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Temple outdrew all of last season in opening weekend at new venue

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Temple men’s soccer opened their new facility on North Broad Street by drawing more fans in two games than they did all of last season in Ambler

Joseph V. Labolito

Temple men’s soccer is off to a bright start both in the win column and in average attendance to their new venue close to campus.

A total of 1,925 turned out to their first two home games at the Temple Sports Complex on Broad and Master streets over the weekend. That figure already tops - by more than 200 - the number of fans who showed up to all eight of the Owls games in Ambler last season.

The Owls played a 45-minute drive from campus in the suburbs from 2004-2015 and regularly drew less than 2,000 fans for an entire season, a figure the Owls will easily top already after this Friday’s home match against Pitt.

Prior to playing at the Ambler campus, the men’s and women’s soccer teams played at Temple Stadium in the West Oak Lane neighborhood as far back as 1928. The facility, which was also used for football through the late 1970s, is now the site of a church.

Temple Sports Complex construction began in January on the 10-acre site of the former William Penn High School. The $22 million facility includes a field hockey and lacrosse field, a track around the soccer field and an 11,000-square-foot locker room facility in between the two fields.

Head coach David MacWilliams called their first game at the new venue, a 3-0 win over Manhattan, “a real home game in front of the student body” in a recap of the game on the men’s soccer website. “We’re all ecstatic,” he said.

The close proximity of the facility to campus will no doubt be an easier sell to students - and future recruits - than the 45-minute commute for “home” games. The added feature of lights - slated to be turned on the first time for a conference game against Memphis on October 1 - will also give the team the ability to play at a friendlier time for fans.

Eight more home games remain this season.

Season Home Games Total Attendance Avg.
2016 2 1,925 962
2015 8 1,697 212
2014 10 1,580 197
2013 10 1,954 195
2012 8 994 124
2011 7 927 132
2010 10 1,946 195
2009 11 3,169 288
2008 8 1,668 208