Reveal donors

We ask that stadium talks be transparent, especially when it comes to donations.

Since late October, The Temple News has been reporting on a proposed on-campus stadium. Many questions about it remain unanswered, but administration and trustees maintain the project is still in the preliminary stages.

We’ve been trying to answer questions surrounding the project, including how it is going to be funded.

Here’s what we know: the stadium would cost an estimated $126 million, $20 million of which has been guaranteed from the state. The university wants to raise $50 million in fundraising. Instead of directly paying the Linc, where the Owls have played since 2003, the remaining costs will be paid over time.

President Theobald told The Temple News 21 alumni had agreed to donate in January, and that the university has “blasted by” its original fundraising goal of $20 million. Jim Dicker, vice president for institutional advancement, said $11 million has been donated, adding he’s being “conservative” with his estimate, not including one specific donor who could give enough to bring total donations north of $20 million.

Theobald said donors would be disclosed as soon as deals are made on paper. Dicker, however, said the university “would do everything we could do to protect the anonymity” of donors.

Following the money is one of the most important aspects of this story. Identifying the 21 alumni could answer key questions about each person’s personal interests, and reveal important political connections.

Theobald told us before we sat down with him last month that he was open to having a “transparent” conversation about the stadium.

If donors who give large gifts to the project, however, are allowed to remain anonymous, the question of how the stadium is funded remains unanswered. In one of the most important decisions the university faces in its history, we believe public interest in that answer is important.

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