“We cannot afford to have this stadium in North Philadelphia,” chapter president Rodney Muhammad said during a press conference in the square Sunday, according to PhillyMag. He went on to add that a football stadium wouldn’t alter the character of the center city neighborhood like it would the community in North Philly.
“Temple has a campus presence in Center City and there’s no reason why this should not be on the list of consideration,” he said.
Muhammad’s words echoed those of many North Philly residents, students and community members, who have long protested the university’s plan to build a $130 million football stadium and mixed-use facility by Norris and 16th streets. The stadium and facility—which the university has said would include classrooms and around 28,000 feet of retail—screams fast-paced gentrification, according to an opposing group called Stadium Stompers.
The stadium increases, “the physical and financial displacement of long term Black residents,” the group said in a statement earlier this year.
In response to Muhammad’s comments, Temple University spokesman Ray Betzner said the university plans to build the stadium on campus land, that they already own.
“We’re continuing our efforts to meet with neighbors and discuss their concerns,”Betzner added.
The university is awaiting approval of the City Planning Commission for the development.