By Kim Glovas, Alexandria Hoff
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For the first time, Temple students joined residents to oppose the University’s plan for a new football stadium.
More than 150 people in total — calling themselves “The Stadium Stompers” — held the public hearing at the Church of the Advocate Thursday night.
It started with song, and then heard testimony from residents, Temple students and local businesses.
Jackie Wiggins, who’s lived there all of her life, says this is not about doing good for residents:
“The thirst for the lots on vacant land by these developers, the greed in building student housing by these developers is rampant.”
Lifelong resident Ruth Birchett says the plan doesn’t consider the community that already exists there:
“On that very same block, there is a day care center, which also distributes food weekly to people who need food in our community, and also on that block is a residential housing complex for seniors and people who are disabled.”
The proposed 34,000 seat home for Temple Football is now in the feasibility phase. The Owls now play at Lincoln Financial Field under a $3-million annual lease to the Eagles.
“Aw no heck no, I don’t want to see that,” says Bill Delyons, who has spent his entire life West of Broad Street.
Those in favor of the project say it will save money — that gives anchor to the school and a football program coming off of one of its finest seasons.
Reverend Renee McKenzie says this is an ongoing national fight, where universities are using their community as their own property, and she vowed that this fight will continue.
“It’s not considering the residential needs in this community, it’s going to impact the lives of the residents, it’s going to impact traffic. I just don’t see how this could possibly be a good idea.”
The coalition plans to contact city and state elected officials to block the plan.