The Dotted Line=No Stadium (Yet)

Urinals

This could be your urinal at Franklin Field next year if Temple does not reach an agreement with the Eagles.

One of the topics often talked about among Temple fans in the parking lot last year was the stadium issue.

Make no mistake, a major college football team without a stadium is an issue in the nation’s fourth-largest market.

Then it was 12 months, then 11, then 10 and then nine until Temple needed a place to play and did not have one, at least officially.

We’re about at the eighth-month mark and there is still no signature on the dotted line.

Soon enough, we will be at one. You’ve got to think this is a pretty big story on the Philadelphia sports scene but you are much more likely to read speculative pieces in the offseason on who the Eagles’ right backup guard will be then how the negotiations with Temple and Jeffrey Lurie are going.

Screenshot 2020-01-23 at 9.42.25 AM

Hat tip to one of the greatest cornerbacks in Temple history, Joe Greenwood, for this graphic.

That’s where the Temple News comes into play. Somebody in the media now cares about an issue a lot of us care about and The Temple News, not the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News or Philadelphia Magazine, finally wrote something about it.

Basically, the bottom line is nothing has been done about a contract and there is no signature ceremony planned and we are running out of time. Urinals at Franklin Field could be the least of the Owls’ problems. The AAC might be forced to keep Temple off the home TV schedule due to Penn having control of Saturdays and that could affect Temple’s road game exposure as well.

Is this a concern?

It should be because the requests for season tickets have gone out and I’m not 100 percent sure I will be sitting in my comfortable Section 121 end-of-the-row seat or on a wooden bench getting splinters and ducking the pigeons at Franklin Field. Ninety percent, but not 100 percent.

tailgating

Since the last time Temple played a home game at Franklin Field, Penn has moved the tailgating area from the Palestra parking lot to Shoemaker Green here.

I guess Temple and the Eagles will work out a deal because really there is no other option. The university completely botched the stadium. To me, it was a no-brainer to build where the library is now, knocking down Maxi’s, the Conwell Inn and that entire Liacouras Walk and putting the Library in that big empty spot at 15th and Norris. That way, no neighbors to deal with unless the protest is against a library. That would not go over well even in neighbor-friendly Philadelphia City Council. This is what happens when you hire people from Indiana to run a Philadelphia university. The damage has already been done.

That’s a Humpty Dumpty that cannot be put together again. (Of course, there is a fix but it will be a costly one: Knock down the trade union building and put it at 15th and Norris and squeeze the Olympic sports there and put the football stadium at Broad and Master. That’s probably never going to happen.)

The irony of all this is that the entire impetus for the on-campus stadium was that the Eagles were holding Temple hostage and the university wanted to get a cost-effective way to spend their stadium money. The boomerang effect of the mishandling of the on-campus stadium issue is that they gave the Eagles even more leverage.

So whatever advantage Temple might have had bringing this whole thing up turns out to be the Owls shooting themselves in the foot. The fact that they are waiting to pull the trigger won’t make the pain go away.

Monday: A Plea to Coach Carey

 

26 thoughts on “The Dotted Line=No Stadium (Yet)

  1. Paying the Eagles $3M per year would make Temple liable for fraud, waste, and abuse.

    How many colleges pay $3M to play six football games? Zero, none. No argument can support starting every home game $500K in the red before kick-off.

    The BOT should resign, they are not worthy of continued appointment.

    And, the Eagles know Philly loves them ten times more than Temple.

    • What’s makes his request for such high rent even more ludicrous is that he gets the parking and concessions as well. Like I’ve said before, the barriers facing a successful Owls football program were always high, They now are becoming almost insurmountable. If Lurie gets away with his thievery, attendance most assuredly will drop because ticket prices will double at a minimum. It’s hard enough to get people to buy tickets now. A doubling of the price will make it nearly impossible. it may be time to consider ending the program.

  2. Good news is the benches at Franklin Field are now aluminum. All kidding aside I think this whole stadium fiasco is the biggest issue for TUFB and ten to agree with John that the possibility of ending the program may be a truly viable consideration. Clearly the prior administration not knowing Philly politics or at least learning from construction of the Liacourus Center was the downfall of the OCS. From day one Clarke should have been wooed by the administration because if he was on board if not completed by now construction would have been underway. The city council member in the district where a project like a stadium is being proposed is pretty much the sole gatekeeper of whether is proceeds or not. If Temple wants to continue playing football I don’t see any real alternative to playing at the Linc. Franklin Field would be fine if were “Conwell” Field and was on Broad not 33rd street, and for all the talk of building at Ambler, the only advantage that has is giving Temple control. Aside from that, it would be further than the Linc and I’m pretty sure the people in Ambler, Upper Dublin, etc. would be just as opposed as norht Philly residents and they have the money to fight it.

    • Call the Phils. They’re away Aug 29, Sep 12, and 26. October should be safely available. (Then a condition of the lease would be to NOT wear black or gray uniforms and always cherry helmets).

      Really inept administration on this matter.

    • Forget about Ambler. You haven’t seen neighbors until you try to build something like a stadium in the suburbs. Nova went through and still is going through hell to build dorms and student centers. First, there is insufficient infrastructure in Ambler especially around the campus. After getting off 309,you go on single lane roads for a mile or so to get to the campus. 309 would quickly back up and it could take half an hour to get to the stadium once you do. . On top of that, no students would make the hour or so drive to get there. They barely go now.

      Here’s a story about Nova.
      http://www.mainlinetoday.com/Main-Line-Today/September-2019/Locals-Push-Back-Against-Villanova-University-Expansion-Project/

      • Those are the points the folks who keep bringing up Ambler never seem to get. Same as with the soccer stadium in Chester, not going to get students to go there for a game even it did have a larger seating capacity. I didn’t realize how small that stadium is until speaking with you at the Military Bowl. Temple only has 2 real alternatives, long term at the Linc or do what it takes to get an OCS approved.

  3. This is the ridiculous situation in which our football team finds itself a little more than seven months from the Sep. 12th home opener against the dreaded Idaho Vandals! The university’s handling of this is beyond pathetic! Franklin Field not an option IMO! BTW, I remember those urinals! I believe the joint was built in 1922 and is deemed by the NCAA to be the oldest stadium still operating for football.

    • So we could be playing in an historic stadium!? Btw, I peed in urinals just like that at Virginia Tech, albeit back in the 90s and it’s no big deal. Like it or not, FF may be the only alternative to escape from Lurie’s highway robbery. Almost seems like TUs administration has planned this whole debacle so they have an excuse to drop football, because even if they dropped to Novas level, they still need a stadium to play home games. Someone needs to shake the BOT members into some sense or get new ones who know how to get the job done.

      • A deal WILL be be made between the university and the Eagles! FF not an option IMO! Scheduling (Penn plays there also you know), parking and tailgating would all be issues. Temple has played games before in this antique of a football stadium (I saw the Owls play Syracuse there many years back in front of 7,000 or so fans. At the time the university invited ‘Nova fans to come and cheer for the Owls after ‘Nova had discontinued their football program for a spell. Imagine that – ‘Nova fans cheering for Temple). Face it, in order to have a consistently successful program, you need to have your own friggin’ stadium! Build the thing OC! Do it damn it! I am sick of university administrators constantly fumbling the ball on this issue (pun intended)!

  4. April 4th is going to be a great day. Booked my hotel as soon as the date was posted on owlscoop. Need great weather.

  5. Talen Energy Stadium

    • capacity: 18,500. Temple’s “average” crowd over the last 10 years=26,045. Not an option unless Temple wants to piss away 10K worth of ticket sales.

      • No way Talen Energy or Franklin Field! A program on the rise such as ours (at least it WAS anyway) could afford to step backwards and play home games in such facilities! A deal WILL be made between TU and the Eagles, I just have no idea why it’s taking so long!

      • Mike, full disclosure a Houston alum here but mostly I enjoy college football. I really like your site and feel that UH has had many of the same problems with stadiums. When they played in the astrodome it aS great at first as the guy who had it built was a UH grad. But later team owners were real adversaries to the Cougars. when they moved back in campus into the expanded track stadium, the on campus experience made up for the facility being old. You guys really need that, along with being a competitor of the Linc for events. The soccer player there for a few years, and now in the new stadium, it is being leased to a new XFL football league. There may be revenue opportunities that are being missed!!! The American needs the Philadelphia market to get the ESPN revenue, and make P6 happen(P5.5 may be more realistic for now).

  6. When the Philly Union was contemplating sites is where the ball was dropped for TU Football. Let’s be candid, does anyone really think Chester was a more desirable location than a downtown location for soccer? People drive in and out in Chester, no ancillary business for the community (was never going to happen). You needed a leader with relationship skills to get w the soccer club to partner on a downtown plan for a 32k -38k seat venue. You host TU football, Union soccer, Rugby, NCAA lax quarters or semis, NCAA final four as the Linc is too big. This wasn’t a reach, but the ball was dropped and you can place blame at the feet of TU, the Philly Union and City leaders.

    C E Speed

    • The Temple BOT has far too many members without conviction and courage.

      They sit, chit and chat, and nod approval for all things non-controversial. Many are political appointees who offer zero wisdom to the process. Those trustees could be replaced by trained dogs and nobody would notice.

      The others sit there like ostriches.

      The Temple BOT is a bureaucratic organization with a mission to protect the status quo. It is devoid of leadership.

      Articles of Impeachment for the Temple BOT.

    • Don’t know if you can still find them online but there are Inquirer articles from ’96 or ’97 that you covered was apparently under discussion. This was before the Union when major league soccer was first looking to come back into Philly. I believe something like a 35K stadium was contemplated on the TU campus that would be for TUFB, pro soccer, etc.

    • In the 90’s TU and MLS formed an agreement to build a stadium both teams could use. Never heard that it was terminated. It would be a coup to find out why and how Chester was selected and who financially gained from that horrendous choice.

  7. Part of the reason (amongst numerous others) the ‘BE nova upgrade plan’ that was floated out there in 2011 caused an uproar amongst the league teams at the time was that it called for nova home games to be played at PPL/ Talen Energy Stadium…that ‘option’ seems like a non-starter IMO.

    Joe P.

  8. By the way, I’m souring on TU sports. McKie so far is a disaster. I don’t know for certain but I think Dunphy forced TU’s hand by demanding that McKie be hired or else he was going to serve out the remaining two years on his contract. Instead of eating the contract and conducting a national search for a coach, they hired McKie. I said then that McKie was not the answer first because he had no head coaching experience and second, because he really had little success pulling in four or five star recruits when he was on Dunphy’s staff. He also has no personality, like Carey. Now we’re stuck with two bland coaches in an age where bling and excitement rule the day. In 80% of McKie’s games, the Owls have fallen behind by double digits in the first ten minutes of the game. They did not score for nine minutes after the tap and scored 16 total points for the first half today against a mediocre Penn team today that lost to St Joe’s. It is pathetic especially because TU’s basketball facilities match the best out there. It’s time to shake up the whole athletic department especially because the people running it are making big bucks and consistently come up short. Also, like KJ says, the BoT should be ashamed of itself and half those people should be terminated as well. Given the money that’s been spent on athletics, TU fans and students deserve better. I’m afraid it’s going to be a long time before things do get better.

    • I couldn’t have said it any better John! The situation with the two major university sports is disturbing to say the least! TU football has been around since 1894 with legendary coach Glenn Pop Warner as well as Ray Morrison and of late Matt Rhule as part of that tradition! Basketball is #5 all-time in number of wins, having had such famous coaches as Harry Litwack and John Chaney along the way. The mishandling of things related to these programs at this university is just awful! Someone needs to step up and take charge!

      • It is disheartening to watch schools like Louisville, Rutgers, Maryland, etc reap the benefits of P5 membership.

        At one time Temple was in the same club…,

        Year after year the BoT stands stranded in the harbor as other ships sail away.

        Strategic plan? Do have any aspirations?

        We were coming under MR. He left and we backed down. Cincy, UCF, Memphis, and now SMU have superior athletic departments. They have strong leadership at the top, financial, student body, and local support.

        The BoT will sign a deal with the eagles which guarantees athletic financial insolvency. And, it gets worse by the day. The eagles gain more ($$$) leverage every hour.

        What if the Lurie refuses to grant a lease? That is probably the best outcome in the long term.

  9. Build over the train stop at 10th and Norris.

  10. The Union facility was sited in Chester after DRPA put up a significant sum (because it’s BoD are primarily politicians). There was a fund for projects like that they would contribute to. A lot of griping after doing that and suddenly that fund was no longer in the budget.

    Wishful thinking by politicos that if public money is spent to build things in areas like that, it will magically result in people coming to spend their $.

    Former Chester Resident

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