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With on-campus stadium project stalled, Temple officials hope to discuss lease extension with Eagles

Temple's lease at Lincoln Financial Field expires after the 2019 season, and while the school would like to talk to the Eagles, the sides haven't spoken in quite some time.

Temple's Evan Boozer celebrates after a game at the Linc. The team has signed an extension on its lease to play at the home of the Eagles twice.
Temple's Evan Boozer celebrates after a game at the Linc. The team has signed an extension on its lease to play at the home of the Eagles twice.Read moreTIM TAI / Staff Photographer

While a report from the Temple News says university officials will talk with the Eagles about a potential lease extension at Lincoln Financial Field, that is apparently news to the Eagles.

Bill Bergman, Temple vice president for public affairs, told the newspaper that the university will begin talks by the end of the year. But the sides have yet to talk, Patrick J. O'Connor, Temple's board chairman, told the Inquirer/Daily News. His story was confirmed by a person familiar with the Eagles' position.

Temple's original 15-year lease with the Eagles to play at the Linc expired at the end of the 2017 season, and the university signed two one-year extensions to continue the agreement for this season and  2019.

Temple had hoped to build an on-campus stadium for the football team by the start of the 2020 season, but that is not realistic at this point.

>> READ MORE: Temple's football stadium town hall ended abruptly in boos. What happens next?

The school has yet to get approval for a stadium from Darrell Clarke, the City Council president and Fifth District  councilman whose district overlaps with the location Temple chose for the 35,000-seat stadium, which is projected to cost $130 million.

So for now the best course of action, O'Connor said, is to set up a meeting with the Eagles.

"We do not have a meeting set up yet with the Eagles," O'Connor said in a phone interview Tuesday. "We have not had recent contact with the Eagles, but they are aware of our predicament. Even if a stadium got approved tomorrow, we still wouldn't be ready for 2020."

A source familiar with the situation from the Eagles said Temple had not reached out to the defending Super Bowl champions since the 2019 extension was signed during the fall of 2017.

One source said looking off-campus to build the stadium is a possibility, especially because the project hasn't been approved. O'Connor said that was premature.

"Our people are being asked to look at potential sites for a stadium," he said.

When asked who is trying to persuade Temple to look at potential sites, O'Connor said, "Developers are all over us. We have had multiple inquirers of building a stadium in certain areas."

Still, the original plan is the one that Temple wants.

"My primary goal and wish is to have a stadium on campus," O'Connor said.

An Eagles spokesman declined to comment on any potential negotiations with Temple.

>> OPINION: Temple football's biggest problem? The rent at the Linc is too high