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.
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.
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.
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