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Paying for a $126 million stadium

Besides fundraising, The Temple News takes a look at how university officials would pay for the proposed on-campus football stadium at Geasey.

Outside of a $50-million target for donations, funding for the proposed $126 million on-campus stadium would come from state funding and diverting the money Temple currently uses to rent Lincoln Financial Field for the football team’s home games.

President Theobald told The Temple News in February that former Gov. Tom Corbett committed $20 million toward the stadium in 2014. Gov. Wolf’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

“There’s a distinction between money the state commits for construction and for the budget the governor announced,” said Ray Betzner, associate vice president for executive communications, of Corbett’s promise. “The commonwealth appropriations we receive from the state is to help in-state students. … You can’t take money from the state and use it for other purposes.”

Betzner added diverting rent for the Linc to pay for a stadium is like buying a house and using the usual rent for an apartment to pay off the mortgage.

The university pays about $1 million per season to play at the Linc in its current rental agreement with the Eagles. The lease ends in 2017 with option years for 2018 and 2019.

In an interview with Temple Student Government last month, President Theobald said the money from the Linc’s rent will be bonded during 30 years.

“We can take what we pay now and then we wouldn’t be subject to rent increases going forward,” he said. “The cost of building is less than the cost of renting.”

Theobald added that the cost of the bond would be fixed for 30 years at less than the rent for the Linc. The rental agreement has been extended for two more years and the rent is projected to increase after the current agreement expires.

Theobald told The Temple News this will save $3 million a year in the first seven years, which would be available for paying off debt, scholarships or other buildings.

“[The Eagles have] made it clear there will be no changes in their offer,” he said. “And they could be right, they know a lot more about stadiums than I’ll ever know. And they say this is the right price … but we have an option that will cost us $3 million a year less that we’ve got to consider.”

The university is considering financing the proposed stadium with a $72 million bond, Theobald said.

Faculty Senate President Tricia Jones said university CFO and treasurer Ken Kaiser will explain more financial details about the proposal at a Faculty Senate meeting April 21.

In an interview with Temple Student Government, Theobald said any building project on campus has construction built into the costs. Each project includes a 5 percent payment within the construction costs for upkeep.

Lian Parsons can be reached at lian.parsons@temple.edu or on Twitter @Lian_Parsons.

Steve Bohnel contributed reporting.

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