With the New England Revolution (MLS) off to a great start and drawing fans back to Gillette Stadium, the Kraft family is once again calling for a new soccer-only stadium in Boston.
Gillette Stadium, also the home of the New England Patriots (NFL), is a big venue — really, too big for MLS soccer. (Seattle may be the only market where a soccer/NFL combo makes sense.) So when the Revolution draws a great crowd of 23,950 yesterday, the stadium still feels a little empty. But with fans coming out to see the winning team, team owner Jonathan Kraft came out with talk of a new soccer-only stadium in Boston:
Before jokingly chiding a reporter for showing up for this Revolution game, Kraft reiterated his family’s commitment to finding the Revolution a venue of their own.
“When we are in a soccer-specific stadium in the city we have no doubt we will be banging it out with 20,000 fans a night, and we’re working hard to make that a reality,” said Kraft. “The soccer fans of New England who have supported us for 19 years deserve that.”
Of course, those same fans will say we’ll believe it when we see it to a new stadium for the Revolution. The lack of their own facility is one of the biggest impediments to the Revolution being treated like equals on the Boston sports scene. There is no way around that.
Boston is not a market where there’s much public subsidy of sports facilities. The Kraft family built and owns Gillette Stadium; the Red Sox owns Fenway Park, and Delaware North owns TD Garden. No doubt the younger Kraft is talking about a privately financed soccer-only stadium in Boston.
Photo from the New England Revolution home opener, 2014, via flickr.com.