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Official Review by Josh Verlin, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Though the Temple Owls play in the "lowly" Mid-American Conference, they're lucky to have one of the best facilities in the country thanks to their partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles and their gameday use of Lincoln Financial Field. For fans, this partnership is both a blessing and a curse "" while game attendees get high-quality video boards, great viewing lines, and good food, they also lose some of the collegiate charm (and lower prices) that other stadiums might offer.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
This is certainly one of the areas that Temple fans (and visiting ones) benefit from, with Chickie's & Pete's, Papa John's, and the rest of the normal Philadelphia Eagles food stands open during the season. It should be noted that on the particular game I attended, just one of each was open "" at the 50-yard-line behind the Temple bench "" though, in fairness, it was a noon game on the day after Thanksgiving.
For most home games, the fans have nearly-complete access to the Linc's food, with highlights certainly including the Chickie's & Pete's crab fries ($8.50) and cutlets ($8.50), with drinks ranging from $3.75-$5.25 for sodas and $6.50 for beer, to $4 for a bottle of water and $3 for either coffee or hot chocolate. Papa John's pizzas are $7 for either cheese or pepperoni, with hot dogs and pretzels $4.75 apiece.
Atmosphere at Temple games are still dependent on the opponent: for Penn State, it's a sold-out crowd, but it's not nearly as crowded against, say, Ball State. Still, Temple's attendance has risen in the past few years as the Owl football program has improved. The Cherry & White Band does a good job providing the big-time college football field, playing a good mix of band standards, school fight songs, and new hits.
Still, there really isn't much at Temple in terms of school tradition or the atmosphere one finds in some of the bigger conferences. While the students get involved in the school's "T for Temple U," very few of the alumni join in. Football success is still a new thing at Temple, and assuming the school keeps up the recent success, alumni support and student interest should only continue to grow.
The new "Xfinity Live!" venue is under construction as of this writing (December 2011), but until that's completed and functioning there's no way to tell if it will actually add to the appeal of the Philadelphia stadium area, which currently sits at "no appeal." There's really nothing anywhere around the stadiums except the actual Chickie's and Pete's, which is a short drive away. If Xfinity Live! proves to be a decent enough destination, then this could go up a few points "" but until then, you come to the Philadelphia stadium complex to see a game and then leave.
As said in the atmosphere section, fan interest in the Owls is still growing, but the improvement is certainly noticeable. The Owls have increased attendance by a few thousand per game over the last few years, and the Penn State/Temple matchup this year was a sellout, with the stadium split between Blue and Red. The student turnout has greatly improved, though this home game over Thanksgiving break drew fewer than 200 Temple students. Usually a few thousand Temple students turn up to see their Owls play, and are loud for a large part of the game. The alumni are not as loud, but have also gotten more involved in the game and the program, giving Temple a legitimate homefield advantage at the Linc.
Parking for Temple games is $15, which is still probably the cheapest way to get down to the game unless you live near a subway station. As usual, the Broad Street line remains the easiest way to reach the Philadelphia stadium complex at under $5 for a round trip, but parking in the city and taking the subway down would be more expensive than just paying the $15 to get close to the stadium. With only 25-30 thousand people in a stadium built for almost 70,000, there is ample parking in both the Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park parking lots even a half-hour before the game begins.
Between parking, food, and tickets "" $28 for single-game sideline or $18 for single-game endzone "" going to a Temple game is not a cheap experience for a family of four. Still, you get what you pay for in a lot of respects, with a high-quality stadium and food experience to go along with an above-average level of talent on the field. Either way, it's still much cheaper than going to an Eagles game, with a disputable difference in enjoyment level between watching college and professional football at the Linc.
Two extra points because being able to see games at the Linc for just $18 is always a plus, but no more due to it being an off-campus stadium.
Member Review by Josh A on Aug 22, 2012
Temple is out of place in this stadium. Even with free student tickets, there's no kind of student support for the team. They should build an on-campus 30,000 seat stadium. The new bar scene around the sports complex is nice.
1526 Packer Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19145
900 Packer Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
1 Citizens Bank Way
Philadelphia, PA 19148
3101 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
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