New England Revolution owner Robert Kraft has hit a roadblock in his effort to a build a stadium in Dorchester, with property acquisition being an issue.
In his effort to land a soccer-specific stadium for the Revolution, Kraft has focused on the site of the former Bayside Expo Center, which is owned by UMass Boston. While concerns about traffic and other issues have been raised, officials–including Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker–have expressed a willingness to work with Kraft to see if the project can be successful.
The scope of the 20,000-to-25,000-seat stadium requires more land than what the Bayside site can offer. Kraft is seeking to utilize roughly 10 acres for the project, and has sought to acquire an adjacent 2.7-acre parcel that is used for the Boston Teachers Union headquarters. Negotiations between BTU and Kraft have not gone smoothly, however, prompting some doubts that the project can come to fruition. More from The Boston Globe:
When a wealthy sports mogul wants something you have, it would be stupid not to drive a hard bargain. That’s exactly what the BTU has been doing.
To help reach an agreement, [mayor Marty] Walsh offered many sites for a new union home. The BTU — whose members include about 5,500 teachers and 3,500 retirees — needs a facility for meetings and training, as well as its credit union and eye-care center.
When nothing caught the union’s fancy, UMass offered a land swap, and talks seemed to be progressing when the BTU settled on another site at UMass Boston. But that wasn’t enough, and the union recently asked for at least $17.5 million in cash. It also wants Kraft to pick up costs related to relocating and rebuilding, bringing the total package to nearly $30 million, according to people briefed on the matter.
If Kraft cannot facilitate different terms, he may look to move on from the Dorchester site. It seems that the Revolution have the political backing to secure a new stadium somewhere, but the team has been hard pressed to find a suitable location in the Boston area, which is ultimately why it has stayed at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.
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