Mayor Open to Soccer Stadium in Boston

New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen (left) celebrates with midfielder/forward Steve Neumann after a goal earlier this season.
New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen (left) celebrates with midfielder/forward Steve Neumann after a goal earlier this season.
USA Today Sports

About a week and a half ago, Jonathan Kraft went on the radio to talk sports. But rather than chat about the New England Patriots, as he usually does in that circumstance, he was there to talk about the World Cup and his family’s other sports team, the New England Revolution.

For Major League Soccer fans, far and away the most interesting thing he suggested was that the Krafts were now looking to build the soccer-specific stadium they have long said they sought in Boston. Revere and Somerville had previously been considered the most likely destinations for a new Revolution home. The Revolution currently play in Gillette Stadium, the home of the Patriots and the centerpiece of the Krafts’ Patriot Place in Foxborough.

At the time, I wondered if that was a negotiating tactic from Kraft. But the Boston Business Journal today reports Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh is open to the possibility. BBJ Real Estate Editor Thomas Grillo also writes that Somerville and Revere officials haven’t spoken with the Krafts in about a year.

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It doesn’t appear that anything is close, however. Quoting from the BBJ, here’s Walsh:

"It's something I'd be interested in," Walsh said. "It's worth looking at. I'm open to a lot of ideas. It's about the growth of Boston. It's something I wouldn't turn down. There will have to be a lot of discussions about the location. I don't know where it would go. We will have to see."

So, not a whole lot going on in that quote. But let’s entertain it.

Some have suggested that if Boston winds up hosting the 2024 Olympics, the stadium built for those games could eventually become a home for the Revolution. I found that hard to believe before the BBJ article, but perhaps it makes more sense if Boston really is the Revs’ target destination. Any such stadium would almost certainly need significant renovations to be downsized for soccer following the spectacle. Oh, and it would require, y’know, a winning Olympic bid to even come into existence.

But if Boston doesn’t get the Olympics, all the talk about sports complex development in the city would at least provide some framing for the discussion of where a Revolution stadium might wind up. The BBJ cites a source in saying the Krafts had previously eyed space in Roxbury, an idea former Mayor Thomas Menino was reportedly not on board with. The Globe’s Shirley Leung identified some parcels in South Boston that include an MBTA maintenance facility and a city tow lot together as a possible Olympic stadium location in a column last week.

The full Boston Business Journal article is available here.