Coming off a clutch homecoming victory, Penn football moves to an impressive 6-0 start this season. The incredible performances come just one year after former president Amy Gutmann threatened to remove the football program entirely. But newly inaugurated President Liz Magill has other plans.
After a Homecoming halftime protest delayed the game and upset many alumni, Magill promised to expand football program funding. In a public statement released Thursday, she blamed the football team’s previous failures on a, “massive” lack of money.
“The protest was a welcome wake-up call,” Magill said. “These students know that avoiding an apocalypse and providing a healthy future for their children is all about what we do today to protect our sports.”
She proposed a $420m expansion of Franklin Field that includes 48,069 more seats and adding luxury boxes with bar service.
“The best college football teams have stadiums that fit 100,000 fans, twice the size of ours,” she said. “If we want to expand our program, we have to begin by expanding our market.”
Her hopes for the team included incorporation into the Big 10 conference by 2025 and bringing home a national championship.
Critics say the expansions are unnecessary, given that the stadium reached just 10% capacity during the biggest game of the season. Others suggest that the funds have better uses, including improving campus sustainability and giving back to the city of Philadelphia’s housing and public education projects. However, staunch project supporters countered by showing a projected massive rise in popularity due to the team’s recent success.
“We’re a football school now,” expressed one fan, “and football schools need to spend money on football.”