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New England Revolution Soccer Team Wants to Build Its Own Stadium in Everett, Mass.

Wed April 10, 2024 - Northeast Edition #9
Architect’s Newspaper

The New England Revolution team has one of the largest fan bases in Major League Soccer (MLS), but its stadium is almost an hour outside of the city of Boston, hurting both attendance and ticket sales.

Now, after two decades playing at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, franchise owner Robert Kraft wants to bring the Revolution closer to Boston.

At a public hearing on April 2 with the Massachusetts Legislature's Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, Revolution officials unveiled preliminary renderings of a new soccer stadium to be built in Everett, a blue-collar city of almost 50,000 residents just outside the Boston city limits.

The site that Kraft Group has in mind is a 43-acre brownfield on the Mystic River where a shuttered power plant currently stands not far from Encore Boston, a casino that opened in 2019.

Architect's Newspaper first reported last November that Kraft was interested in the Mystic River site.

The latest announcement comes after Boston Mayor Michelle Wu gave notice last year that her administration hopes to repurpose an existing stadium in Dorchester's Franklin Park into a new women's professional stadium by Stantec.

To build a stadium at the site Kraft Group has chosen, local politicians would first need to convert it from a designated port area into a new zoning category that allows for stadium use. At the April 2 hearing, Everett State Senator Sal DiDomenico proposed a new bill to do just that.

An architect for the New England Revolution's tentative Mystic River stadium has not been announced, but renderings shared by the developer and the pro sports team show a gleaming white arena with an impressive, cantilevered roof that hovers out over the sidewalk.

Brian Bilello, president of the Revolution, noted at the recent hearing that "the design is by no means final," but the development team hopes to include a 4-acre public park with waterfront access and public transportation. He added that his team is also exploring "water transit" options.

City of Everett In Need of a Boost

Speaking at the hearing, Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said the stadium project is of vital economic importance to his constituents.

"There are some people who would lead you to believe this bill is about a soccer stadium," he explained, "or that it's being driven by a professional sports organization, but that is misleading. This legislation is about the financial harm that Everett is already suffering from the dwindling value of an outdated, environmental nuisance."

DeMaria noted that due to the power plant's closure, the city of Everett stands to lose $55 million in tax revenue by 2026. He pointed to Assembly Row in Somerville and the Seaport in South Boston as examples of the types of projects he would like to see on the Mystic River.

While the project is backed by Everett officials, Arthur Jemison, Boston's planning chief, raised concerns about coordination.

Additionally, Sharon Durkan, a Boston city councilor whose jurisdiction includes TD Garden and Fenway Park, said that a soccer stadium on the Everett site could lead to a traffic "nightmare."

Public transit does not currently link to the site, but planners in Everett are committed to connecting the area with public transit options, DeMaria said.

A construction timeline for a new Revolution soccer stadium has not been announced, Architect's Newspaper reported.

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