Imagine, for instance, if you wanted to build a deck on your property and several of your neighbors came over and said: “We don’t think that’s a good idea and we’re going to the City Council to fight it.”
The deck is on your property, not theirs, yet they succeed at getting the city to deny you the opportunity to improve your property.
That’s the level of ridiculousness we’ve reached with Temple University attempting to build a stadium on its own property.
The sad thing is that the neighbors do not realize how ridiculous they look or sound and probably never will.
I got a taste of this walking into Mitten Hall for the March 6 “community Town Hall” that was drowned out by protesters 13 minutes into the festivities.
On the way in, I was greeted by this sound by a woman with a bullhorn shouting from the seat of a small red car:
“IF TEMPLE UNIVERSITY CAN COME UP WITH THE MONEY TO BUILD A STADIUM, THEY CAN INSTEAD GIVE IT TO THE COMMUNITY OR INVEST IT IN RAISES FOR TEACHERS.”
I wanted to saunter over there and disabuse the nice lady of this ill-conceived notion but for my own personal safety let it go. I’ll just explain how “Temple came up with the money” here.
The stadium will cost at least $130 million and the university is well on its way to reaching its goal of $100 million in private contributions and expects to surpass that by groundbreaking. The rest of the money will be transferring funds already earmarked for Lincoln Financial Field to play in the new stadium.
If the stadium isn’t built, the money goes right back to the donors. It does not go to “the community” nor will it be used for “raising teacher salaries.” The money is for a stadium, or there is no money at all. That’s how that works. Hypothetically, when the university fund-raisers call you on the phone and ask for a stadium donation, they don’t say: “Hey, Sparky, just a heads up. If we run into problems building the stadium, can we get your OK to divert your million bucks to the community or pay raises for teachers?”
Just when you think the level of ridiculousness could not get any more bizarre, the NAACP said Temple University should consider building its stadium in Rittenhouse Square. Three problems with that: One, Temple does not own Rittenhouse Square; two, it’s not a large enough area to build a 35,000-seat stadium on (Geasey Field alone is larger than Rittenhouse Square) and, three, Temple would have to move its campus to Rittenhouse Square for it to be cost effective and Temple simply is not going to do that. Rittenhouse Square is a total of seven acres. Just the “Geasey Field” part of the proposed on-campus stadium site is eight acres, half of what the university has allocated for the entire project.
That would be like your neighbors coming over to you and telling you no deck on your property, but they would support you if you wanted to build your deck five miles down the road in the dog park.
Doesn’t make sense, does it?
Very few things in Provincial “Not In My Backyard” Philadelphia ever do.