PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – North Philadelphia residents, various organizations, and Temple University students and staff came together Thursday night to express their displeasure with the proposed 35,000 seat football stadium that would be built in the city’s North Central area.
“We don’t want it” and “we shall not be moved” were echoed over and over again to loud cheers from the crowd of hundreds inside Carver High School Engineering and Science, which is across the street from 15th and Norris, which is where the stadium would be built.
“This is not us telling the people what they need, it’s the people telling us what they need,” says William Brawner with the Black Clergy. “We just want to feel like our voices are being heard.”
The Black Clergy co-hosted this event along with the NAACP and the Stadium Stompers, which is a coalition of residents, Temple students, and staff.
“We’re having a Town Hall meeting so the community can come together and talk about what is happening with the stadium and why we don’t want it to be built,” said Brawner.
Among the issues discussed were tax increases, as well as potential harm to the area’s economy and environment.
For resident Jessica Luckenbill, who lives a few blocks away from the proposed site:
“Naturally with the stadium will come partying, tailgating, litter,” she tells KYW Newsradio. “And I think what’s going to happen is I’m going to live in an area with even more noise and litter.”
Ruth Birchett has been a lifelong North Central resident.
“My biggest concern is the total impracticality of it,” she says. “The permanent closure of North 15th Street. 15th Street is a major thoroughfare. It’s the alternative route to Broad Street.”
City Council President Darrell Clarke, Temple’s President Richard Englert, and Temple Board Chairman Patrick O’Connor were invited to the Town Hall. None of them showed up.