Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 03/2004

« Biker poets | Main | Letter: Davis Square Task Force replaced by Gewirtz Task Force »

September 29, 2008

Comments

On

Joey Cakes is on the move where on ten hills has he bought his new abode? There goes the neiborhood.

somebody

I'm not a big fan of putting a stadium in Somerville, but it may be one of the few structures that makes sense to put over a noisy maintenance facility. I'm just worried that a stadium will be cause traffic issues (cars and foot traffic) that really don't bring in the tax revenue that an office building or lab would bring. Also, a stadium chews up a lot of real estate, which would just could just create a quiet and creepy area when there are no events going on.

Resident

It's funny how I was with you up until the last 4-1/2 paragraphs. HOW can you arrive at this? You are literally throwing the Bb community under the bus with zero concern. You are SERIOUSLY spinning in your mind the idea that subjecting the Bb community to both the grossly oversized, highly polluting maintenance facility AND a soccer stadium has the best interest of this community in mind? You really expect us to buy that? Cover up one mistake with a bigger mistake?

Perhaps the national election spin machines have given you ideas, because this makes no sense. If this was a community of single family homes, this location would never be considered. The lives of the residents and businesses of Brickbottom are literally seen as DISPOSABLE by both YOU and the EOT.

Shame.

William Hurst

I wonder if the "Brick Bottom" people were able to convince the Mayor that their area is wrong for this maintenance facility. If they can convince the State to go with a smaller facility where could they put it? I know, how about the MaxPak site it is right on the rail line. The people there will not want it, but since there is no representation for the neighborhood and no voice strong enough to oppose it, guess what people!! say hello to your new neighbors.

WHY??

A soccer stadium is one of the worst ideas I have ever heard proposed. I find it hard to believe that the mayor, the chamber of commerce, and many residents seem to be in favor of it. It will be a wasteland - a huge amount of land taken up by the facility and by a parking lot. For what? A sport that most people care nothing about in this country, and which has a hard time filling seats for games. Why can't Somerville ever look to the future and create something that will bring in both jobs and tax revenue. Look what Cambridge created in Kendall Square. WHY won't Somerville do something similar? We need jobs and revenue, not some mindless diversion which will only attract soccer hooligans.

Bill Shelton

"Why can't Somerville ever look to the future and create something that will bring in both jobs and tax revenue?"

Because we have a strong-mayor form of government and favor-relationship political culture that matches it.

And Mr. Hurst's comment was funny and spot on.

Nathan (in response to WHY??)

"It will be a wasteland - a huge amount of land taken up by the facility and by a parking lot. For what? A sport that most people care nothing about in this country, and which has a hard time filling seats for games."

I find this comment to be very ignorant. As a die-hard supporter of the club and one who frequents games, I can tell you that we draw very well. We've averaged 17,542 so far this season, which isn't too far from what the Bruins averaged last season.

We'll have 22 games played at home this season, which won't include the playoffs which guarantees at least one more game, possible two if we advance past the first stage. Given the prospect of international games, exhibitions, concerts, etc, the stadium would get used frequently within the course of the year.

I think it's a wonderful idea and I only hope the citizens of Somerville are open and accepting and eventually embrace the team.

Oh, and regarding the following comment...

"We need jobs and revenue, not some mindless diversion which will only attract soccer hooligans."

...we've constantly shown that we won't tolerate racism, bigotry, violence, etc. We're open to away fans coming to our tailgates at Gillette and actually had some visible protests to one of our players being targeted by racism this season. Do your research before you blindly label us.

Bernard Gibbons

I recently was on a tour of a property I am marketing for someone in Everett with Brian Bilello of the Kraft Group as a potential site for the Revolution The deal was the Krafts pay nothing for the land build a stadium which is supposed to draw complimentary development.I don't think there is enough room in that area of Somerville for all of this to happen If there is it's by taking over the industrial tenants already in place.The venue would be used on approximately 50 dates which would include concerts for major acts.If the maintenance facility goes in there the deal is dead.They will never put a stadium on top of a maintenance facility.The city doesn't want the faclity because it really wants a stadium.It seems as though the city wants all the benefits of the green line expansion without the sacrifice of this key peice of land that makes it all possible.We got Assembly Sq,wer'e getting a revitalized Union Sq,and we want a stadium too.It's a little over the top

somebody

Bernard: No it's not over the top. We already take on much of the transportation burden for the Boston area, with little benefit. We don't need or want another burden.

Ron Newman

I haven't decided whether I'm for or against a soccer stadium, but if it is on the Green Line, there is no need for any parking lot at all.

Brickbottom Resident

It sounds to me like Mayor Curtatone is subtly beginning to shift his message to allow for an eventual capitulation on the location of the maintenance facility, which would be a catastrophe for Somerville.
Likewise, a soccer stadium -- a single-use development that eats land and is vacant 95% of the time, would not be of benefit to the neighborhood it's located in, which is surrounded by residential uses. Remember, we're also getting a large Ikea that feeds off the same roads, and the combined strain on the surrounding surface roads could paralyze Somerville on both weekdays and weekends.
What about transit-oriented mixed-use development? Offices, apartments and condos? Research and high-tech? Or if you can think of nothing else -- park land, which Somerville has nearly none of. This neighborhood could become an extension of the emerald necklace thanks to its location on the future bike path extension that will accompany the green line extension. Remember that Somerville is already bisected by commuter rail lines, freight lines, Rt 93, Rt 28... all things that pass through, bisect, isolate, separate... but do not improve the community.

Evan Whitney

It’s entirely understandable and reasonable that residents, politicians, and business owners in the Somerville-area may express apprehension about a land-use proposal that is considerable in both its scope and potential impact on the community, especially when said use may include a sports and entertainment facility. Concerns related to economic growth and development, accessibility, impact to abutters, financing, acquisition of land and property, potential cost to taxpayers, and environmental impact are all considerations that must be addressed, and in such a fashion where the process is transparent, in good faith, and inclusive of community input.

With respect to the latter, the Kraft family has their work cut out for them. No matter the on-field success of the Patriots and Revolution, there are no doubt those who still remember their efforts in pursuing an open-air, stand-alone stadium for South Boston in the mid-to-late 1990’s. Their efforts, and more to the point, the manner in which they pursued them, served to polarize opposition from politicians and community leaders who were ultimately successful in preventing Kraft from developing a stadium in that community.

Understanding this, it is prudent for the Krafts, Mayor Curtatone and other interested parties (read: Herb Chambers) to be more pragmatic and circumspect at this point in pursuing this issue. It is not a proposal that can be fast-tracked, nor should it be when there are existing issues that could influence their plans, including, but not limited to: the MBTA Green Line extension, development of the Northpoint and Brickbottom neighborhoods, and competing land-use plans related to an MBTA rail maintenance facility.

What we know to this point is that the Krafts are apparently willing to spend $100 million for the development and construction of a stadium, one that – based on the figure expressed – may have a capacity somewhere between 18,500 and 22,000. We also know that Herb Chambers worked with the Krafts (their combined net worth according to Boston Magazine being in the vicinity of $3 billion dollars) in producing a study examining the potential for commercial development in the area and not far from where his Herb Chambers Companies are based. Finally, as expressed by Mr. Gibbons above, the Krafts and the Revolution anticipate 50 different dates where the stadium would be used for such purposes as New England Revolution matches, major concerts, possibly including international soccer matches (exhibitions & World Cup qualifiers) and those of the Boston Breakers of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). If the primary playing surface is artificial, then the potential exists for the facility to be used year-round, perhaps being made available to members of the Somerville community as is the Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in Toronto, Canada: BMO Field.

MLS has established criteria that must be met as part of the site selection process for a new stadium, including: the number of available parking spaces within 1 mile of the proposed site, proximity to major highways, size of the construction footprint, etc., this before an architect or urban planner even puts his pen to paper. As it stands now, there are sites in Somerville that meet or exceed the League’s criteria for development of a new station, sites that would also benefit from their proximity to planned MBTA stations including Lechmere, Community College, North Station (which also enjoys Commuter Rail and Amtrak services) as well as the planned stations for Brickbottom and Washington Street, perhaps with a spur with easy access to a revitalized and growing Union Square.

As for the stadium itself, its design could be modern yet complimentary to the surrounding neighborhood, constructed in such a way where noise levels could be kept to a minimum, one where so-called ‘Green Efforts’ may be cultivated, and perhaps inclusive of a hotel and/or conference facilities or local community center.

All that being said, there are pros and cons to this no matter which direction you approach the issue from, and as long as both the Krafts, the City of Somerville, and community members are willing to approach things with an open mind and diplomatic approach that’s absent of assumption, it may be possible for such an idea to work for most everyone.

Really?

Ron, You never fail to make me laugh. Just because something is 'on the green line' doesn't mean you don't need a parking lot. When will you realize that some people need or want to drive a vehicle to an event. Let's see, if I'm a soccer fan from Acton, Shrewsbury, Nashua, Lawrence, or Providence, can you tell me how I can hop on the Green Line? If I'm elderly or disabled, can you tell me how I can hop on the Green Line? The green line will only serve other places on the green line, not the general public. Will some people use it to get there? Without a doubt. But that does not mean that a parking lot won't be necessary. If I'm arriving from Lawrence, I guess I'll just park my car on Franklin Street - won't that make the neighborhood happy! Let's see....a bus for the visiting team? No problem, pull it over on McGrath Highway and put on your flashers for a couple of hours. Please get a grip.

Racism?  Please.......

"...we've constantly shown that we won't tolerate racism, bigotry, violence, etc"
Are you calling the poster before you a racist for stating the truth? Maybe you haven't, but I'm sure most people have seen video of the riots in soccer stadiums in Italy, England, Venezuela, Mexico, etc. Racist against who?

Evan Whitney

The person making the claim about hooligans may be justified in his concerns if this were a stadium being built in a foreign country/League with an establish record of such problems. That being said, the proposed stadium would be built in a country and for a League where this isn't a problem. For what it's worth, a demographic breakdown of New England Revolution supporters would show an overwhelming number of white, suburban families, youth soccer players, young professionals, along with a mix of various other ethnicities and economic backgrounds.

Quite simply, the fan culture of the sport here in the U.S. is different from that which can be found overseas, so I can see why Nathan may have been a bit abrupt in his response considering the original association made, which in all seriousness, lends itself more to stereotype than truth in this particular instance.

Cosmo Catalano

Couldn't agree more with no one in the Somerville community wanting to see soccer. Especially the Brazilian immigrants. As we all know, Brazilians hate soccer more than anyone.

Ron Newman

If you are coming from Acton or Lawrence or (hopefully soon) Nashua, you take a commuter train to North Station, then take the Green Line outbound a few stops to Brickbottom. It's also not that hard to get to the Green Line from South Station commuter trains, though it requires one more transfer.

S.G.

"...we've constantly shown that we won't tolerate racism, bigotry, violence, etc"
Are you calling the poster before you a racist for stating the truth? Maybe you haven't, but I'm sure most people have seen video of the riots in soccer stadiums in Italy, England, Venezuela, Mexico, etc. Racist against who?

Posted by: Racism? Please....... | October 01, 2008 at 11:28 AM
-------------

I find that response very interesting, because the poster nowhere in qhat you quoted accused anyone of racism, but YOU saw the racism in the initial post.

Somervillen00b

This idea that the Green Line needs additional ridership and that a stadium would be justified on those grounds is idiotic. Mr. Curtatone, have you EVER tried to catch the Green Line on Park Street on a day when the Red Sox are playing? Dunno, perhaps our esteemed Mayor loves being packed with sweaty pigs in a crawling Green Line car... The bottom line is that NOBODY needs that kind of ridership; it defeats the purpose of having the Green Line to begin with.

Evan Whitney

A primary reason why Park Street is such a nightmare on Red Sox game days is do to the fact that fans are traveling through the busiest underground station (located right on the fringe of the financial district) on the MBTA network right at the height of rush hour. In contrast, the overwhelming majority of New England Revolution matches are played on Saturday evenings, and should a stadium be built in Somerville, accessible via a branch of the Green Line pretty well removed from ordinarily congested stations or transfer points.

Imux

Ron, "No need for a parking lot"!!! - are you damp in the head? I swear that you and the rest of the PDS groupies live in a bubble and you're all dumber than a bag of hammers. There wouldn't be ANY parking in the rest of the city on Sundays as people would still drive in (yeah... not everyone rides their tricycles like you all day!) and just park on the side streets AND then jump on the T. Wake up. It's so annoying dealing you liberals/PDS'ers - you don't live on the same planet as the rest of us.

Well...when the Brazilian team comes that would be one day that no parking would be needed. All their fans could just walk over - a lot of them are here illegally anyways.

Corbin

"... the Krafts are apparently willing to spend $100 million for the development and construction of a stadium..."

Which is the way it should be. The Krafts will be the primary beneficiaries of the stadium being built. Their soccer team will be the primary tenant and they will undoubtedly control a significant portion of the revenue streams generated by the facility. The Krafts willingness to finance this project is hardly a magnanimous gesture on their part.

Also, how much are the Krafts willing to spend on the acquisition of land? Rumor has it, nothing.

"...(the stadium) may have capacity betwenn 18,500 and 22,000..."

Some reports indicate that the capacity could reach as high as 35,000. Those figures represent a swing of 16,500 people... nearly a doubling of size from the low to high marks. Any way you slice it, a facility of between 18,500 and 35,000-seat capacity is going to have a significant impact on the City of Somerville and the neighborhood that plays host to it.

"We also know that Herb Chambers worked with the Krafts in producing a study examining the potential for commercial development in the area..."

Raising the question of whether a study funded by Mr. Chambers and the Krafts would be truly free from their personal interests influencing the findings?

"... their combined net worth according to Boston Magazine being in the vicinity of $3 billion..."

Signifying what? That their opinion as to how Somerville should be commercially developed is of greater value because of their wealth? With that kind of money at their disposal, why don't the Krafts finance development and construction of the stadium AND pay the City of Somerville fair market value for the land needed?

"... the Krafts anticipate 50 different dates where the stadium would be used..."

Leaving 315 days of the year when the facility wouldn't be generating revenue that would help support the commercial development of the City of Somerville. Further, the vast majority of the jobs that would be created to support the 50 event dates would be of the low-wage, part-time, seasonal variety, meaning the facility would provide little to no opportunity for Somerville residents to establish careers based upon the stadium's development.

"If the primary playing surface is artificial, then the potential exists for the facility to be used year-round, perhaps being made available to members of the Somerville community..."

PERHAPS being made available? That's hardly a commitment to partnering with the community that is expected to play host to this facility. One would think that such a provision would be GUARANTEED to the residents of Somerville. Further, the City of Somerville doesn't need to grant the Krafts permission to build a soccer-specific stadium in order to gain a recreational area that would "perhaps" be made available to the public. The city could opt to build a park in the neighborhood on its own.

"MLS has established criteria that must be met as part of the site selection process for a new stadium... there are sites in Somerville that meet or exceed the league's criteria..."

Which isn't to say that the City of Somerville is under any obligation to offer itself up as a host to a Major League Soccer stadium.

"As for the stadium itself, its design could be modern yet complimentary to the surrounding neighborhood..."

Of course, the bigger question is whether an 18,500-seat, 20,000-seat or 35,000-seat stadium is truly "complimentary" with the City of Somerville... period. Architectural details and flourishes be damned.

"... and perhaps inclusive of a hotel and/or conference facilities or local community center."

And perhaps a hotel, conference facility and/or local community center could be built in the neighborhoods in question without a stadium being a part of the project, right?

William Hurst

Are there soccer hooligans in Foxborough? Has there been any trouble at a soccer event in this country? And the answer is, NO. Sports facilities and businesses bring jobs and tax revenue to cities and towns. Unlike housing which creates a financial burden on every city and town. Also people WAKE UP, sports figures and teams from other states pay a Massachusetts employment tax. This city will get TAX revenue from a new stadium. This city can and could if they desire get a seating tax for every event held there. The police department will find a new revenue stream and perhaps the Mayor will wake up to the fact that FLAG PEOPLE can watch over a hole being dug in the ground just as well as Somerville's finest can. This Expletive Deleted country is falling apart, tax revenues are drying up, we have a way of bringing more money to this city AND I will stop here before I really go off on everyone.

Joe Lynch

Hurst, Shelton and MaxPac interested parties......

As one resident within spitting distance of the MaxPac development, let me state publicly, loudly and without hesitation, it will be a cold day in hell before the Greenline maintenance facility gets anywhere close to Ward 5.

Four years ago, when the fate of the 5 acre industrial site was first seriously discussed, I made my opinion known to the ward Alderman, the Mayor, MBTA and state officials, and most importantly to the residents who surround the site, that I would not support and would actively oppose a non-residential use of the site. There were those who thought that we should continue an industrial use, those who advocated to leave it in a decaying condition(the do nothing crowd) and yes, those who actually floated the idea as a possible use in conjunction with the city owned DPW yard across the tracks for the Greenline maintenance facility.

I find it sad in a way that city officials and other interested parties, who knew that a maintenance facility in Somerville has always been part of the plan by T and state officials, are now acting surprised. Or maybe it just makes for great theater.

In any event Mr. Hurst, you are correct that there does not seem to be a single voice to represent the people who live around the MaxPac development.

There are hundreds of voices(if not thousands)who would oppose such a move to locate the facility in this neighborhood.

Inman Square

I've got a lot of respect for Joe Lynch, and I agree with his comment about the City not being prepared for hosting a maintenance facility. I even think the currently proposed location may not be the worst site for it (after all, even with Brickbottom right there, its still a commercial zone.) But I'm not sure why Ward 5, which will benefit as much or more from the Green Line than anyone, should be exempt from consideration for a maintenance facility. No pain, no gain.

Personally, I think the maintenance facility should be at the end of the line, at Route 16 (assuming that does end up being the end of the line). I certainly don't think it needs to be as large as currently proposed.

In general, Somerville needs to be careful about this issue. The only reason the Green Line appears to be coming is the universal support for the idea. If we fight amongst ourselves, the state regulations allow the state to substitute some other project for the Green Line (such as the Urban Ring) in order to avoid the controversy.

Ron Newman

My only disagreement with Joe Lynch on this subject is that I wish MaxPac could include some small retail or restaurant or cafe space, to serve both its residents and people who pass by on the Community Path extension.

liferfromthe'ville

"Why can't Somerville ever look to the future and create something that will bring in both jobs and tax revenue"

Why can't you people look to the future and see where interests are changing, businesses are changing, and the WORLD at large is changing. Just because you aren't interested in something doesn't mean that the million other people who live here aren't interested in it. Ever thought that by attracting more than just the neighbors you're comfortable with to a revenue generating activity in your city you might increase funds for things you might find important, like schools, roads, fewer tax increases? Until the progressives who want to stop progress in Somerville where it meets their agenda actually embrace change and continued growth and development that isn't totally selfish on thier part, this town will stagnate and they will be at odds with the rest of us, some of whom have grown up here and don't like what those progressives want to turn this city into anyway. Wake up and thinkabout someone other than yourselves for a change.

Kevin

If this soccer stadium is to hold 20-25K people, isn't that about half of what Fenway holds? And if it is along the greenline, then wouldn't it be as accessible as Fenway? And doesn't the Fens do a decent job at hosting all the drivers in exxcess to the T commuters? I know I lived about 3/4 a mile from Fenway Park in Brookline, and didn't even see any increase in parking on Red Sox days. Of course there would be an increase in parking on game days, but it is being blown out of proportion the effect it would have (especially since 90% of activities at the stadium would be on the wekends).

Now the issue of Somerville/Boston actually needing another soccer stadium is a whole other issue. I just feel that it could be infrastructurally supported. Though, there are certainly other, and possible better, ways to use that land...

dave

"Some reports indicate that the capacity could reach as high as 35,000. Those figures represent a swing of 16,500 people... nearly a doubling of size from the low to high marks. Any way you slice it, a facility of between 18,500 and 35,000-seat capacity is going to have a significant impact on the City of Somerville and the neighborhood that plays host to it."

Corbin: it might help your credibility if you actually knew something about the subject of MLS Soccer Specific Stadia before you make comments like this. "Some reports"? Really? Who? Anyone credible? Kindly go do some research on the Soccer Specific Stadia that have been built in the USA and Canada for MLS and USL teams over the past ten years. The largest is the Home Depot Center where the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA play, which seats 27,000. All the other MLS Soccer Specific Stadia seat between 18,000 and 22,000 (except the 25,000 seat Red Bull Arena which hasn't opened yet).

If you think that the New England Revolution, who currently draw an average of about 15,000 or a bit more, are going to build a 35,000 seat stadium, you are nuts. It MIGHT be possible to expand the stadium that the Krafts want to build at a much later date when Revolution average attendance has gone way up, but that isn't going to happen any time soon, and it isn't going to happen without approval from the city and appropriate planning - all of which will further delay the process.

A stadium of 18,000 to at most 22,000 is more than big enough for the New England Revolution's needs for the foreseeable future. The Krafts aren't going to build a stadium that is too big for the Revolution - the reason for getting the Revolution out of Gillette and into their own appropriately sized stadium is to avoid having the fans rattling around a half empty stadium.

There is ZERO chance that the Revolution are going to build a stadium larger than the Home Depot Center (which is as I said, 27,000 seats). 35,000 seats? Not gonna happen. No MLS club is going to build a new 35,000 seat Soccer Specific Stadium any time in the foreseeable future.

Kindly refer to the wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soccer-specific_stadium

dave

And to add to my previous comments, yes "some people" may say they want a 35,000 stadium....now go read the wiki I posted on Soccer Specific Stadia....notice the actual sizes....no matter who says it, talk of a 35,000 seat SSS is not credbile. I don't care if the Krafts or anyone else says it: they aren't credible. No one is going to build a SSS that big at this time. This is a negotiating tactic. They'll talk about a 35,000 seat stadium and then when all you NIMBYs howl, they'll scale it back to 25,000 or smaller. Whether it is 18,000 or 35,000 hardly matters though: the area will be far better at handling that traffic than Fenway is.

Bill Shelton

I agree with Mr. Hurst's assessment of current conditions, but not his conclusion. With him, my greatest concern is more jobs and more tax revenue. Decades of foolish zoning and planning decisions have produced little commercial space and lots of housing, which generates only two-third's the tax revenue but twice the costs. The result is (1) a tax burden on homeowners, (2) only 1 job for every 2 working residents, and (3) a city whose budget is so dependent on state welfare handouts that when the state sneezes, Somerville catches pneumonia. During the state's fiscal difficulties 7 years ago, Somerville canned hundreds of city employees. The current fiscal forecast isn't rosy.

We're so dense that the only large chunks of undeveloped land are in Assembly Square and Inner Belt. Not all commercial development is equal. Projects like a soccer stadium or big-box retail bring more municipal costs than tax revenues or decent jobs.

The old mall owners persuaded the city to make the developers' development plan the city's redevelopment plan. They built nothing, took their $30 million in profit, and left us with little more to show for it than the new mayor that they elected.

Now that mayor is conducting more private meetings with outside interests. On Thursday night, the Aldermen met to review an Inner Belt report paid for by the Krafts. One of its concerns was that the Green Line maintenance facility is so long that in blocks other development. The planning consultants showed four different alternatives for making it more compact.

Chamber of Commerce President Steve Mackey observed that every alternative assumed space for a Soccer Stadium. He was sharply critical of deals getting made outside the public eye that will have a high, and not necessarily positive, impact on Somerville.

I agree. I would prefer that our city not get hosed again in the interest of petty political ambition.

Somervillen00b

I believe now that the Mayor could not care less about what happens to Somerville in the long term. Heck, if an idiot like Palin, an ex-Mayor of a 7K town in Alaska can be VP, Curtatone can be as well. That's what he's thinking right now. Kiss as many outside butts as possible, so they'll support him on his bid for MA Governor at some point.

William Hurst

Governor Curtatone, Senator Curtatone another pezzonovante from Somerville. To Joseph Lynch, The campaign to move the facility has already started. Inman Sq likes the idea of a maintenance facility at the MaxPac site and I am sure the Mayor can sell it. Are you buying? Not now maybe but you will have no choice. Talk to the Craigie Street residents who will have to put up with a new housing development for their area. Must be cold in your neighborhood and it is only going to get colder, brrrrrr!!. PEOPLE WAKE UP, we need commercial revenue not residential. I can see it now, thanks to the new bailout plan foreclosed homes will end up in the hands of the SHA.

Joe Lynch

Mr. Hurst - I'll take your advice and buy myself some heavy duty mittens. Extra large. To hide the boxing gloves loaded with lead. Thanks for the heads up.

Corbin

Dave, it might help YOUR credibility if you not only quoted my posts, but managed to read and comprehend them in their entirety. For instance...

"Any way you slice it, A FACILITY OF BETWEEN 18,500 AND 35,000-SEAT CAPACITY (i.e. not necessarily 35,000 seats, but any size in between the two extremes) is going to have significant impact on the City of Somerville and the neighborhood that plays host to it."

In other words, I was stating that any sized soccer-specific stadium - 18,000... 18,500... 20,000... 22,000... 25,000... 27,000... 35,000 - is going to significantly impact a city as densely populated and developed as Somerville is.

Moving on...

As for your reasoning that the floating of the 35,000-seat figure "... is a negotiating tactic", I wholeheartedly agree. That said, it strikes me that talking about a 35,000-seat stadium only to "scale it back to 25,000 or smaller" when "NIMBYs howl" is a slap in the face to Somerville residents opposed to the stadium. Do the powers-that-be actually believe that said "NIMBYs" are so naive as to be capable of being duped by such a ploy? Talk about arrogance. If the Krafts truly believe that the residents of Somerville are going to be so easily manipulated on this issue, than they learned nothing from their failed efforts to build a stadium for the Patriots in South Boston.

Finally, Bill Shelton's post of October 5th really hits the nail on the head: Mayor Curtatone is hell-bent on conducting and finalizing the negotiations for development of this soccer-specific stadium behind closed doors, away from the eyes, ears and minds of the Somerville residents who will be directly impacted by it's construction.

Does it come as a surprise to anyone that all four alternatives put forth in the Kraft-funded - and supposedly "independent" - study into the best development options for the Inner Belt district call for space for a soccer-specific stadium to be part of the plan? Who is the operator-investor of New England's Major League Soccer franchise? Oh, right... Robert KRAFT. Yeah, I'm sure the study was "independent".

Curtatone is maneuvering to cram this stadium down Somerville's throat on behalf of the Krafts without allowing the residents of the city to make their voices heard. Who will benefit if his plot is successful? The mayor will score significant points with a well-heeled Massachusetts businessman - and, other like-minded businessmen - who would be inclined to financially support Curtatone's future runs for higher political office. The Krafts will get a stadium/concert venue built on land that Mayor Curtatone will most likely just hand to them. Meanwhile, the residents of Somerville will get the traffic, noise and other inconveniences that go hand-in-hand with building and hosting a sports facility in a relatively small urban municipality. Further, the facility will add little in the way of commercial development capable of benefitting rank-and-file Somerville residents beyond the creation of low-wage, part-time, seasonal jobs.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Most Recent Photos

  • Danehy_Park_Family_Day
  • Bloco
  • 3517a
  • Web_toon_7_21_10
  • Prospect hill
  • Web_toon_7_14_10
  • 3224a
  • Art1(2)
  • Art5
  • Art10(2)
  • Union_square_flood
  • Flood_pic_(bridge_1)