Tuesday, July 31, 2018
The New England Revolution are yet again entangled in rumors about building their own stadium ‚Äď the newest location is on a parcel near the Boston Garden.
After sharing a home with the Patriots in Foxboro for over 20 years, there appears to be some momentum that the Revs might finally get a stadium of their own.
However, these could be just the latest rumors about a project that has been stagnant for years.
RI Hopes Fading
Hopes that Providence or Rhode Island could get in the mix appears to be fading and Governor Gina Raimondo‚Äôs office confirmed that she has not had any conversations with the Kraft family about the potential for a Rhode Island-based stadium in the past three months. Rhode Island officials have spent nearly three years in negotiations with the owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Jonathan Kraft had told GoLocal in January that they were “open to anything in Rhode Island” with the Revolution, but Massachusets is squarely now in focus.¬†
According to The Boston Globe, ‚ÄúJorge Mas, co-owner of Miami‚Äôs new Major League Soccer franchise, said New England Revolution owner Robert Kraft will soon build a long-planned stadium ‚Äėnear, or next to, Boston Garden.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre in,‚ÄĚ is what Mas said to the Miami Herald.
Help me out, are we 11 years into this, or 12 years into this? Or more? https://t.co/hCcgBqxotB
‚ÄĒ Adam Vaccaro (@adamtvaccaro) July 24, 2018
Yet stories like these have been circulating for over a decade. After the Globe tweeted its article about Mas‚Äô remarks, this exchange took place between two Globe reporters: Adam Vaccaro responded to the article, tweeting, ‚ÄúHelp me out, are we 11 years into this, or 12 years into this? Or more?‚ÄĚ
Eric Moskowitz answered Vaccaro: ‚ÄúFunny you should ask … I would not have guessed this was that long ago, but in 2008 when I wrote about it the Somerville plan at least had been quietly percolating for a year.‚ÄĚ
Despite Mas‚Äô comments, optimism was dashed as the Krafts denied the assertions from Mas. The Globe reported, ‚ÄúA spokesman for the family shot down the Miami report, saying there‚Äôs no news on the stadium front, and a spokeswoman for Mayor Martin J. Walsh said city officials haven‚Äôt met with the Krafts about a stadium in more than a year.‚ÄĚ
Stadium Economics + Soccer Fans¬†
Robert Kraft‚Äôs want for a new stadium stems from several reasons. Game crowds average roughly one-third of the 66,000 capacity of Gillette Stadium and the Revs are now just one of seven MLS teams that don‚Äôt have a soccer-specific stadium– 16 teams already do. These stadiums are ‚Äúdesigned with overhangs and close-to-the-action seats that trap sound and help make a modest-size crowd sound massive,‚ÄĚ explained the Globe.
The difficulty of building a new stadium lies in the ‚Äúcostly and complex real estate market, its thorny neighborhood politics, and the economics of stadiums in a city where taxpayer-funded subsidies are a tough sell.‚ÄĚ The Krafts hope to build the stadium in Boston, but in the past, they considered other locations such as Somerville, Roxbury, and Dorchester, to name a few. Still, although Robert Kraft denied an interview with The Globe, he said through a spokesperson: ‚ÄúWe really have been working very diligently on it. We will get the stadium done.‚ÄĚ
This two-faced approach on building the stadium‚ÄĒwith the Krafts denying Mas‚Äô comments yet claiming they have been working on the project‚ÄĒhas led more to fans‚Äô frustrations than excitement.
One of numerous fans expressed his thoughts on Twitter: ‚ÄúThe fact that the Krafts haven’t tried to engage civic or even fan support for a Metro Boston soccer stadium tells you all you need to know how serious they are about it. It’s mind numbingly frustrating that they’re not leveraging that opportunity.‚ÄĚ
The fact that the Krafts haven’t tried to engage civic or even fan support for a Metro Boston soccer stadium tells you all you need to know how serious they are about it. It’s mind numbingly frustrating that they’re not leveraging that opportunity. #NERevs
‚ÄĒ RealMeMP (@RealMeMP) July 24, 2018
In previous years the Revolution lost out on potential locations to other buyers who developed complexes that now contain ‚Äúshops and restaurants, office buildings, and housing.‚ÄĚ Real estate experts say a new stadium will need anywhere from 10 to 20 acres of space.
According to the Globe, possible locations include ‚ÄúWidett Circle ‚ÄĒ a 20-acre food distribution center tucked between South Boston and the South End where planners envisioned a stadium for the 2024 Olympics ‚ÄĒ and an adjacent 18-acre public works and tow lot owned by the city.‚ÄĚ Although Mas seemed to think that the new site could be near TD Garden, it seems unlikely that this location, with its crowded city blocks, is realistic.