While Penn may be the most famous college in the City of Brotherly Love, it could easily be argued that Temple University is the quintessential Philly college. With close to 30,000 undergraduates, around three-quarters of whom hail from Pennsylvania, it is the largest university in Philadelphia.
Temple currently plans on constructing a 35,000 seat football stadium on campus. At the moment, the school pays $1 million annually to rent out Lincoln Financial Field, a venue over 6 miles from campus that barely fills up given the 60,000 seat capacity. Building an on-campus stadium would save money, boost attendance to games, and strengthen the football program, and with a stronger team the possibility of increasing interest among high schoolers to study at Temple. However, some fiercely oppose the university’s proposed stadium—often for misguided reasons.
The issue is mistakenly labeled as a gentrification issue when that is simply not the case. No local homes would be demolished in the process of stadium construction, since the plot to build is entirely contained to Temple’s existing campus grounds. The university does not intend to buy up homes and kick people out, and the vibe of North Philadelphia wouldn’t be drowned out by a massive coliseum towering over smaller row homes. In spite of this, group-think protests persist.
People have bought into mindless propaganda. Former Temple professor Dr. Anthony Monteiro spoke out to a crowd saying,
“This is a form of genocide. North Philadelphia is not just a location. It’s a spiritual universe… This is an issue of white supremacy… Who’s running the show? White corporate men. This is an institution founded on white supremacy.”
Polarizing the issue as Monteiro has done will only further prevent others from understanding the nature of the situation. Moreover, the so-called “Stadium Stompers” who protest Temple’s plans, and have prevented public meetings concerning construction from taking place, are not even local residents.
If people listened to Temple and saw that their potential concerns wouldn’t come to fruition, the university could smoothly begin construction. However, when thoughtless individuals get swept into the virtue-signaling mob, there are real consequences.