If you haven’t heard anything on the stadium issue, there are at least a couple of reasons for it.
One, when Mitchell Morgan takes over for Patrick J. O’Connor as the Temple University Board of Trustees chairman on Aug. 1, that big folder marked “Temple Stadium” will be left on his desk along with another one “candidates to replace Dick Englert.” (Englert has held the job as President since Neil Theobald was let go three years ago.)
If there was every a can kicked down the road, it’s a stadium that was a supposed “done deal” as far back as March 2012 and talked about prior to the Liacouras Center even being built.
That’s a little ironic because the final piece in this puzzle could literally be kicking the can down the road.
Splitting the baby was King Solomon’s solution and the Board of Trustees needs to split this baby as painful as it may be but killing off a perfectly good and nearly brand new $22 million Olympic stadium and putting a $130 million football stadium in its place.
Kick the football stadium can down the road to Broad and Master and return the Olympic sports teams back to their original home, Geasey Field, at 15th and Norris. The neighbors who object so strongly to football lived with the Olympic sports for 50 years at Norris Street without any histrionics so it would be disingenuous to object to those sports returning now.
There are really only two solutions now and the preferable one is admitting that the first mistake was trying to build at 15th and Norris. The university did not expect the kind of opposition it got from neighbors at that location, the same neighbors who never objected to the lacrosse and field hockey teams playing there for almost a half-century prior to this latest fiasco.
The second is dropping the whole stadium issue entirely but, before that happens, all other avenues should be exhausted.
There will still be opposition to the Broad and Master site, but the fact that the university had rather large and working stadiums at that site for the last five years should mollify the opposition somewhat. There’s plenty of room for a football stadium at Broad and Master and the fact that by converting it to a football stadium m48akes it less intrusive, not more, on the community that the three sports currently there. Those fields now were used 48 days for home games in the Olympic sports, while football will only be used for six days or nights.
Plus, Morgan Hall, which is used over 300 days a year, is just next to it and the new BOT chair should know something about that high-rise. It was named after him.
Saturday: The Jimmies and the Joes