Temple, Eagles extend rental agreement on the Linc

092414-600-temple-football
(Derik Hamilton/USA Today Sports)

Temple University and the Eagles have reached an agreement that would allow the Owls to play their home games in Lincoln Financial Field for two more years after their current rental contract expires in 2017.

The amended agreement gives Temple the option to play in the 69,596-seat stadium in 2018 and 2019, the school said in a statement issued Tuesday.

And the pact also gives the school the "flexibility and time" to explore all options, including the possibility of building a football stadium on campus - a proposition that could take several years, Temple officials said.

"We are exploring a number of options for Temple football to ensure that we make the best decision going forward for our student athletes, students, alumni and fans," the university said in the statement.

Temple is poised to make a decision on a stadium this year.

The university's lease agreement with the Eagles, which began in 2003, was set to expire in 2017. But after Temple president Neil D. Theobald said last year that the Eagles intended to double the rent, the university began exploring building a stadium.

Neither Temple spokesman Ray Betzner nor Eagles spokesman Derek Boyko would release the price of the new options.

"We're not going to disclose any of the financials," Boyko said. "We're happy with our partnership with Temple."

A person familiar with the proceedings said that Temple "had to put money up front to get the extension, but the deal wasn't unreasonable."

Temple will have to give the Eagles some notice if it intends to exercise the option of renting the stadium for 2018. Neither side would disclose the length of the notice.

Temple's athletic department has been a proponent of an on-campus stadium but there are plenty of issues that must be considered, most notably the funding of the stadium and the site.

One potential site that has been discussed for a stadium is the Geasey Field Complex, where the field hockey and lacrosse teams play. The site isn't far from the Liacouras Center.

There is plenty of work to do if Temple is to have an on-campus stadium.

"This deal buys us time," a Temple source said.

The pact also makes Temple an "official university partner" of the Eagles, which means that Temple signage and messaging will appear during Eagles games and other events.


ssnyder@phillynews.com

215-854-4693@ssnyderinq

www.inquirer.com/campusinq