Design and fashion: Temple’s New Stadium

Probably the worst design of any new college football stadium I’ve ever seen so maybe no stadium now is a good thing.

While working on painting a wall at a Senior Center for my in-service day on the MLK Holiday a few days ago, I thought about perhaps the most remarkable speech of my lifetime.

That wasn’t Martin Luther King’s more famous “I have a Dream Speech” at the Washington Monument but the speech he made before he died, the “I’ve been to the Mountaintop” speech in April of 1968.

In that one, MLK said, “I’ve been to the Mountaintop but I might not get there with you” almost foretelling his assassination only a few hours away.

While I haven’t been to the Temple Football Mountaintop, I can only guess what it could be. I did think of how this related to Temple while splashing some red paint on the SC center in Northeast Philadelphia on Monday. (Close enough to Cherry.)

I haven’t been to the Mountaintop but I know the new Temple Stadium probably won’t happen in my lifetime but I think it will well within the next 50 years and that’s close enough.

No doubt in my mind these guys will see a new stadium as alums.

The reason I had that vision is nowhere near as spiritual as MLK’s but based on a few facts.

As an incoming student in the 1970s, I was given a tour of Temple’s campus in an attempt to “recruit” me. (I had a full scholarship offer to Cabrini but chose Temple for sports and journalism.) The tour guide said where we were there was residential housing only “20 years ago.” Twenty years ago would have been in the 1950s then and we were what is now in the middle of Temple’s campus–on Liacouras Walk near the Bell Tower.

Wow.

In those 20 years, Temple facilitated the removal of neighborhood people to build the interior of the campus.

While sitting in Temple’s presentation to the “current” neighbors about five years ago in March, I came to the conclusion that removing those neighbors by the natural course of things will be the only way Temple will ever be able to build a stadium.

Like then, that takes time.

If Georgia Tech can have a stadium like this in Atlanta, Temple should be able to have the same in Philadelphia.

If those properties become so valuable that these once poor neighbors become rich once they move, capitalism will achieve the result no amount of begging and cajoling politicians has now.

Unlike my fellow Temple Stadium fans, that is a good thing, not a bad one.

Once I saw the original plan for a Temple Stadium, I thought this was no more than a glorified Northeast High School Field. I mean, you hired a great architect and that was the best plan you could come up with?

Why not make it look like Boston College’s Alumni Field or Georgia Tech’s field?

Putting it off will give Temple the time not only to consolidate 15th and Norris into the “Green Zone” but build a stadium that would give the Owls a real home-field advantage.

We can only hope.

The current administration has no stomach to challenge the neighbors on what I feel is justified grounds. I mean, if Georgia Tech is allowed to build a stadium in the center of Atlanta and UAB in the center of Birmingham why is it out of the question for Temple to do the same in Philadelphia?

No logical reason other than the corruption which is currently rampant in the nation’s fifth-largest city.

The last Temple administration at least tried. This one seems to have laid down and rolled over.

Maybe the next one will outlast them.

That’s the Temple football mountaintop. It’s not sustainable to try to sell a product that at most 35K is interested in in a 70K stadium. Thirty-five thousand in a 35,000-seat stadium makes a lot more sense.

That’s a dream, though.

I won’t see it and many of you won’t either.

Temple football will get to the Promised Land but a lot of us older guys may have to watch from above. Hopefully, the current Temple students will see it by their late 40s and it won’t be anything like the video at the top of this post.

It will be something glorious.

Monday: The New Guys

11 thoughts on “Design and fashion: Temple’s New Stadium

  1. Yes, 35K seats for “up to” 35K attendance, so, I still say build double-decker stands on the west side of the EO field and maybe over top of the EO building itself next to the RRtracks. But make it a really nice design with super looking entrance ways – and screw the neighbors! Does Temple really need anything more than that, really?

  2. Bad local politics and rampant corruption equals forever in debt to that a-hole carpetbagger at the Linc.

    The dude is morally and ethically bankrupt, reminds most people of an ex-president.

    • He gives lip service to loving Philadelphia but there’s no doubt in my mind that if Kraft wanted to trade franchises he’d be back in Boston in a heartbeat. Rooney and the Steelers have done everything for Pitt. He has done nothing for Temple.

    • You’re going down a no-no path with that comment, KJ. There are some situations with the present leader’s recent past that beg questions as well.

      Mike?

  3. Do you think Temple should look into European soccer stadiums for design inspiration? Higher angled seating could allow the site to be more compact. Molineux or Goodison Park are in close proximity to neighborhoods but still sit 30000-40000 fans.

    • Absolutely. Those are great stadium designs. The one at the top of this post is a sloppy design. I tailgated with areas few very nice Navy fans at the 2016 championship game and asked them how the neighbors received the news of building that stadium in 1959. A few old-timers told me the neighborhood was completely supportive of Navy. The neighborhood loves Navy being there. This neighborhood hates Temple. I submit this neighborhood has given Temple 10,000 more reasons to hate it than Temple has given this neighborhood one reason to hate it. Truly mind-boggling.

    • My suggestion above is an answer to what you’re saying – the fields already there, it’s already on the Temple campus and could be done within a reasonable cost. Plus we don’t need 70K seats (which at best are only half filled) and a shitty deal from Lurie down at the LINC.

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