Do You Want a New England Revolution Stadium in Somerville?
Somerville's Assembly Square is a finalist to become the location of a New England Revolution stadium, but the city would have to entice the soccer team with financial incentives, according to media reports. What do you think?
Somerville's Assembly Square is in the running to become the new home for a $130 million, 20,000-seat soccer stadium for the New England Revolution, according to media reports, including this article from Boston Business Journal.
Revere's Wonderland Greyhound Park site is also in the running, according to reports.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Fall River recently jumped into the contest, sending a letter to the Revolution's owner, Robert Kraft, saying Fall River would be the "ideal" location for a stadium.
As Boston Business Journal reports, the battle over where Kraft might locate a new stadium "will come down to which community offers the most cash incentives."
Somerville Scout, in a lengthy article about the possible stadium—which is worth a read—indicated Somerville officials are interested in the idea but also wary of the costs. The article quotes Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone as saying, "We’re not going to do anything to threaten our best-in-history credit rating." A stadium might not correspond with Somerville's desire to create mixed-use development in Assembly Square that would add to the city's tax base, the article notes.
The Revolution currently play in Gillette Stadium to a lot of empty seats—Revolution crowds fill roughly 19 percent of the 68,000-seat football stadium.
Compare that to the sort atmosphere and energy now found in other MLS stadiums built specifically for soccer, such as the Portland Timbers new home, which is smaller and more intimate.
From the standpoint of finding a perfect home for soccer culture, you've got to think the Revolution couldn't do much better than Somerville. The city is extremely close to downtown Boston, supports an MLS-friendly population mix—Brazilian, Portuguese and other immigrants, the university crowd, urban professionals, "hipsters," youth soccer fans—and will soon have Orange Line platforms three stops from North Station.
From the standpoint of what's good for Somerville, well, that's an open question.
What do you think? Do you want the Revolution to call Somerville home? Would it be good for the city, or should Somerville leave the financial incentives to Revere or Fall River?