, no one has argued that in a city awash in poverty a project like this is a blessing for the jobs it will create. How a broke city can turn down a hundred million dollar project is mind-blowing and I’d call City Council and the Mayor on it. Program could be killed in 2019 because of a lack of a place to play. Frankly, given the change in the college sports landscape and the diminishing odds that TU will become part of a P-5 conference maybe it’s time. If Collins doesn’t continue to win, it may be a foregone conclusion.

    • If Collins treats this as a short-term gig, win with Rhule talent and get out without replenishing the cupboard like Golden and Rhule did, the Owls are in trouble. As far as the city goes, it’s always been “not in my neighborhood” for big decisions. Look at Chinatown. The Phillies could have had the most spectacular PNC Park type stadium in the country with a 360-degree up-close view of the city skyline but let a few restaurateurs derail the project. The irony of that is the spill-off business they would have gotten from the Phillies crowds could have made them all millionaire and billionaires. The surrounding Temple community is similarly clueless.

      • Before anything else, Mike- glad to see your procedure went well last week. If TU was going to try and do a brand-new stadium for $130 mil in Philly, I think you’re better off at the Linc. I don’t know much about construction costs in Philly but it is a big part of the Northeast metroplex; I doubt it’s cheap. For that price you would have literately gotten a field, bleachers, restrooms and some concession stands…and that’s if everything went exactly according to plan with zero incidental costs. TU would likely also be cashing in every ‘favor’ they possibly have for the next 50 years for this barebones structure; done definite potential benefits but a huge amount of risk as well (especially with the ‘new stadium mentality’ we have in this country where any stadium over 10 years old is ‘outdated’ and needs to be updated).

        Joe P.

      • thanks, Joe. Looking forward to the 2020-21 games. As far as outdated stadiums, maybe the Owls can one day slide into CBP to use the baseball analogy once the Phillies get their long-sought-after Center City spot. That will be in 10-20 years, though, and many of us will be long gone.

  2. The big issue here is that without a stadium Lurie will keep inflating the Linc’s cost to Temple. It becomes a game of chicken in 2019. How many years can Temple hold off a decision while affording Lurie’s price increases?

    We’ve been saying for years “TUF needs to win big and force the board’s hand to build a stadium”. If a championship, beating PSU, and ranking doesn’t nudge them nothing will. The stadium won’t ever get done for the same reason we can’t keep a coach. BOT needs to buy in to TUF 100% and support it or we will stay in this malaise indefinitely.

    • Not sure that even if the BOT got 100 percent behind this project it has a prayer of getting done. You look at the make-up of the City Council now. I don’t see ANY faces friendly to Temple on it (none) and, on top of that, City Council has a rule that the Councilman in every district must sign off on a project within that district for it to move forward. This North Philly Councilman might be the leader of the Stadium Stompers. Temple blew its chance to build a stadium when it did not build a Carrier Dome for an extra $20 million back in 1990.

  3. Temple is in talks with Pepsi, Coca Cola, and Dr. Pepper Snapple to acquire the old Cedarbrook Mall site in Wyncote for a domed 45,000 seat multipurpose stadium and beverage mart.

  4. The fact remains Temple needs a place to play football when the current lease at the Linc expires. Since the City gave away rights to be landlord at the stadium to the Eagles means Laurie has no incentive to cut Temple a fair deal, even if they wanted to share LFF with Temple, which they don’t. The only solution is to continue to try to build the stadium, which is their only leverage against Laurie. Basically, Temple is in a corner.

  5. At this point, the only option for TUFB is negotiating a palatable long term lease at the Linc. Think the necessary “pay off” to the community will be too steep for the admin given the amount that is being talked about for stadium construction. At best for $130 million you get bare bones bleachers. I don’t think Franklin Field or Talon Energy stadium are viable alternatives at all. So I think you are looking at extend the lease at the Linc or fold up the tent on the football program

  6. Now that Trey Klock has committed to Northwestern, a school 7+ hours away from his house, I am more than happy to criticize Coach Collins’ recruiting with you.

    • Really? A grad student picked a Northwestern education and a chance to play in the Big 10 over Temple and we are going to jump on the coach? I love Temple. Both the university and the football team. But be realistic. You have to really want to play in Philadelphia to pick Temple over Northwestern. Its not always just about football.

  7. Dave, if your comment isn’t a joke, and Temple really is considering to build in Wyncote they might as well have kept the site right down Cheltenham Ave. where old Temple Stadium was located and either upgraded or built new. They would have been ahead of the game, already owning the site. Just another blunder. They’re really caught between a rock and a hard place dealing with Lurie or trying to build on campus – both near impossible situations. What a mess. And we wonder why Temple never seems to be able to “build” a football program for the long run!?

  8. PS, I mean, look at the picture of the old stadium. Many extra seats (20,000 more total for 45K seats) could have easily been added on each side by continuing the seating on up from the existing seating; and on the west (?) end zone where there was none – there was plenty of room on the site. The exterior would have had a nice historic look, even today. But of course, that’s a lost opportunity now.

    • I was feeding off the “fake news” theme, but Temple should look at other nearby locations that are not hostile to the idea.

  9. How about if Temple University Hospital stops admiting indigent patients and directs them to the NovaCare Center.

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