The Revs talking about a new stadium

The below was originally posted on Veterans Day, but a week later it is already outdated. The Boston Globe brings us the latest story about the Revolution’s search for a stadium: “Planning is quietly underway for construction of a soccer stadium in Boston, one that would bring the resurgent New England Revolution closer to their urban fan base, according to people familiar with the Kraft family’s search for a site.

Numerous sources said the Kraft family has been meeting with state and city officials to discuss the stadium and possible locations over the past several months, with the team focusing on Frontage Road. It was not known Monday what additional sites the Krafts were considering.”

Read on for the long history of news about the Revs’ stadium hunt.

Today, November 11th 2014, Jonathan Kraft said this, on the possibility of the New England Revolution getting a stadium built in Boston: “I think [Walsh] understands the power and the value to a community of one of these facilities. We’re hopeful that in the near future something will be able to happen.”

If you aren’t familiar with the Revs, you might take that as a sign for hope. If you are familiar with the Revs, then you’re all-too familiar with statements like that.

In June, Brian Bilello said this: “We really are actively trying to get done around Boston. We recognize it’s something that’s important for the growth of the Revolution and for soccer in the city. We feel strongly it needs to be in an urban environment and having a suburban soccer stadium won’t have the kind of impact we want for the sport. But we’re very confident that it will be a great growth driver and I hope we’ll get it done soon.”

March, Bilello: “We’ve made progress on a number of sites. Some of those we’re no longer looking at, but a number of them we still are engaged on and trying to work some issues through. What I can say is we’re extremely committed to getting the project done. We think it’s critical to not only the Revolution but for the sport of soccer in this region to take this next-level jump. We all believe in it, but we also believe it needs to be in this urban region of Boston.”

January, Kraft: “Ultimately, what needs to happen is the New England Revolution need to be playing in the Greater Boston market in a soccer-specific stadium. The mayor-elect (Marty Walsh) has said publicly that he thinks a soccer-specific stadium in the city is a good idea. Hopefully, that will be an opportunity. We’re also working on a couple of other things that aren’t within the city of Boston, but they are extremely close. You’d call them urban stadiums with great access to public transportation. For the Revolution to realize its full potential, the club needs to be playing in a venue like that.

But, unfortunately, it’s not always as easy to get things done here as it is in other places, where land is more available and people don’t take for granted they have sports teams in their markets. It’s been a much more arduous process than we’d like. We’re working on it. There’s a person and a half in the Kraft Group who are spending pretty much full-time hours trying to make it happen.”

November 2013, The Boston Globe: “There is probably no need for an 80,000-seat stadium in Massachusetts once the Games are done, members of the group acknowledge. But new construction techniques could allow a stadium to be built in sections, said Fish, some of which could be removed after the Olympics to leave a modestly-sized stadium with a capacity of perhaps 25,000 or 30,000. That would be roughly the scope of a facility [Robert] Kraft is interested in building for his professional soccer team, the New England Revolution.

‘Just looking at it from our point of view, we’re probably going to seriously consider a downtown soccer stadium somewhere in Boston or the Greater Boston area,’ Kraft said in an interview. ‘We would try to help tailor something that could serve the needs of the Olympics and also our soccer team.'”

September 2013, Bilello: “It’s a constant process for us, so we’re working on sites right now, and we’re trying to get it done.

“We’re working to do it as soon as we can. We’re working with a lot of towns. It’s really on the city and town timeline that’s primarily going to drive a lot of this. But we’re trying to get it done very soon.”

May 2013, Bilello:  “We’re in a difficult situation in terms of trying to get that done,” admitted Bilello. “We’ve been at it for six years and I’m confident about it. When you’re working with municipalities and cities it’s hard for us to necessarily control a timeline. Once we get our stadium project off the ground, a lot changes.”

March 2013, Bilello: “We’re extremely committed to it, but – what I’ve always said and will continue to say – we’ve chosen and will continue to stay on the tougher path,” Bilello said. “We think having it in a greater Boston, urban location on the T [subway system] is critical to the organization. That is more expensive. It takes longer. It is more difficult. But it is – we feel – the only way to get this club where it needs to be.”

October 2012, Bilello:  “I don’t think we’ve been too careful with it. I think we’ve drawn a line to say this is what it needs to be to have the impact everyone wants it to have. Once we can get past that point, I think it’ll be pretty quick. If anything, we’ll rush through it to get it built as quickly as possible.

“You could still hit the beginning of the 2015 season window at this stage. Once you get to 2013, you’re looking at 2016. For us, it’s really ASAP. Right now, that’s 2015. There’s no real back end time, like we want to build it by this date or that date.”

October 2012, Bilello: “We are in discussions with the City of Revere, which offers the proximity to urban centers and access to transit that we are seeking for a future Revolution stadium, but talks are preliminary at this stage.”

March 2012, Bilello:  “I’m hoping in the next 60 days we might be able to talk about that. We feel good about the direction its heading, but we’ve said from the beginning: even if it takes long and costs more money, placing the stadium in the right, urban core is more important than getting it done.”

January 2012, The Daily Item: “[Revere mayor] Rizzo said he exchanged e-mails about that idea with representatives for the New England Patriots and Revolution owner Robert Kraft and his family, but called the exchanges ‘informative at this point.'”

March 2011, Kraft: “We believe if we’re going to build one of these, then it should probably be closer to the urban center and public transportation. We’ve looked at a number of locations that could make sense but haven’t yet been able to get anything finalized. I think communities in which this could potentially happen, the financial downturn has readjusted the priorities. But, hopefully, we’ll ultimately be able to get one built.’’

December 2010, Kraft: ““We continue to stay focused on it. It’s the highest off-the-field priority for the team. From our perspective, we would hope in the next 12-24 months we would have something we would be breaking ground on. ”

July 2010The Boston Globe:  “During the next few months our architects and engineers will be studying the area to determine if it is possible to build a soccer stadium,’’ wrote Bilello, a former MIT soccer player and management consultant who joined the Kraft Group in 2003.

Bilello said that building a stadium for the Revolution is ‘a top priority’ for the Krafts, the team, and the league.”

June 2010, Bilello: “Getting the team into a soccer stadium of its own remains a top priority for our organization. With the decision regarding the MBTA’s Green Line maintenance facility in Somerville in place, we have re-launched the process of examining that area as a stadium site. We were in a holding pattern for a bit while the city and MBTA worked out the details of the facility. During the next few months our architects and engineers will be studying the area to determine if it is possible to build a soccer stadium on that site given the footprint of the maintenance facility and other existing structures.

In the last few months, we have also begun studying three additional sites around Boston’s metro core. These sites may not have been available to us in the past, but have recently shown potential interest in having our stadium.”

August 2009, Soccer America:  “Brian Bilello, the Revolution’s chief operating officer, said ownership remains committed to building a soccer stadium and is working to determine a site.

The Boston suburb Somerville has been mentioned in previous reports, but Bilello said the club is considering a number of sites. He declined to elaborate, but said, ‘There’s a lot of upside potential if we can get the stadium in an urban core.”’

October 2008The Boston Globe: “The Kraft Group is strongly considering whether to build a soccer stadium in East Somerville as a home for the New England Revolution, a move that would allow the team to raise its profile in the region and capitalize on a rich concentration of immigrant soccer fans.

Following the lead of other Major League Soccer clubs, the Kraft family wants to build a 20,000- to 30,000-seat soccer stadium – possibly in an industrial no man’s land that Somerville leaders want to turn into a vibrant commercial and residential district – and move the Revolution from Gillette Stadium, also owned by the Kraft Group, said Stacey James, a Kraft spokesman.”

August 2007The Boston Herald:  “Somerville is emerging as a contender to land what could be the Boston area’s next big major league sports stadium.

Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution and Somerville officials have held preliminary discussions about building a 20,000-plus seat soccer stadium on a site not far from Charlestown, Mayor Joseph Curtatone confirmed.”

January 2014, Kraft: “I realize we sound like a broken record on this. I’m sure people doubt us.”


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