Funny how a done deal goes from one perception of done to another.
Two of my very good friends, I will call them Mark and Dave (because those are their real first names) are about as anti-on-campus-stadium as anyone I’ve ever met.
Kinda riding the fence on this issue but would not have minded falling into the yard on the other side. My reasoning simply is this: Since the 1970s I haven’t seen a real home-field advantage for Temple football in my lifetime.
Yeah, the Penn State game in 2015 where 35K Temple fans went crazy while 35K Penn State fans sat on their hands was kinda it but not really. Probably the Tulane game a few weeks later game closest (Owls won, 48-14) before 35K fans, all but a couple of hundred rooting for Temple.
Give me the 1970s era West Virginia game where, in a 20K seat stadium, 14K fans were going crazy for the home team at Temple Stadium in a 39-36 win. Or maybe another game in the same decade where a sellout crowd of 20K in a 20K-seat stadium roared for Temple in a 34-7 win over Boston College.
I was at both games.
The first, as a kid, I walked out of Temple Stadium hearing the chants “We Want Nebraska!” on Bayard Strett walking back to the cars. (Nebraska was the No. 1 team in the country at the time; Temple just had beaten the No. 19 team.)
The second came as a sophomore at Temple when the Owls avenged their only loss of a 9-1 season with a 34-7 win over Boston College the next season, an 8-2 one for Wayne Hardin.
As an adult, I hoped to see a similar home-field advantage for my favorite sports team again. Nothing in the Temple fan department since (Franklin Field and LFF) ever compared to those days at Temple Stadium from the standpoint of the way TEMPLE FANS influenced the outcome of a football game.
After listening to Jason Wingard recently, I realized I probably won’t ever see anything like it again.
Sad, not for me necessarily but for the generations of Temple fans after me who never experienced anything like it.
Wingard has basically said (see the above video) that Temple has given up its previously stated dream of building an on-campus stadium and is satisfied with Lincoln Financial Field.
That’s OK to Mark and Dave who still blame Temple fans for not filling a 70K-seat stadium. To me, asking Temple to fill a 70K-seat stadium or even bring 40K consistently on a regular basis has never been a good business model considering that the concept of supply and demand rules the business world.
The Temple Board of Trustees, when it approved the plans for an OCS, cited that reality. Cutting the supply (of tickets) would increase the demand and Temple was much more likely to fill a 35K stadium than ever filling even half of a 70K-stadium.
Someone or some group got to Wingard and supplied the talking points.
That was probably the Board of Trustees.
Since the disastrous meeting with the “community” three years ago in March, obviously, the BOT has waived the white flag on the stadium. During Wingard’s interview before accepting the President’s job, that was probably communicated to him as well.
Wingard is simply toeing the company line. A lot of my fellow Temple fans are holding onto the “not at this time” statement as if there will be another time.
There won’t. Not under this President or the next or even the next one after that. You’ve got to bulldoze a lot of residences and create a lot of Temple “green space” before that happens.
Not good news for me but terrific news for fellow Temple fans who I respect like Mark and Dave. They like the creature comforts of the Linc and think an on-campus stadium would be a disaster.
They are as entitled to their opinions as I am to mine. To me, I’ve always felt that Temple deserves to have an on-campus stadium as much as the marquee schools in other cities (Boston College in Boston, Georgia Tech in Atlanta, USF in Tampa, UAB in Birmingham, etc.) deserve to have on-campus stadiums as well. Those schools never let neighborhood opposition stop them from building anything they want on their own property nor should Temple.
In the 2012 NCAA tournament basketball win over North Carolina State, a million-dollar Temple contributor told Mark that the on-campus stadium was a “done deal.”
Yeah it’s done, but not in the way that guy (RIP) described.
Maybe someday 100 years from now when I’m long gone and watching Temple play in the ACC from the clouds above, I will heard a loud “Let’s Go Temple!” chant from a packed on-campus stadium.
That will not happen in my lifetime or most of yours.
If Wingard’s statement reflected anything, it’s a done deal.
Done bad, not done good.
Monday: Who da man?
Friday: Pre-Cherry and White
Monday (4/11): Post Cherry and White