BY CLAIRE HALLORAN
President Englert has announced that Temple University will be submitting plans for the controversial on-campus “multipurpose facility” to the city of Philadelphia for approval, according to a statement released to the Temple community.
Temple claims that the 130 million dollar stadium, which would hold around 35,000 people, will “generate significant cost reductions and revenue enhancements as compared to Temple’s continuing to play at Lincoln Financial Field”, according to a statement released on the school’s website.
Stadium Stompers, the organization leading the fight against the stadium, doesn’t buy it.
Since its origins over two years ago, the plans to build the stadium on Broad between Berks and Norris has garnered backlash from local residents, students, and government representatives.
“We thought it was disgusting President Englert brought it to the Planning Commission without talking to the neighbors and residents of the community, and without releasing the feasibility study,” said Jared Dobkin, a representative from Stadium Stompers.
The feasibility study he references, which Temple allocated $1.25 million to complete, was put on hold in February 2017, although no explanation was ever given as to why it was suspended.
“As a Philadelphia resident, I feel its a bad idea for students, for community members, Philadelphia residents, and football fans,” Dobkin said. “As far as I know, this is not a done deal,” said Ms.Portillo, a long time resident of the 14-hundred block of Norris and Stadium Stompers member.
There are several stages of gaining the city’s approval for such a major project, including zoning permits and approval from multiple city committees.
According to President Englert, these steps for approval will take approximately four to five months.
While these steps are taking place, Stadium Stompers want to remind the community that they are persisting in the fight against the stadium, and insist they will not be hindered by the decision to submit plans to the city.
“Our next step is talking with community members, sharing that this fight is not over, it’s just getting ramped up,” Dobkin said. “Up until now the stadium has just been speculation, but now that Temple has made its plans clear we’re going to put our foot down even harder.”
In his most recent statement on January 28, President Englert stressed his desire to “a continuing conversation with our North Philadelphia neighbors” within the next three months.
The Stadium Stompers refute the idea that Englert has ever made attempts to communicate with the community. However, the organization said that it feels the Temple administration has been hostile towards the surrounding community.