Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14
Lincoln Financial Field
1 Lincoln Financial Field Way
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Year Opened: 2003 Capacity: 69,956
Temple in a Football Temple
Temple Football is a big of a mixed bag for fan experience. On one hand the team enjoys the modern comforts that are afforded by playing in an NFL stadium near a big city. On the other hand, this very fact can be a detriment – lack of success on the field by the Owls in recent years has soured fans on attending games, meaning crowds tend to be smaller already, but there are also a wide variety of other sports here in Philadelphia to pluck fans away at the same time Temple is playing football, making the situation even worse.
Food & Beverage 3
Most of the main concession stands at Lincoln Financial Field are open during Temple games. Here you can find the basic stadium fare (pizza $8-$14, soda $7-$10, pretzels $6, hot dogs $9, etc.), while local favorites such as Philly cheesesteak ($14-$16) and Chickie’s Crabfries ($14.75) are also available. Prices are generally high, however, and can easily exceed $20 a person for something simple to eat and drink.
This is where Temple football’s experience seems to be most conflicting – on one hand Lincoln Financial Field is a beautiful stadium. Home to the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, the facility offers plentiful seating, easy access around the concourse, individual seats with backs and cup holders, and a giant video scoreboard. The team also does its best as well to make the stadium feel more like a Temple home stadium, including a “ring of honor” on the various LED video boards around the upper levels, and adding red tarps to cover the lower stadium walls near the field.
Despite this, the size of the stadium is a detriment. Facing the same issues as teams like the University of Miami, USF, UNLV, and Pitt, even a solid crowd for Temple looks small when filling the stands at Lincoln Financial Field. Additionally, the Eagles logos are all over the stadium, and the overall green aesthetic permeates throughout; you know you’re playing in Eagles territory when you’re here.
Unlike other sports stadiums in major cities, Philadelphia’s stadiums are located outside the city itself, situated in an area devoid of the usual hotels, shopping, and dining. While a few sports bars are nearby, the overall area is mostly industrial in the immediate surroundings of the venue; the facility shares parking lots with Wells Fargo Center and Citizens Bank Park.
A few miles away yields some hotels and shopping, as well as FDR Park for recreation. The Navy Yard is also just south of the stadium along the shores of the Delaware River – here you can see decommissioned Navy ships up close along various river walks.
The fans for Temple Football have faded in attendance over the past few years. Tough seasons with poor results have left the locals sour on Temple’s state of affairs, and most games see low numbers unless a bigger team is visiting. As stated before, the crowd looks rather sparse thanks in part to the stadium’s large size, making even decent crowds seem thin.
For the fans who do show up, tailgating in the parking lots is healthy and plentiful, with various alumni groups getting together on game day as well.
Lincoln Financial Field is located right between I-95 and I-76, making getting here a rather easy task. Additionally, Philadelphia International Airport is literally next door to the facility as well. Parking is also plentiful in the lots in and around the stadium, so getting in and out shouldn't be a problem.
Return on Investment 3
Tickets range from $20 for the lower bowl to $56 for the middle levels of the stadium – this is rather respectable for FBS college football, especially in such a large modern facility. However, the cost of parking and concessions really drags down the overall value, coupled with the lack of fans at the game, which would be necessary to bring a really impressive college football atmosphere.
The stadium includes various nods to football history in Philadelphia, including statues out front of the main entrances, as well as championship banners in the rafters for the Eagles.
There’s also a kids play zone with bounce houses in the main concourse near the end zone, giving the younger fans a place to enjoy their time at the game.
Finally, the team rings a large replica of the Liberty Bell whenever they score a touchdown, a nod to Philadelphia’s history.
Temple Football has a home many teams would be thankful for; a modern NFL stadium setup means that the program can enjoy the conveniences of a top-tier facility. However, in some ways this is a detriment to the Owls overall atmosphere and aesthetic. Temple has done the best with what they have, however, and the fans who do show up are diehard and passionate.