Mayor-elect Jim Kenney said Wednesday that he wants Temple University to try to strike a better deal for its use of Lincoln Financial Field before it considers building its own football stadium.
Temple is interested in building a $100 million, 35,000-seat stadium in the northwest corner of its North Philadelphia campus, partly because of the price it pays to the Eagles to rent the Linc each year.
On Tuesday, the school's board of trustees postponed plans to study building a stadium after Kenney expressed opposition to the plan.
Kenney said Wednesday that he wasn't opposed to the school's studying the idea but wanted to get more information on other options, including a more financially feasible arrangement for the Linc.
"Part of what has driven Temple to want to build a stadium is the amount of money it costs them to use the Linc, which is a heavily publicly subsidized facility which increased the value of the Eagles considerably," Kenney said.
Eagles president Don Smolenski said in a statement that "we welcome the opportunity to sit down with the mayor-elect to discuss our long-standing partnership with Temple University."
"We have not only completely honored our obligations with Temple but have gone above and beyond to support Temple football at Lincoln Financial Field," he said.
He added that university president Neil Theobald "has personally expressed to me his desire to pursue the construction of a stadium on the campus of Temple University.
"That decision is completely independent of the university's relationship with the Philadelphia Eagles," he said.
Kenney also noted a stadium of 35,000 would not be big enough to accommodate the crowds expected when the Owls face opponents such as Notre Dame and Penn State.
"You're still going to need the Linc," he said.
Kenney also said he wanted to know more about the arrangement between the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The university shares Heinz Field with the NFL team.
Seats and signage have Panthers and Steelers insignia. The facility was built in 2001.
The school also shares a practice facility with the Steelers, and the partnership allowed Pitt to tear down its old football stadium and build a basketball facility.
Kenney, whose daughter recently transferred to Temple, emphasized his support for the school and the athletic program.
"I'm a Temple lover," he said. "However, I also have a responsibility to make sure the community is respected, to make sure when we have a publicly invested facility, it's available to a university at a cost that's not prohibitive."
Theobald said Tuesday that the board of trustees hoped to meet with Kenney next week to discuss the matter.