The Bullhorn Lady and Rittenhouse Square

square

The NAACP wants Temple to put a stadium here, in half the space they already own on campus

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.

bullhorn

“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.”

 

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.”

Huh?

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?”

Err, no.

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.

 

25 thoughts on “The Bullhorn Lady and Rittenhouse Square

  1. Some of the obstacles TU has to deal with in Philly remind me so much of what Rutgers still has to deal with in NJ it’s scary. Our Stadium expansion back in 2007-2008 was almost derailed in my opinion because one guy in a position of power didn’t like our AD at the time so he started feeding the media “controversial” facts that were anything but…and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the “why does RU sports need money when they already get my tax dollars??” goofy argument. A few people did a breakdown and it turns out that RU sports gets a fraction of its budget, something like a few bucks (literately) a year from tax funds, with RU football itself getting less than a dollar a year per taxpayer in indirect funding from state taxes.

    …outside of the obvious city issues, the big issue O see with your proposed stadium is cost relative to what you will get. I saw on one of your recent pieces that your soccer/ lacrosse/ field hockey complex was like $22 mil, and that’s for some turf fields and basic infrastructure (lighting, likely bathrooms, standard bleachers, etc). I’m not engineering/ architecture expert but if that was 22 mil, how is a 35K seat stadium that is much more complex going to be 120 mil?

    Joe P.

    • It won’t. Any architect can tell you it will cost more. In the tens of millions more.
      I spoke with a prominent architect whose firm did the new embassy in London. He says 200 total ( which I think is high).
      Also the 22 million probably included cost of the land, demolition of William Penn High.

      • If it was a choice between lff and a new stadium, I would prefer lff; if it meant Franklin field or a new stadium, give me a shovel—-I would help build it myself

    • This is from the accounting nerd from within me. According to GAAP, The Real Estate Project Costs Subsections establish accounting and reporting standards for acquisition, development, construction, selling, and rental costs associated with real estate .

      Temple acquired the land underneath William Penn High School for $15 million,. Which means they spent about $7 million to knock down the school and build the fields. .

      I say write-off the $7 million dollar cost and build the OCS at 13th & Girard.

  2. The “bullhord lady” is an idiot!

  3. True Temple should build what they want where they want. Although Temple is partially state funded, so the state should have some sort of say in what Temple is spending the money on. Let’s do the math Temple says in various report it will cost $126 to 175 million to build. That’s if they stay on budget, which never happens. There will be cost on an annual basis to keep up the property, paint, grass fixing broken chairs, water, toilet paper etc.
    Temple without negotiating says the Eagles want $12 million up front and $2 million a year.
    If Temple pays the $12 million that will leave $114 million using the low estimate of $126 million. Then you divide $114 by the $2 million and it will take 57 years to break even. We all know that in 20-30 years the stadium will need upgrades. In various reports college football attendance is on the decline across the country. The last couple of stadiums built are not going well Houston and Akron. It sound like the Eagles without negotiating is a great deal.

  4. “IF TEMPLE UNIVERSITY CAN COME UP WITH THE MONEY TO BUILD A STADIUM, THEY CAN INSTEAD GIVE IT TO THE COMMUNITY … ”

    Typical attitude of your Philly residents . Always looking for a handout from the big bad university .

    What does the university get from the N Philly community in return for a handout ??

    • I doubt that all residents feel this way! In any case, the suggestion makes no sense!

    • Obviously, reading from a piece of paper, G, because I was able to get a sweet parking spot (I think it was legal) at the corner of Broad and Montgomery (on Montgomery) and, from the time I crossed Broad until the time I entered Mitten Hall, heard her repeat the same mantra at least four times. Geez, I thought. Give it a rest. Shouldn’t need to shout into a bullhorn but that’s exactly what she did. I would think you could be heard just as easily calmly talking into one.

  5. TU fan/’86, if as Mike said TU already has 100 mil in pledges, then you should really only calculate the 35mil+ that’s left to pay off against the Linc rental. That makes it much more viable from an economics standpoint. I suppose there would be interest to pay from borrowing that money initially in addition? Would transferring funds of Linc rental take care of this? Also, what are the procedes for the 20-35K attendance per home game from concessions, that TU isn’t getting anything from at present – is it significant enough to make an impact on the financial situation of the project?
    All in all tho, if TU really wants to do this they need to flip flop the sites, swallow the 22mil investment for the 3-sport field to avoid the closing of 15th st. and the neighbor problems. Or combine all 4 sports on one field in the stadium (if possible) where the 3 sport field is now. Again, with more foresight in planning all these problems could have been avoided.

  6. It’s a $130M community reinvestment by wealthy donors, a potential source of N. Philly pride, a boost to small businesses, a few full-time and part-time jobs, close to public transit, and a kick start to other commercial projects.

  7. time to move on already…, Temple is wasting time, effort, and money all good after bad. Forever fu*#ed!!

  8. time to move on already.., Temple is forever screwed.., wasted effort, time, and money all good after bad..,

    this will be a case study of what not to do for G5 schools contemplating ways, means, and ends for P5 acceptance

  9. TU leaders have no brains what so ever, wonder what they have In their skulls to keep their ears from coming together under that vacuum.
    That’s how it seems to me.
    I will admit they have to do business in a shix city , run by shix politicians , in a neighbor surrounded by a controlling mob of shix BLM mobsters.
    If this stadium doesn’t work, then just flush all the shixt and end it all.
    Only hope :somebody big has to lean on Jeffie the Laurie, that greedy bass-turd.
    In case you can’t tell , I am feeling max negative now. Help me, help me Rhonda. I need a nice surprise..

  10. Still hearing from sources in the know that construction is still on schedule to start in June. I think the dopes on the other side will throw themselves under the bulldozers and commence litigation arguing that the zoning variance violates zoning codes. . If that happens, forget this ever happening because it could and will take years to resolve.

  11. This is from the accounting nerd from within me. According to GAAP, The Real Estate Project Costs Subsections establish accounting and reporting standards for acquisition, development, construction, selling, and rental costs associated with real estate .

    Temple purchased the land underneath William Penn High School for $15 million,. Which means they spent about $7 million to knock down the school and build the fields. .

    I say write-off the $7 million dollar cost and build the OCS at 13th & Girard.

  12. The famous author Tom Wolfe (“The Right Stuff,” The Bonfire of the Vanities.” … and many more best sellers published a book in 1970 that included 2 long-form articles titled “Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers.”

    Wolf’s piece about Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers almost perfectly paints the picture of what occurred at at Mitten Hall the other night, except that Wolf documented it 48 years earlier. Excerpt from wikipedia:

    Wolfe describes hapless bureaucrats (the Flak Catchers) whose function was reduced to taking abuse, or “mau-mauing” (in reference to the intimidation tactics employed in Kenya’s anti-colonial Mau Mau Uprising) from intimidating young Blacks and Samoans, who are seen as reveling in the newfound vulnerability of “the Man”.

    Community Organizers gotta organize. And the only way to stop it is to pay. Malcolm Jenkins ceased his fist-raised protest after a large check was cut.

    If TU wants an on-campus stadium, the community organizers must be paid.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_Chic_%26_Mau-Mauing_the_Flak_Catchers

  13. PSC has it right. Let the shakedown artists line up. Best thing would be to somehow get their energies redirected to Lurie to lighten the LFF charges. Paint him as the bad guy, especially with $2.5 billion being thrown around as a price for the Charlotte franchise. Classic rich-getting-richer theme that is portrayed. “We want what Pitt gets” at Heinz Field.

  14. Eric, thanks for the breakdown of costs for the 3-sport field. So the field itself is even somewhat less than 7 mil. That sure sounds more like it AND is way more palatable to swallow the loss to move the stadium siteing there – heck, it’s a no-brainer! But will the TU decision makers see how obvious it is?

  15. PS: I gotta say, since my comments lately are about solving the OCS problems, that I’m more in favor of a reworking of the LINC rental, but I just don’t see that happening. Also the TU powers-to-be seem hell bent on doing an OCS anyway.

  16. Light a candle curse the glare.

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