As discussion for a possible on-campus football stadium continues, local businesses are assessing the potential effects to their establishments.
John Athanasiadis, manager of Philly Style Pizza & Grill, located at 2010 N. Broad St., a half-block from the proposed site, said an on-campus stadium would be “a really good idea.”
Athanasiadis predicted an increase of customers to food trucks and restaurants surrounding Main Campus, especially on game days.
“[Game attendees] are all going to want something to eat,” he said. “It would be a direct positive impact in the increase in business. … I wouldn’t lose money.”
Zelided De la Cruz, senior environmental studies major and employee of Martin’s 5 n 10, a general store on Broad Street near Susquehanna Avenue, also said a stadium would draw more customers to the area.
“Anytime there’s an attraction, an addition to an area, you usually hope there’s an addition to business, and I think there will be,” she said. “Because you’re going to have people not from Temple to come and watch the games. For instance, maybe students’ parents, or you could have people from Center City who want to watch a cheaper, more convenient game than going down to AT&T Station to watch the Phillies or something. It’s closer to you, and cheaper than an NFL game.”
De la Cruz added more customers could mean greater recognition for the business itself.
“Around the area, there isn’t a general store. … If people see we carry painting supplies, plumbing and other stuff, they’ll be like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that was here,’” she said. “So they’ll come by here, instead of going to Walmart or something.”
Raziyah Jones, manager of Mecca Unisex Salon on 1428 W. Cecil B. Moore Ave., hopes a stadium would “bring the whole community together,” as well as expand Mecca’s reputation.
“It will bring a lot of different people [to the neighborhood] and be very cultural,” Jones said. “It will have a very good impact on business because we’re a very well-known barbershop.”
Jim Kim, owner of D&J Hardware on 1525 Cecil B. Moore Ave. for 26 years, said he hadn’t previously known about the stadium.
Kim said the stadium would help businesses like restaurants because of the increase in potential customers, but it is unlikely a hardware store like his would see the same benefits.
Beverly Scott, assistant manager at Pearl Theatre at 1600 N. Broad St. said changes to business would depend on the selection of movies playing on the day of a game. Films for adults and college students are often viewed in the evenings, while children’s movies see an increase in daytime sales.
“I don’t think [a stadium] would hurt,” Scott said. “Actually, it might add to [business] … because now, when there’s a game, and the college kids go away to the game, we feel it here. So if they’re still right here in the neighborhood, they might come watch a movie and go see a game.”
A stadium could also add to the concern of sufficient parking and disruptive traffic in the neighborhood.
“On [game days], I’d definitely need more staff,” Athanasiadis said. “Orders would increase on Saturday, and maybe even Friday. … Delivery drivers wouldn’t be able to drive as much [and] deliveries would probably be a problem on Saturday because of traffic.”
“Parking would be an issue,” he added, though he also noted parking is “always an issue anyway.”
Despite the potential positive impacts on businesses, De la Cruz does not feel as optimistic toward a stadium’s effects on the community.
“On the positive side, you have more reason for people to come, so maybe community members might go watch Temple football,” she said. “A stadium is huge, so it’s going to take up a lot of space that people are fighting for.”
Lian Parsons and Steve Bohnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TheTempleNews.