The New England Revolution seem to have hit another dead end in their seemingly eternal pursuit of a home of their own.
The Boston Globe’s Shirley Leung reported Wednesday that the Kraft family, owner of the Revolution, is ready to walk away from its proposal to build a soccer stadium in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood because of land owners’ high asking price.
The University of Massachusetts-Boston owns all but 2.7 of the 10 acres the Revolution need for their stadium and have offered the team a long-term lease for its use. The Boston Teachers Union owns the other part of the plot, but Robert Kraft isn’t willing to overpay for the parcel on which their headquarters currently sits.
“… the union recently asked for at least $17.5 million in cash.” Leung writes. “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.”
Leung puts these figure into perspective.
“Is the union asking too much? Certainly the land isn’t that valuable, judging by UMass’s purchase price for the (adjacent) Expo Center. The former trade show hall and grounds span nearly 20 acres, and the university paid about $18.7 million for it in 2010. Yes, the university got that for a song in the depth of the recession, but real estate prices in Boston haven’t skyrocketed so much that 2.7 acres are worth more than 20 acres.”
Boston Teachers Union president Richard Stutman told Leung last week he still hopes to work out a deal with the Krafts.
“The BTU wants to work with the city, UMass, and the Krafts to reach a solution that meets all of our respective needs,” Leung quotes Stutman as saying.
The Revolution play their home games at 66,829-seat Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. The Krafts have sought to build a smaller venue for the team since at least 2002, with their preference being inside or close to Boston, but various circumstances have prevented them from doing so. News of the Dorchester stadium plan broke in June 2016, and the Krafts reportedly are willing to pay for the $250 million project.
All but seven of Major League Soccer’s 22 teams play in soccer-specific stadiums, and that number is expected to drop to four by the end of 2018. Two of those teams, Atlanta United FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps, are content at their current homes, leaving just the Revolution and New York City FC as the MLS’ remaining home hunters.
Apparently that will remain the case for the forseeable future.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images