Temple official: On-campus stadium proposal will be delayed

A rendering of Temple's proposed on-campus stadium and multi-purpose facility. | VIA TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

Temple University’s on-campus stadium proposal is delayed and will not achieve its goal of filing with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission in June, a university official said.

Bill Bergman, vice president of public affairs, said in a meeting with The Temple News on Friday that the university will delay its submission and continue to meet with residents during the summer.

In March, Bergman said the university would meet with residents, work to complete a community benefits agreement and finalize its proposal to City Planning by the end of this month.

“We’re not there yet,” he said during Friday’s meeting. “We continue to work with neighbors, talk to neighbors. We’re really looking at what we need to do this summer.”

Bergman did not comment on how much longer Temple will delay its City Planning submission.

“I hope to have it submitted as quick as I can,” he said.

A majority of concerns Bergman has heard from recent meetings with community residents are about trash and student conduct in the neighborhood — a longtime concern of North Philadelphia residents who live near Main Campus. Residents question how the area can handle a stadium if these concerns aren’t being met already, he said.

Bergman added that a community benefits agreement would be the solution to many of these issues and that it would need to be completed before the university submits its proposal to City Planning. He could not cite a specific date when the university would engage with community groups to start planning the agreement, but he said the process is “ongoing.”

The university has not met with city agencies, like City Planning, since the spring. City Council President Darrell Clarke, who also represents the 5th District, where Main Campus and the proposed stadium site are located, told The Temple News in March through a spokesperson that he would not support the university’s plan for an on-campus stadium.

Clarke’s office did not immediately return requests for comment on Temple’s City Planning submission delay.

Bergman said he does not see the value in speaking directly to Clarke about the stadium because he believes the councilman would be best convinced of its merits by winning over the community.

There are currently no future meetings with community residents planned to focus on the stadium, Bergman said. There will be, however, future meetings with a general scope of “how to improve the neighborhood,” he said.

“I don’t think you ever get the entire community, but we need to get more people to the table, and really get a better understanding of where we stand,” he added.

Will Bleier
can be reached at william.bleier@temple.edu Or you can follow Will on Twitter @will_bleier Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

14 Comments

  1. From reading what has been made publically available in this ongoing stadium issue, it seems that there were some missed opportunities in recent years. If the stadium had been placed where the (relatively new) multi sports complex was built, an inner campus location and avoiding the closure of 15th Street, issues with the city (and possibly the neighbors) could have been avoided. The neighborhood issues, being long-term complaints, have more to do with TU’s relationship within a residential situation than building yet another campus structure, although it’s proposed location bordering the neighborhood probably doesn’t help. (The possibility of some extra trash and noise only 6-7 days a year is not a valid complaint.) Again, poor choices for building sites has created formidable resistance to this project. Improvements to the existing multi-sports complex 2 years ago (instead of relocating it) and a stadium site within the campus could have avoided some major problems. TU should swallow the investment they made in the new multi-sports field, switch sites and see if the approval process improves – from next door and downtown.

    • Jonathan you are 100 percent correct. You are ahead of the curve. Temple should have engaged the surrounding neighborhoods YEARS ago with “ambassadors” to bridge the communications gap regarding the stadium or any other issue. No matter where Temple decides to put a stadium there will be the need for a “community benefits program” far beyond whatever has been proposed. I like your ideas; hopefully it’s not too late for the school to think another way about this issue.

      • That’s a bunch of bull from people who don’t live in the surrounding community. Put the stadium across the street from where you reside see how you like it. Temple can keep their “community benefits.” We don’t want your crumbs. Temple is not trustworthy. Any agreement they’ve made with the community in the past was broken by the univerity. Read the North Philadelphia Charette. The ink wasn’t dry before Temple broke the agreement. They should have kept their old stadium on Cheltenham Avenue instead of selling it. Temple also has plenty of space in Ambler. They’d better get one of their political friends to renegotiate their deal with the Linc, because there will be no stadium anywhere in North Philadelphia.

        • “PlEnTy Of SpAcE iN aMbLeR” cmon son this is gonna get done and all of that section of north philly is gonna be purchased by Temple. That’s how it goes nothing personal just business. Gentrification at its finest.

  2. A “community benefits program is a good idea and I’m surprised it wasn’t proposed earlier in the process. Also, the community has a a point about trash and noise; how can they trust Temple to implement a system for managing trash and noise down the line if they don’t even have it now.

    That said, I disagree with the above post regarding the placement of the stadium. Just remember, the new sports complex site is, also, adjacent to neighborhood housing. You are as likely to get resistance there as you would at the Geasey area. And secondly, the Geasey area is more central to the campus and is a prime piece of real estate.

  3. Sounds like Clarke is continuing to hold out for a “contribution” to his community impact Foundation.

  4. I agree with you Jonathan as well. One thing I also believe is missing to get the neighbors involved in the USE OF THE FIELD. Maybe they have tried, but the field could be used for so many events non TU related. Things like Friday Night football for some Philly HS teams, create a City Championship at the end of the year and honor the yearly winners at the facility with a ceremony or a free football camp with the team the following summer, maybe do a Thanksgiving Day game for city teams. The list goes on. Obviously the squeaky wheel is always going to be the one you hear first, but I believe that we simply need to get Ambassadors FROM THE NEIGHBORS and help them in making this not a TU facility, but a community facility.

  5. This stadium proposal is going to be weak, most likely, because there will be no Plan B if the city or whomever shoots it down. I get that it is Temple U. property…but this stadium is going to be all wrong. No parking nearby and to close to the houses by the north endzone. The stadium should have been proposed to be built between Cecil B. Moore, W. Montgomery ave, N. 12th St & N. 10th St. Cutting off 11th St between Cecil B. Moore and Montgomery Ave. That was more space and closer to a couple of parking garages and they could lease(?) parking from a church over on that side of campus as well on game days. It also had more of a buffer between the stadium and the homes since Cecil B. Moore is roughly twice as wide as Norris St. But for some reason they let the apartment company build on the land. Now they are just stuck with trying to wedge the stadium anywhere on the campus that seems to have enough space…even if it is more disruptive to the area. Could Temple do something at the area at Broad and Girard? Maybe buy out McDonalds and work out a deal with the YouthBuild Charter School?

  6. I live in NP and welcome a stadium… Not sure why people are upset about neighborhood improvement?

  7. Now I get it. Clarke is holding out for the biggest bribe he can milk out of Temple and he’s playing his district for suckers. Trash? Take a stroll (If you dare) through Clarke’s district and then through Temple’s campus and then tell me where you find more trash. Student behavior? Do Temple students go into Clarke’s district and mug people or is it vice versa? Do Temple students form street gangs and resort to thuggery? Are drugs and illegitimacy a bigger problem in Clarke’s District or Temple dorms? Clare will get his under-the-table money and Temple will get its stadium. Clarke will screw his district out of their cut

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