Despite more information, stadium concerns linger

The Temple News reminds the university of past requests after seeing its stadium presentation.

On Monday, The Temple News sat down with Vice President of Public Affairs Bill Bergman and Dozie Ibeh, the associate vice president of Temple’s Project Delivery Group, to go through Temple’s stadium presentation.

It was supposed to be shown at Temple’s town hall in early March, but the event ended after 13 minutes due to protester disruption.

The presentation details the stadium’s infrastructure — like its two entrances intentionally located to minimize foot traffic in North Philadelphia — and Temple’s community outreach plans.

The Temple News appreciates that administrators finally shared some of the information we’ve been trying to obtain for months — and we’re now invited to Temple’s meetings with community residents, allowing us to provide another needed aspect of coverage.

But we still have concerns.

Bergman said Temple aims to have all city approvals for the stadium and a required, legally binding community benefits agreement sorted out by June. This means the university has a lot of ground to cover in two months.

It’s been three weeks since Temple’s town hall, but the presentation is still not available to the public — though Bergman said it will be “soon.”

If Temple expects to negotiate an agreement with community leaders about the stadium, it must make all relevant information — including the presentation, the results of the $1.25 million feasibility study and an ongoing traffic study — available to the public immediately.

We’ve requested a lot from Temple regarding the stadium: transparency, consideration of students’ and community residents’ concerns and more public meetings with North Philadelphia residents.

With its self-imposed, two-month deadline looming, it’s more important than ever for Temple to follow through on these requests.

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