BOCA RATON, Fla. - Temple University president Neil Theobald described talks last Thursday with Mayor-elect Jim Kenney concerning a proposed 35,000-seat on-campus stadium as productive.
Kenney told The Inquirer after the meeting that he relayed to Temple officials that they must address the concerns of the neighborhood before he can endorse a plan for the $100 million project.
Theobald, who attended the Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday, said it was a positive meeting.
"I thought it went very well," Theobald said. "Obviously there are concerns in the neighborhood and he heard our plans and that we are actively working with the neighborhood and will continue to move forward."
Among the concerns are traffic and parking.
When asked if there would be a follow-up meeting with the major-elect, Theobald said that future meetings will take place with City Council President Darrell L. Clarke.
"It is [Clarke's] district and the mayor made that clear," Theobald said. "Councilman Clarke will be a major player. We are talking to him and will continue to talk to him."
When asked whether he is confident after meeting with Kenney, Theobald replied, "Confident is probably not the way I would put it. I would put it that he listened carefully and everybody understands what the issues are and we will continue to work on those issues."
Then after pausing, he added, "I will be confident when it is all signed off and done."
Lauding the seniors
Temple coach Matt Rhule developed a close bond with his senior class, and the day before his final game with the group, Rhule spoke about those players.
"After the game, win, lose, or draw, it will be a hard moment for me, a sentimental moment for me," Rhule said. "As I told people earlier, these guys changed my life, changed my family's life."
Rhule said the group blocked out a 2-10 season in 2013 and just kept working.
"They enabled us to have some success, they enabled me to get a new contract, and they enabled our coaches to stay here," Rhule said.
Last year Temple was eligible for a bowl with a 6-6 record, but it didn't receive an invitation. Former athletic director Kevin Clark, who is now an executive vice president and chief operating officer at Temple, invited seniors from that team to attend the Boca Raton Bowl. Among the former players in attendance Tuesday were Connor Reilly, Anthony Roby, Jalen Fitzpartick, Kenny Harper, Obi Onejeme, Marc Tyson, and Brett Pierce.