Monday, June 10, 2013

Temple Stadium upgrades

A very minor adjustment adds just 2,000 or so seats to Temple Stadium.
The big news this week for Temple football was that Temple Stadium was getting an upgrade.
OK, technically they call it Lincoln Financial Field but, if I had an extra $200 million or so laying around, instead of investing it in an on-campus stadium, I'd purchase the naming rights from the Lincoln Financial Group (they only paid $139.6 million for it for 20 years) and rename the place Temple Stadium.
If, by some miracle, Temple could attract just 1/3d
of its 130K living alumni and on-campus students to
home football games,
the AAC might put the Temple '][' in its logo.

Photo by John Van Wert
Not Temple Football Forever Stadium, not the Owls Nest, not even The Apollo of Temple, just Temple Stadium.
Could you imagine Brent Musburger or Al Michaels doing a Monday Night Football game there with this opening:
The school could spend $100 million in advertising and not get quite the bang for the buck as a few of those openings would deliver.
I've soured on the idea of an on-campus stadium after attending the Temple basketball game against UNC Charlotte.
I turned to three friends from my high school days and asked: "Where is everybody? This place is empty."
The university has a nationally known basketball program but not a nationally known following.
Those who demand an on-campus stadium say that attendance would go up if the uni built one, say, at 15th and Norris between 16th on the West and Montgomery Avenue on the South.
I did not get that feeling in a half-empty state-of-art Liacouras Center back in February nor do I feel the fans who attended the home games against Canisius, St. Bonaventure or Duquesne got that feeling as well.
To me, the best upgrade for "Temple Stadium" would be fans putting down their remotes and getting off their couches and going to home games. TV ratings for Temple home games in the nation's fourth-largest market are off the charts high, so you know there are enough Temple fans interested in watching. The challenge is getting them into cars and onto the subway.
It's not like the place is in the middle of nowhere, ala UConn.
It's a 10-minute subway ride for 12,500 students living on campus and a one-hour ride for 130,000 living alumni.
Winning will bring the fans, for sure.
Got to hope that winning, combined with an exciting brand of football the Owls will be playing for the next few years, will bring enough "Temple people" so that the nation is impressed.
The fans will get a chance to vote with their two feet.
THEN maybe we can talk about an on-campus stadium.
Not before.

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