Groundhog Day And Temple Stadium

ambit

Theobald might want to call Ambit Architecture and have something that looks like these two photos from the outside with a view of the city from one end  from the inside (small photo below)

theo

About 24 hours ago, Temple president Neil D. Theobald and athletic director Pat Kraft showed up at the Student Activities Center to talk about a stadium. They did not wear top hats or pull a rodent out of the cafeteria to tell if there would be six more years of stadium talk, but it certainly seemed that way.

owlet

Something like this with smaller decks built deep into the ground (entrance at the top of the first deck) and the seats on top of the field and some view of the city would be perfect.

In March of 2012, a member of Temple Board of Trustees told a long-time athletics supporter that a stadium was a “done deal.” That was at a basketball win over North Carolina State in the NCAA Tournament, but that was three years ago and nothing was done in this deal.

Mark that down as three wasted years.

accounts

Now, three years later, Theobald and Kraft marked the first time any Temple officials appeared before one or two reporters to talk about it and the guess here is that by next Groundhog Day, they will still be talking and not a single shovel will break the ground. Who knows how many years after that will we eventually see a stadium at Broad and Norris. My guess is well into the next decade, if at all.

 

Temple has several significant hurdles to jump over, the first being “the community”, the second the city and the third the unions.

What we will hear is a lot of what we heard yesterday—a lot of loud shouting and not much in the way of intelligent discourse.  By all accounts, there were about 200 students there and 180 wanted to hear what Theo and Kraft had to say. Because 20 or so did not, every answer was shouted down. That seems to be the way discussions go nowadays. The people who do not want something do not want to hear answers to questions, only to hear themselves.

misonceptions

That’s unfortunate because it doesn’t help their cause, however just it might be, going forward.

Temple will hire an architectural firm at Monday’s special BOT meeting (3:30 p.m., Sullivan Hall, Feinstein Lounge) and here are just a couple of words of advice, borrowed from someone we know but will just call him “Matt.” If you are going to build a stadium, do it the right way. That means any architectural firm will have to draw a stadium that includes seatbacks (no bleachers), 3D video screens, seats right on top of the action (not sloped back), and a mostly closed bowl to maximize the noise and make it a real home field advantage for the Owls.

If the architectural firm does not deliver those things for $100 million, either increase the budget or sign a 20-year renewal at the Linc. There are no other options.

Tomorrow: The 5 Best Things About This Signing Class

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22 thoughts on “Groundhog Day And Temple Stadium

  1. Mike, I was not impressed with the Florida Atlantic stadium. The seats, scoreboards, audio, bathroom acess, concesssions all were lacking. And the TU athletic department has a guy on staff that help get that built. I have season tickets in the club level for TU and love going to the Linc. We need many more voices telling Temple to do this right.

    • I liked FAU field. I disliked the club level at the linc and will not renew those because the atmosphere is dead. Most people seem to be more interested in going to the bathroom or getting nachos.

    • Rick, if they don’t do it right, why do it at all? It’s not like it’s only between FF and a new stadium. LFF remains a very viable option, a great recruiting tool, and the best stadium in the AAC. If the newest stadium in the AAC isn’t going to be the best, then I don’t want it. My biggest fear is that this is going to look like an overgrown Northeast High or the Tulane Stadium.

  2. This is a mistake to build a stadium, we have a changing demographics in college that does not hold well for college footbal.

  3. Like your drawing better than the open design.., would be nice to have a view of the city skyline but how can that be possible with East/West orientation? Cost is the driver here, so bleacher seats, 2nd tier scoreboard, and single tier are leading design features…,

    Temple could bid out the scoreboard for naming rights, it would save costs and get us a state of the art scoreboard

    This will be one of the smallest Div 1 stadiums so the design must include several redeeming and unique characteristics to provide a true home field advantage and tool for recruiting….,

    Worried must about the impact on recruiting, the Linc is a great recruiting tool…, how many stud recruits would be impressed with a vanilla 35k stadium?

    We don’t want to take a step back in recruiting…., why would you want to play in a 35k venue? The design must push the limits and offer a truly unique experience to overcome the small size

    • It should be north-south. No reason not to. Between the current athletic field (the one with track) and add to it the largest astroturf field in the world (Geasey), that’s more than enough for 40K seats with an open south end for a spectacular view of the CC skyline (which would make it the only stadium in Philly with a great view of the CC skyline). Make that Norris Park (between 15th and 16th) locker rooms for the teams with a tunnel connecting it to the stadium.

  4. To do it right means having 40 thousand plus seats, premium boxes, and large video screens. 35k is just too small and would not satisfy the P-5 conferences. The haters are already out in force on Philly.com and on TU’s campus. 20 students hijacked the press conference yesterday and instead of shutting them up, they ended 15 minutes early. Those in charge better quickly develop a thick skin because weakness will be exploited.

    • Trolls are coming out from under every bridge. Add pro-sport fans to the mix of union and community folks. I’m okay with 35K with possible expansion if a P5 comes knocking.

    • to be honest do you think the press conference was really necessary? the BOT already had their minds made up before walking into that room.

    • Amazing how that deteriorated. Don’t see why Temple students should care about gentrification. All I wanted when I went to Temple was for the school to build from river to river.

      • Hopefully it was recorded and the silent majority can watch the loudmouths in action over and over again. I think it was wise for Theobald to hold a town meeting. He should do it again until there’s good Youtube footage of how unreasonable and ignorant these opponents are. It happened at Yale (Step Down) and UConn (I want Jalepeno Mac and Cheese).

  5. You had me until you said 3D video boards. haha. I like how they at least mentioned tailgating in the list of line items of concern. if it means no 3d video board but 10,000 extra seats I’ll take it. Those renderings look awesome.

    • Just trying to stay ahead of the times, Matt. When I walked into Fox and Hound, the bar tvs were something out of the 1980s with a big blurry picture. Nobody sat at the huge bar because they were all hovered around the smaller but sharper HDTVs in the seating area. If we move out of the Linc, I want those Eagles fans to say “we have crappy HDTVs; did you see those 3-d jawns over at the Temple Stadium? Those are amazing.”

    • hats off to Thoebald for the grit and determination.., the proverbial rock just started moving down the hill…,

      the company I’m with was a major donor for the Tulane Stadium project and verbal is the same for Temple Stadium….,

      the stadium needs to have some sauce to overcome the magnitude of the size differential…, should be North/South with views of Center City…,

      sell separate naming rights for the stadium, the field, scoreboard, and locker rooms.., all could help pay for real seats

      still not sure why this couldn’t wait until after NSD…, not a good idea for prospective recruits to see an internal protest…,

      • yeah, this week should have been all about the kids; next week, it should have been all about the buildings. Bad timing indeed.

      • could be a way to over flow the news sites with the whole Cosby thing going on. To extent I agree, but at the same time it is something to mention to the prospective athletes that TU is truly committed.

  6. great point on the athletes. I don’t think Cos even enters their minds anymore, though.

  7. A must read is an article in Philly.com quoting dummies Darrell Clark and Jim Donkey re the stadium. In a city having 60% of its population living below the poverty line, one would think that a 100 mil plus project would be welcomed with open arms. Not in Philly though where big thoughts go to die unless palms are well greased and crooked friends of politicians get paid. I again reiterate that I want to see the neighbors opposed to the stadium I bet that there aren’t more than 2 dozen who actually live within three blocks of the proposed location of the stadium. On top of that the one person quoted in the article sounds like she’d close the whole university. Love the line that she’s tired of the trash. As if that neighborhood would be pristine if only TU disappeared. Sorry folks, this is never going to happen with less than 200 mil because the pigs will demand a small fortune to get this approved.

  8. Not sure why everybody thinks the Linc is a draw to recruits. Sure it is a nice stadium, but the Eagles barely let Temple put up any signage for their games. I imagine it is no Cherry and White when recruits are there. Its embarassing when the game is on TV and you can still see the faded Eagles logo in the end zones.

    Build a 35,000 seat stadium that can be added onto. Bleachers are fine. Almost all of the stadiums have them. Let the season ticket holder buy the actual seat if they want one.

  9. Too much hoping that this and that will happen if only we had a campus stadium (better attendance, more donations, a sustainably better team, etc.) and not enough actually backing up such an investment. Only if a new stadium will actually lead to a definitive P5 conference invite and/or the project will be funded externally (donations) so as to not impact students fees, taxpayers, etc.) should this project proceed.

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