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July 07, 2008

Comments

Pat

If you build it, they will come. Inner Belt Road would be a fantastic location for a stadium. Somerville would be on the international map!

Future Use

It seems like an awful lot of land to be set aside for something which will only be used 6 or 7 times a year. Oh, wait a minute, the Krafts won't let it sit empty. It will become a concert venue for sure, and any other uses that they can come up with....circus, rodeo, other sports, etc. The traffic and costs incurred (trash, police, unhappy residents, etc.) with these other uses should be loads of fun and bring in lots of extra money (I mean bills) to the city coffers.

Great

It will be a great idea for this to happen. Much revenue from the stadium and it will host high school events as well most likely. The stadium would be full most the time because of its location to Boston and with Somerville fans alone they could pack the place. I know I would watch some games there. We as the young demographic need this more than ever. The city has taking Good Times from us and next thing you know this is gonna be a place where all the elders come to retire and you dont want that. Build the stadium, it will be great!

oh boy

I think its a great idea. Our taxes will eventually drop. We'll have direct access to sporting events etc. Extra police and other public safety personnel will surely be needed and the city should have plenty of funding to hire them. Its about time we have an administration that thinks out of the box. Thanks Mayor Joe. I had my doubts about you at first, but you have surely mad me a believer.

Steven in response to future use

The Revs play 15 regular season home games. They are a top team in MLS and play in other competitions (Superliga, Champions League, US Open Cup, MLS Playoffs). Those matches would be hosted at the new stadium. You are now looking at a potential of 20-30 matches a year. Then you can factor in your local high school sports games, concerts, and events that can be hosted at this stadium. A lot of revenue for Somerville. These positives outweigh your negatives as Somerville will no longer be called Slumerville.

Διογένης

"Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone said, '[Herb Chambers] is one of the best community partners [Somerville] has. He has an interest in the city achieving success, reaching our goals, and realizing our vision.'”

Well, he has an interest in at least one Somerville mayor successfully reaching his goals. Election Commission reports show that Herb Chambers salesmen contributed thousands of dollars to Joe Curtatone's campaign fund. They often give the maximum amount allowable, even though they don't live in Somerville. I wonder why.

Evan Whitney

I certainly think this is an idea worth exploring, especially if it's part of a larger effort towards 'urban revitalization' that can serve to link up other parts of Somerville, especially if it incorporates easy access to public transit. That being said, efforts should be made early on to not only keep the process transparent, but also to involve community members who stand to be most affected by such an effort. While the New England Revolution would be the primary tenant for a new stadium (one that would be considerably smaller than Gillette), it would be a wise idea to make it the centerpiece of a community activity where there could be youth soccer fields, performing spaces and dedicated space for local artists, but perhaps most importantly, making space available for local merchants and entrepreneurs to come in and develop. Finally, with proximity to public transit and its location relative to Boston and neighboring communities, areas such as Union Square and elsewhere in Somerville could see a bump in revenues from attending fans who might chose local restaurants and watering holes over the cost of paying for stadium concessions.

Personally, I hope this effort comes about, but the process needs to be undertaken in good faith with do respect to all considerations and parties.

Yorktown Street

Stadium deals usually cost the host city money. See an article called "Public Teams, Private Profits" on the Dollars and Sense website, in the archive section. Will a sports-crazy mayor, who hired an unqualified youth director that happened to be a former Patriot, really bargain hard with Robert Kraft and get the most for Somerville?

Vince

If your lucky you may even host the X Games like the home of the LA Galaxy does. Rev games, concerts, internaltional exhibitions, World Cup Qualifiers, Women's professional soccer, high school events, possibly lacrosse, and... the list keeps going! If anyone says that bills will be incurred from "trash, police, unhappy residents, etc." are right they will be, but the revenue streams generated be such a sports facility will far outweigh the costs. Thats just my two cents.

Jeremy

Yorktown: you are right that some stadium deals cost the host city money. In the case of soccer stadiums you are typically only paying for the infrastructure though. Any deal you do is going to require the city to pay for infrastructure. so 30 to 50 million would be required, not the 300 plus million a baseball or football stadium would.

Future Use: the Revs have this year a minimum of 20 home games (not including any playoff games). A bad year would see 17 games at a minimum. Add in any international games and the possibility of a women's team (at least 10 games on the women's side) and you have around 30 just for soccer. Through in 4 concerts and some other activities and you are around 35 events in a stadium that will be used 9 months of the year. So around one event every week (if not more).

YankeeH8ter

Wow, Bob Craft is certainly not stupid. He buys a professional soccer team, gets them to the finals a few times, and has now faces several large issues. First, the pitch used for soccer is different than the one used for football. Hosting 2 teams at Gillette destroys the field for the Patriots. Secondly location. The fan base is extremely limited in the south shore. Just 40 minutes away is a large immigrant population who absolutely love soccer but it's just too difficult for them to get to Gillette. Simply going to the North End/Southie for any world cup or Euro match shows just how huge of a fan base exists. So how does he solve this? Build a new stadium with easy access to the T. The field is designed for the sport and most importantly he has a new fan base without alienating the ones who already visit Gillette. The Revs get more fans and more people attending the games. Heck, I even talked to a few friends who said they would go to a Revs game if it wasn't so inconvient to get there. I just don't see how this is a bad thing for Somerville or the Revs. Somerville gets the 4th best professional sports team (I'm looking at you Bruins) and Somerville gets the same community model outreach that the Sox, Pats, and Celts have implemented. The charity and community service work that these teams do is absolutely amazing. That's a win-win for everybody!

yet another resident

My $0.02: if we don't have to pay for the construction of the stadium and we get taxes for it *and* the venue covers additional police/public safety coverage when needed then I'd say that it is a fabulous idea.

I just don't want to see us incur a lot of debt on a white elephant. We've enough of both to last us for a while.

Jo Bleau

Well, let's sit back and think about who *exactly* would benefit from this... 1. The local businesses from the sports fans. Watch The Independent morph into a real Irish pub in a heartbeat if this were to happen with 79 widescreen TVs and Guinness taps on the exterior pouring right into Union Square. 2. The cops. Man, the overtime!!! They could hire ten more cops with the revenue! Well, wait, who would be getting the revenue? I mean, would the stadium really offset the gain in tax revenue or would it just be a windfall for cops on detail? 3. The kids. This last one has me on the fence on this issue, since I do think it would be a great possibility for the kids, but they have a revitalized Dilboy (Shannon) Stadium that is the envy of most everyone. So I'm not sure how many advantages a regulation sized soccer stadium made for crowds of 60,000 would benefit them a whole lot. It would mean watching little Timmy playing soccer much further away than at Dilboy. 4. The Mayor. Boy, would he be able to put a feather in his Patriot's cap with a deal with Mr. Kraft. I can't even imagine him if this deal were to go through. And, I agree with the other poster, he was so infatuated with being around a Pats former star, that he looked straight past this person's (horrible) ability to deal with kids. He fired a guy who was well-liked and very affable with the kids to hire someone who liked to bark orders and knew nothing about inner city kids. That was a sham of the highest order, but luckily Mr. Hall of Famer left before he could do too much damage.

So, all in all, not a real win-win if you ask me, unless of course you are a cop, a bar in Union Square or the mayor.

T-Boy Williams

Where is everybody going to park? How many cars will be coming through my neighborhood?

T-Boy Williams

"Stadium deals usually cost the host city money. See an article called "Public Teams, Private Profits" on the Dollars and Sense website, in the archive section. Will a sports-crazy mayor, who hired an unqualified youth director that happened to be a former Patriot, really bargain hard with Robert Kraft and get the most for Somerville?"

also see: The great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation.

Somerville could be getting the shaft!

Pele

Looks to be better than whats down there. Once a proposed site for the new Boston Garden back in the early 80's. There was a chance to get womens soccer to play at Tufts, but "Jack the Hack" Connolly and the elite West Somerville crowd squashed that.

Ron Newman

What existing businesses would be displaced if a stadium is built? I don't think there is a single contiguous parcel of vacant land large enough to hold it.

Fact Checker

>Wow, Bob Craft is certainly not stupid. First, >the pitch used for soccer is different than the >one used for football. Hosting 2 teams at >Gillette destroys the field for the Patriots.


The Patriots and Revs both play on the same surface which is field turf. It is an artificial surface and can not be ruined. This was installed a few years ago at Gillette.

Adam Burrows

I would pony up for season's tickets in a heartbeat if the Krafts built a soccer-specific venue in Somerville - or anywhere else on a T line in the Boston metro area. The Revs have a growing fan base but their appeal is limited by playing in a cavernous football cathedral that dilutes the soccer experience. Keep in mind that we're talking about building a 18-20,000 seat stadium, which every almost other MLS franchise has or will soon have. Also keep in mind that the Revs and MLS are increasingly engaging in international tournaments, bringing teams from Mexico, Trinidad, and elsewhere to New England - along with their fans. Exciting prospects for an increasingly cosmopolitan and international region.

Not Southie

Southie blew the chance to have Robert Kraft and co in there and with it they could have done wonders for the city. Somerville would benefit so much from this it's a joke. We are already used to commuters from Boston to North Shore cutting through our city so what's the difference? Even if it's 50 nights a year of entertainment, think of the plus side, tours for fans, local jobs, taxes for the economy. Of course, if you don't like progress, there's always Meffa!

Reptilian

"Currently the MBTA's proposal for the facility is located in Yard 8 on Inner Belt Road, now a grassy lot adjacent to the Telecom building, directly between McGrath Highway and Interstate 93."

Uh, Yard 8 is not a wasteland. It DIRECTLY abuts 200 homes in the Brickbottom lofts. If these were single-family homes, the MBTA would not propose a 24 hour, noise, air pollution and run-off -producing faciltiy directly adjacent to a neighborhood full of people and children actively involved in their neighborhood.

We don't want a soccer stadium, but we'll take it over the Maintenance facility. What the MBTA is proposing and covering up is criminal.

MEK

A 20k stadium in the city is a win-win. Hurry up and build it!!

James

It's about time. The Revs are one of the top programs in MLS, and deserve their own home!

Build it!

Mike

A soccer stadium in Somerville? This is great!

The New England Revolution currently play their home games at Gillette Stadium. If you are a city dweller, then you are very limited in going to Revs games. If you don't own a car, then you are really out of luck.

A stadium in the city would do wonders for the team and Somerville. For the Revs you would have the Boston metro area as your market, just a metro stop or two away. They could easily replicate what Toronto F.C. has, which is an audience of mature soccer fans who live within the city. They could also develop a working relationship with the local community, as the Revs have a youth system which took the field this year. Maybe even the Boston Breakers could be lured from Harvard to Somervile?

For Somerville, for a couple of years you will have an influx of construction jobs. Once the stadium is complete, if the financing and ownership is the same as Gillette Stadium, the city will have a nice source of tax revenue. The city will also have the ability to host concerts and other entertainment venues, which will bring residents from all over Boston and the region to Somerville to spend their discretionary income.

Nick

Waste of space and money. Robert Kraft might weasel some cash for himself, but you won't get soccer of any quality in Somerville, and that means no audience. All that will happen is a noisy, ugly white elephant stadium, rents going up and misery for people who actually live in Somerville.

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