This article was last updated Oct. 3, 2017.
President Richard Englert announced at the State of the University Address last week that Temple is still possibly pursuing an on-campus stadium, pushing the controversial project back into the spotlight after months without a public statement from the university.
It is likely the Board of Trustees will discuss the stadium at its October meeting, but it is unknown when the results of the $1.25 million feasibility study will be released or when an official vote on the stadium will be.
Temple’s proposed on-campus football stadium spurred an ongoing heated debate that began two years ago between the university, students, faculty and community residents.
The stadium is a frequently covered topic and many in the Temple community have strong opinions about what the university should do next. Figuring out what has — or hasn’t — happened regarding the stadium can be hard to break down. Here is everything The Temple News has reported so far about the stadium.
WHY BUILD A STADIUM?
The university’s most prominent rationale is that the stadium would save Temple millions of dollars in the long run, compared to the upcoming increased expenses for playing at Lincoln Financial Field.
Englert said the university would have an annual net savings of $2 to $3 million if the football team played in an on-campus stadium.
In a report to the Faculty Senate in April 2016, Temple’s Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Ken Kaiser said the annual rent Temple pays would triple if the university renews its contract with the Eagles for the 2018-22 seasons.
The university currently pays $1 million per year to rent the Linc, and game-day expenses have grown an exponential 787 percent since 2003. In 2003, game-day expenses were $195,000. Kaiser projected the university would pay $1.73 million for each game in 2017 in his 2016 report.
Former President Neil Theobald also said the on-campus stadium would improve the game-day experience.
WHAT DOES THIS STADIUM ENCOMPASS?
Since the Board of Trustees began discussing the on-campus stadium in October 2015, university officials have changed the idea of a stadium to a “multipurpose facility” that would serve other functions besides being a place for the football team to play its home games.
“We want it for community events such as high school sporting events, along with concerts and academic purposes,” O’Connor told the Inquirer two years ago.
At his State of the University Address on Sept. 28, Englert said the proposed stadium could include retail, research and classroom spaces.
WHO’S PAYING FOR IT?
Officials have outlined three main sources of funding for the stadium: private donations, state support and money that would have spent on renting the Linc. According to Kaiser’s report to the Faculty Senate, the stadium would not cause any increase in tuition.
The stadium is estimated to cost $130 million, according to numbers provided by Kaiser in early October.
HOW DO PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT THE STADIUM?
STUDENTS — There is not yet a definitive answer to how students feel about the stadium.
Fifty-three percent of 781 respondents in a poll by The Temple News conducted between October 2015 and January 2016 believed “an on-campus stadium would be a positive step for the university.”
A survey conducted by advertising students in 2015 showed that nearly 66 percent of students would be more likely to go to a football game if there was an on-campus stadium. The students surveyed 397 students, or 1.4 percent of the student population during the 2015-16 academic year.
The Research Advisors, an organization that focuses on creating accurate research surveys, states that only 378 responses were needed for a 95 percent confidence rating of a student body of 25,000 people.
Student Body President Tyrell Mann-Barnes said on Twitter that he “does not support the construction of a stadium in the middle of a predominantly black and brown residential community.”
I do not support the construction of a stadium in the middle of predominantly black and brown residential community.
— Tyrell Mann-Barnes (@MannBarnes) September 28, 2017
Mann-Barnes told The Temple News his team is looking to survey students about their opinions on the stadium.
FACULTY — No data has been released yet about this population, but the university’s faculty union, Temple Association of University Professionals, sent out a survey on Sept. 22 to gauge the opinions of the faculty members that they represent. The results of the survey will be released on Oct. 5.
COMMUNITY RESIDENTS — A majority of residents who have stated their opinions on the stadium are opposed to it. The biggest argument against the stadium is the disruption it could cause for community residents who live on Norris Street near 15th, where the stadium is proposed to be.
Groups like the Stadium Stompers, which is made up of community residents, faculty and students who oppose the stadium, say the amount of noise and trash generated by people going to football games would have a negative impact on residents.
However, not all residents are opposed to the stadium. Some students at George Washington Carver High School on Norris Street near 16th and local business owners were in favor of the stadium in 2015.