Temple University officials insist their plans to build a $100 million football stadium are going forward despite reports that the effort has hit a snag.
School officials said Wednesday a story in the university’s campus newspaper claiming a stadium feasibility study has ended is untrue.
“There is no change in status,” stated Brandon Lausch, a university spokesman. “Temple continues its careful efforts to consider the future of a university stadium. That decision will be made by what is best for the university and the North Philadelphia community.”
To Wende Marshall, an adjunct professor of anthropology at Temple who is also an organizer with the Stadium Stompers, a group opposed to constructing the field, the mixed messages will not tame the protests.
“We plan to stop the stadium,” she said. “So when the university announces finally, and they will, that they have no plans to build the stadium in North Philly, then our work will be done.”
Temple has stated that alumni donations would help finance the stadium, and that money now used to rent the Lincoln Financial Field from the Eagles for Temple games will be diverted to help pay for construction costs.
Temple officials contend that a stadium investment would bolster game attendance and boost the reputation of the school.
Marshall, however, said a 35,000-seat stadium slated for an empty lot behind the Liacouras Center on North Broad Street would only bring havoc to the neighborhood.
“Noise and trash and lights and crime,” she said. “This huge influx of resources that has absolutely nothing to do with what people in North Philadelphia really need.”
If the feasibility is indeed progressing, Marshall wondered why her group has not been included in the conversation.
“We’re the organized group in the community to fight the stadium, and they have never reached out to us,” she said. “You would think they’d be interested in hearing from us, but that hasn’t happened yet.”