Revere mayor Dan Rizzo would welcome the Revolution with open arms, especially if it helps the city become a local entertainment hub, according to the Boston Globe.
Rizzo wants to help build a soccer stadium on a 34-acre site near Revere Beach. Wonderland Greyhound Park property was once home to a dog racing and simulcast track, but it has been closed since 2010. Rizzo thinks a stadium would perfect for the land and surrounding community.
Revere “has to be right in the wheelhouse in terms of soccer fans,” Rizzo said. “I’d love to see a full-blown professional soccer team here.”
The Revs play their home games at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., but they have been looking to build a soccer-specific stadium closer to the city for several years. Revs president Brian Bilello confirmed that talks between the team and city are under way.
“We are in discussions with the City of Revere, which offers the proximity to urban centers and access to transit that we are seeking for a future Revolution stadium, but talks are preliminary at this stage,” he said.
The Wonderland property is owned by Suffolk Downs, a nearby thoroughbred race track which sits in both Revere and East Boston. Suffolk Downs has applied for a license to build a $1 billion casino at the track, and the company locked in negotiations with Rizzo over how it would compensate Revere for any negative effects a casino’s presence would have.
Chip Tuttle, chief operating officer for Suffolk Downs, says Revere hasn’t asked for control of the Wonderland property, which assessors value at $10.8 million.
“We don’t have specific plans for Wonderland yet,” Tuttle said. “He said the negotiations with Revere are in their early stages and that the city has not yet asked for the property. “That concept [transferring control of Wonderland to Revere] hasn’t been broached.”
Building a stadium near an urban area has been a top priority for the Revolution for many years. It will only happen if the team partners with a community to make the dream a reality, and Rizzo wants to make it happen. Doing so would change soccer in the region and the city of Revere forever.