Several university officials said discussions about the logistics of the proposed on-campus football stadium—including parking, traffic and on-campus tailgating—are still in preliminary stages, as of last week.
A university spokesman said President Theobald and other administrators have been talking to faculty and community members about the proposal, and that more concrete details will be available as that process continues.
Theobald told The Temple News in February one of the key issues with building a stadium is parking and traffic on game days. He said the university has hired Barbara Chance, President and CEO of CHANCE Management Advisors, a consulting service that focuses on parking, transportation and access management.
“Her conclusion is—in terms of spaces—you’re going to be fine,” Theobald said. “Traffic is going to be the issue. You’ve got fairly narrow streets here, you’ll have people, I always say you’ve got 20,000 people who come here every day, but they don’t all come at one o’clock in the afternoon.”
Chance said last week she has not spoken with Theobald directly, and declined to comment further about the stadium proposal. A university spokesman said it’s difficult to talk about parking details at such an early stage in discussion.
Karen Sherlock, director of parking services, said Temple has 3,046 spots available on Main Campus. She said she has participated in meetings about the stadium, but added discussions about parking are still in the early stages.
Concerning traffic, Theobald said one possibility could be creating new traffic patterns on Broad Street.
“After the game Broad Street [is] one-way northbound going north of Norris, one-way southbound south of Montgomery, you create traffic patterns that allow a lot more cars to get through those arterials,” he said in February.
June Cantor, spokeswoman for the city’s Streets Department, said in an email her department declines to comment about the proposal “until a Traffic Impact Study and Operational plan are submitted and reviewed by the Department.”
Another issue on game days will be how the university handles tailgating. Theobald said in February that some of the possible tailgating spots would be on Polett Walk, the area by the Cecil B. Moore subway stop, and in areas surrounding various colleges and schools on Main Campus. No tailgating will occur on the west side of Broad Street, he added.
Associate Athletic Director and Chief of Staff Sean Padden said some of the areas on Main Campus have “tremendous opportunity” for tailgating.
The quad—part of the Verdant Temple landscape plan—Founder’s Garden, the space on top of Anderson and Gladfelter Halls and the multi-use facility that will be built at the corner of 15th Street and Montgomery Avenue are also prospective tailgating sites, Padden said.
There is also potential to set up food and retail vendors on Liacouras and Polett walks, he added.
“There’s going to have to be a balance,” Padden said. “We don’t want to decimate the grass, but we want to utilize the space we have.”
Other tailgating sites around schools and colleges would be “at the different departments’ discretion,” he added.
Two potential spaces are the Artist’s Palate at the Tyler School of Art and Liacouras Walk in front of Alter Hall.
“Tailgating in front of the school [alumni] attended generates a lot of nostalgia,” Padden said. “It’s an opportunity we want to take advantage of.”
A university spokesman told The Temple News in February that carless tailgating could be an option, as companies would facilitate activities similar to that of traditional tailgating.
Temple is considered a “dry campus” and one aspect that remains unclear is how alcohol would be handled on campus during game days. Theobald said in February there “would be limits” as to where the alcohol could be served, but added he didn’t know any other specifics.
Dean of Students Stephanie Ives declined to comment on how the university’s drug and alcohol policy would be enforced, citing that the stadium has not been approved.
Concerning financials, Theobald previously told The Temple News the stadium would save the university $3 million annually during the first seven years of the stadium.
Faculty Senate President Tricia Jones told The Temple News earlier this month that university CFO and Treasurer Ken Kaiser would present financial details at the next Faculty Senate meeting on April 21.
Cost, among other factors, has been one of the reasons Theobald has repeatedly supported the stadium, including when he talked to The Temple News more than two months ago.
“The university is in a situation in which you’ve got alternatives,” he said in February. “Right now … the best alternative financially, in terms of alumni engagement and in terms of the university, and I’d argue with the retail component … is to build it here rather than rent at the Linc.”
Lian Parsons and Steve Bohnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TheTempleNews.