When fellow alumni say that the Temple University they knew from 30 years ago isn’t the Temple of today, I remind them that the Temple we knew even three years ago isn’t the Temple of today.
Enrollment is at an all-time high. We’ve reached the highest levels of research activity. We just celebrated our first Rhodes scholar. And Temple’s already vibrant campus has transformed seemingly overnight, with the new Temple Sports Complex and Aramark Student Training and Recreation (STAR) Complex built in the last few years and the new Charles Library well underway.
Great universities have the facilities to match, and they should be leveraged to draw alumni, donors, and fans back to campus while also showcasing our world-class university to peer and aspirant schools. When people come to campus, they would see one of the country’s most dynamic and diverse institutions of higher education.
And that’s where Temple’s proposed multipurpose facility, which would include an on-campus football stadium and retail outlets, comes in.
When you set foot on Temple’s campus today, there’s a tremendous energy, but we need to give alumni another compelling reason — football Saturdays — to come back and feel that energy for themselves.
My wife, Linda, and I have been loyal supporters of Temple athletics since the 1970s. In all that time — and for many decades before that — Temple has never played a true home football game because we’ve never had an on-campus stadium. Beyond the many financial benefits of owning a stadium instead of renting one, Lincoln Financial Field is simply too large to suit Temple’s needs.
Right-sizing our stadium and enhancing the game-day experience are musts. And tailgating in South Philly will never compare to networking on Main Campus and allowing alumni to see firsthand Temple’s stunning transformation, along with the renaissance of North Broad Street.
We’ve traveled to Temple football games at Tulane, Houston, Central Florida, and Southern Methodist, all of which have their own stadiums. The pride in these facilities is palpable.
I want that for Temple. Many alumni want that too.
For those who are concerned about potential disruption in the neighborhoods around the proposed site for this project, know that Temple owns all of the land for it, won’t acquire any homes or displace anyone, and won’t tolerate unruly behavior.
Temple isn’t plopping the Linc in North Philadelphia. The proposed stadium is half that size, and the field will be below street level in order to fit the character of the area.
I encourage fellow advocates of this project to join me in expressing your support. We need your voices to reach those who will be reviewing, and ultimately approving, this project in the next few months.
After that, we need your energy and enthusiasm on campus. See how Temple has evolved. Experience the vibrancy of North Broad Street. Take pride in your university.
Then, fill our stadium to capacity as we celebrate the first true home football game in Temple’s history, and join me in cheering our Owls to victory.
Patrick Marion, a 1974 Temple graduate, is vice president of the Owl Club Board of Directors.