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Temple Football Extends Contract With Eagles to Keep Playing at the Linc

Temple, one of only four college football teams to play all its home games in an NFL stadium, extended its contract with the Eagles another five years on Monday.

Terms of the deal were not announced, but a story in the Temple News in 2016 reported that Temple University leased the Linc for $1 million per year but said school officials expected the price to increase to $3 million per year under terms of a new contract.

Temple, which has played its home games at the Linc since 2003, will continue to play at the Eagles' stadium through 2024, according to terms of a contract extension the Eagles announced.

The deal includes a five-year option, although a press release from the Eagles doesn't specify which party holds the option. Presumably, Temple officials can exercise the option through 2029 if efforts to build an on-campus stadium do not pan out over the next five years or get out of the deal with the Eagles after the 2024 season if they're able to get a stadium built.

Temple's original lease with the Eagles ran through 2017 but both sides agreed to extend it two years while Temple unsuccessfully explored building an on-campus stadium. That extension expired after the 2019 season, so until now the Owls did not officially have a home for their 2020 games.

The Owls play either six or seven home games per year. They have seven scheduled for 2020.

According to The Temple News, Temple does not receive any portion of parking revenue from its home football games but does get 10 percent of concessions. 

This contract extension was announced only about seven months before Temple's 2020 home opener, scheduled for Sept. 12 against Idaho.

Temple's average attendance in 2018, the last year the NCAA has data for, was 28,470. During the five-year span from 2014 through 2018 the Owls averaged 30,108 and ranked 75th out of 130 FBS programs.

Capacity at the Linc is 69,176, so the stadium has been about 44 percent full over the last five years for Temple football games.

The only other college football programs to play all their home games in an NFL stadium are Miami at the Dolphins' Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens; Pitt at the Steelers' Heinz Field in Pittsburgh; and South Florida at the Buccaneers' Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Temple is 54-46 at the Linc since it opened in 2003 and 24-8 over the last five years. The Owls have played in a bowl game in each of the last five years.

"We are pleased to extend our agreement with Temple University," Eagles president Don Smolenski said in a statement. "We have enjoyed a great relationship for the past 17 seasons, as our staffs have worked together to make Lincoln Financial Field the home for Temple football. We look forward to continuing that tradition into the future."

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