LFF Deal kills the on-campus buzz

Screenshot 2020-02-13 at 2.41.44 PM

If Temple built the stadium here (enough room if the Maxi’s row and Sullivan Hall behind it were knocked down), the entire stadium would have been inside Temple’s footprint and the neighbors would not have been affected.

Whenever a deal is signed, it’s always advisable to look at the fine print.

To me, what to look for in the most recent Lincoln Financial Field extension Temple signed this week was that option.

A five-year deal with no option probably meant that Temple University was close to putting up a stadium of its own. A five-year deal with a five-year option probably meant not close.

The fine print suggests not close.

In Marc Narducci’s Philly.com article–that somewhat surprisingly made the front page of the Inquirer’s sports section–the key words to me were this: “the deal includes a five-year option for the Owls beyond the first five seasons.”

The architect for the earlier project, Moody Nolan, says it should take no more than three years from the time the first shovel is put into the ground to opening day and noted that the typical stadium construction is usually no more than 12-18 months.

So do the math.

If Temple’s administration thought they needed an additional five years on top of the five years they got, it means they are not even close to a shovel-in-the-ground date. If they were close enough to announce a date in, say, the next couple of years, they would have probably shunned the option.

What’s it all mean?

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A future stadium that looks like this with the fans right on top of the field would be more of a home-field advantage than the original concept of Moody Nolan.

The good news is that the ugly Moody Nolan concept is probably a thing of the past and that a new stadium in another place on campus gives Temple a chance to go over some more attractive stadium concepts than the glorified high school stadium look Nolan presented.

The bad news probably means there won’t be a stadium on the campus for another decade if that. Temple is no longer in a hurry to get this done.

That’s bad news for those of us who want to live long enough to see a real home-field advantage for Temple. You know, the kind where the opposing quarterback looks over to the sideline and tells his coach “I can’t hear.” I remember that as a young kid at Temple Stadium only on a couple of occasions–the 39-36 win over West Virginia and the 34-7 win over Boston College in the 1970s.

Other than that, Temple’s really never had that kind of home-field advantage and that’s kind of sad.

At the Vet and the Linc, while it could get loud, it wasn’t the same as what the Owls experienced on the road in places like Cincinnati last year and ECU when the Pirates first came into the AAC.

Maybe someday, but a decade is a long time for a lot of us.

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The original glorified high school stadium design

As Martin Luther King once said, “I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.”

Temple might or might not get to the promised land, but the talk of this stadium that began well over a decade ago will continue to be talk for another decade and there are a whole lot of us who might never get to that promised land. It’s a shame because if the stadium had been built where the library is now and the library put at 15th and Norris, the neighbors who have held up this project for so long would have had no say.

That’s what you get when you hire two guys from Bloomington to run a Philadelphia university as CEO and CFO. Hopefully, the university has learned something from that mistake.

Monday: The Ones That Got Away

 

7 thoughts on “LFF Deal kills the on-campus buzz

  1. To my knowledge, the university has never seriously considered an on-campus stadium until recently. Poor planning! After the move from Temple Stadium to the Vet in ’78, it was thought that there would be nice crowds for home games, but as it turned out, the Owls generally drew poorly. I recall a game against Alabama way back where only about 30,000 showed up! of course those were lean years in terms of fielding a consistently competitive program. Home game attendance has averaged around 28,000 at the Linc, but that doesn’t even come close to a 1/2 full stadium. An on-campus facility seating 35,000 with room for expansion would be an ideal fit for this program! But some of us likely won’t live to see it!

  2. It’s not April 1st so I assumed the article about TU purchasing property adjacent to the campus for building an OCS was true. It also stated that the new deal was triple the last deal at 3 mil per year and that the next 5 years after that would almost triple that to 8 mil a year. Sounds to me like TU may be moving on this, take up to 5 years to complete it with a “cushion” of up to another 5 years, only if necessary, which TU wouldn’t want to use. I also want to interject that Temple is an educational institution that should prioritize a library in the middle of campus over a stadium in the same location. What other schools have a huge stadium facility smack in the middle of their campuses? On the edge maybe, yes, about where this new property (if true) would place it on TU’s campus. I agree, TU has wasted a lot of money because of poor planning and lousy deals at the LINC.

    • TU’s best momey-making deal has been to hire coaches who then are poached. Maybe it wasn’t the smartest thing to make Carey’s buyout so large.LOL

    • Temple’s a little different. I’m not aware of a single other major school (and Temple is to me a major national school) with this much opposition to the existence of that school, let alone building a stadium. So in that case, it was imperative for Temple to build the stadium in the middle and things that would not be objected to like libraries near the perimeter. A President like Ed Rendell would not only have understood that a decade ago but he would have had the political savvy to get it done. People from Bloomington are used to campus friendly neighbors. That dynamic doesn’t exist here.

    • Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium is in the middle of their campus with the Student Center and Library looking over two of the entrances. It’s a different setting with hilly terrain and seemingly no security concerns. It is also a stadium that had the university grow up around it with a major renovation within the past decade. Probably a bad comparison, but it made me appreciate what a difference an on campus stadium could make for Temple.

  3. On campus stadium, yes! Now all we need is a coach. Listening to the recent RC podcast interview reinforced what we observed the last seven months.

    https://temple.rivals.com/news/the-scoop-season-5-episode-26

    RC is a decent, truthful, and honest man stuck in the talent challenged MAC mentality. Compared to the MAC, yes the Temple 2020 roster is pretty good. However, the depth of the AAC has yet to dawn on Carey….,

    Listen to this podcast, especially around the 18:55 mark, “I already told Anthony this, he needs to get better”. It is painfully obvious AR is not RC’s guy.

    Collins tried every QB on the roster…,

    Let’s all hope AR does improve, and let’s all hope Trad Beatty proves to be Temple Tuff.

  4. Something to consider: Tiger Stadium (LSU) had a dormitory built into it. That apparently was done to get financing to expand it back in the Huey Long days, but the concept could work on the Temple campus.

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