Temple is ready to take another step toward its goal of having an on-campus football stadium. The university said it will file a project submission to the City Planning Commission of Philadelphia as it seeks approvals for the proposal.
“This is not the final step but the next step, where we formally make application to the city and go through the city process,” Temple president Richard M. Englert said Thursday. “More importantly, we continue working with our neighbors.”
According to a Temple official, the measure must go through the City Planning Commission, the zoning board and then Philadelphia City Council. Englert estimated the entire process could take five months.
This has been a deliberate process for Temple, one that began in February 2016 when the university’s Board of Trustees authorized the development of preliminary studies and designs for a multipurpose retail and stadium project on the northwest corner of the main campus. The area is bound by Broad Street on the east, Norris Street on the north, 16th Street on the west and Pearson and McGonigle Halls and the Aramark Student Training and Recreation (STAR) Complex on the south.
Beside the 35,000-seat stadium, the site has space for retail locations along North Broad Street.
Except for the closing of 15th Street between Norris and Montgomery Avenue, no additional land is needed for the facility. The adjacent Amos Recreation Center, owned and operated by the city of Philadelphia, will remain.
One reason Temple has not rushed on this project is that Englert said it’s important to establish a strong relationship with the neighbors.
“We need to listen to the neighbors and understand their vantage point,” he said.
As an example, he said, neighbors expressed concern about trash that exists around the area already and, with a stadium, they thought the situation would get worse.
“I came to the conclusion that they are right, and we are aggressively going after how best to help our neighborhood in terms of the trash challenge,” Englert said.
The estimated cost of the stadium is $130 million, and Englert says he is pleased by the response of potential donors.
Temple’s lease at Lincoln Financial Field expired after the 2017 season. The university exercised two one-year options, enabling the team to play there through the 2019 season.
Englert said he is confident that Temple could have its stadium built by the 2020 season. He estimates construction would take roughly 20 months.