Student organization Building Relationships in Communities has spent the past three months extensively researching Temple’s proposed stadium.
The group finally released their findings Monday night to a group of about 30 people in the Architecture building on Main Campus.
BRIC has been in existence since 2014 and meets weekly, with a base of 30 students, and its mission is to bring Temple and the surrounding community closer together.
BRIC members broke down the cost and logistics of the stadium to audience members.
“It is possible to build [the stadium], there’s no doubt about that,” BRIC founding member and senior architecture major Veronica Ayala Flores said. “I don’t think the benefits that are being touted are actually realistic.”
“They’re not looking at the economic data, they’re not looking at the social data,” Ayala Flores added. “Is it possible? Yes. Is it smart? No.”
BRIC students analyzed the overall question, “How does the stadium impact all of the university and the city?” The students then broke down this question and analyzed the effects of the stadium on the football team, students, Main Campus, the community and the city.
Students found through their research the stadium could constrain the football program, with the current proposal being for 35,000 seats. The BRIC presentation also concluded that other student-athletes, specifically female athletes, are disadvantaged by an investment into a men’s sport program, as Temple has more females enrolled than males.
Students also pointed out the proposed stadium comes two years after five sports teams were cut from Temple’s athletics.
Safety, property rates and parking were main concerns that arose from their research.
The group used Heinz Field, the home field of the Pittsburgh Steelers and its partnership with University of Pittsburgh as a good model for Lincoln Financial Field to follow.
Kristy Pettie, a Washington D.C. resident was visiting her son—a master’s architecture student—and attended the meeting to learn more about the stadium.
Pettie said she was shocked by cost of the stadium and that the university will spend money on limited-use sports facilities at the expense of other academic things.
“From a cost-benefit standpoint, [the stadium] isn’t making any sense,” Pettie said.
After months of extensive research, BRIC members were left with 31 questions they want answered by the Board of Trustees and those working on the feasibility study,including questions about handling traffic jams, parking, the names of investors and sustainable practices.
“There’s so many [questions],” but the financial details of the stadium are not very clear. As an architecture major, I know projects often go over budget.
The meeting concluded with a dialogue between attendees and BRIC representatives. An attendee asked 32nd Democratic ward chairperson and resident Judith Robinson, “what the word on the street is” regarding the stadium.
“The word on the street is ‘no,’” Robinson said during the meeting. “[The community] doesn’t want a stadium.”
“We’ve always felt that [BRIC] is not very revolutionary,” Ayala Flores said. “We’re just trying to get people to talk to each other and I think that’s how [community relations] should be going further.”
“We’ve been having these two narratives: this emotional and social aspect of conversation and also the data and both of them are not conducive into thinking this is a good idea,” she added.
Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @gill_mcgoldrick.