Gillette Stadium

NoShJFK

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
79
Reaction score
61
I’m throughly surprised at the opposition or that there is any to the idea of a stadium in Boston. Not building the Patriots Stadium in South Boston was a collosal mistake on behalf of (Menino? Finneran?).

Can anyone imagine for a second - the Patriots with all their success the last couple of decades - ENTHUSIASTICALLY selling out a stadium every week with NFL Opening Night and AFC Championship games played IN Boston with the harbor and the skyline in the background?

Imagine the current development of the seaport - surrounding a gorgeous stadium... again with the harbor and the skyline. And that’s just the stadium and development - the potential transportation options are endless - a brand new subway line (or spur of the Red Line) with a massive station under the stadium - feeding the development in the Seaport and the stadium itself? Or if they built further from the Seaport and closer to the Widett Circle area (or really close to the channel and the approaching SS tracks) and built the NSRL - you could have trains from all over the region feeding fans into the game On and On.

Of course there are major obstacles that had to be overcome and still would to this day. But the payoff ... enormous.

It would be OFF THE CHARTS. It was a major and I do mean MAJOR mistake to not build the stadium there. Foxboro is hideous. It would be one thing to build just outside the city. But Foxboro is a traffic hell hole withnot enough traffic infrastructure and Patriot Place is nice enough but it feels like a shopping center that falls far short of its potential. Then again it’s in Foxboro...

And you know - it’s as fantasy land as proposals go around here. But the life of *SOME* stadiums now is pretty short, around 30 years in some cases. 10 years from now if there is any land left... Kraft should aim again for the of
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
7,807
Reaction score
3,242
I’m throughly surprised at the opposition or that there is any to the idea of a stadium in Boston. Not building the Patriots Stadium in South Boston was a collosal mistake on behalf of (Menino? Finneran?).

Can anyone imagine for a second - the Patriots with all their success the last couple of decades - ENTHUSIASTICALLY selling out a stadium every week with NFL Opening Night and AFC Championship games played IN Boston with the harbor and the skyline in the background?

Imagine the current development of the seaport - surrounding a gorgeous stadium... again with the harbor and the skyline. And that’s just the stadium and development - the potential transportation options are endless - a brand new subway line (or spur of the Red Line) with a massive station under the stadium - feeding the development in the Seaport and the stadium itself? Or if they built further from the Seaport and closer to the Widett Circle area (or really close to the channel and the approaching SS tracks) and built the NSRL - you could have trains from all over the region feeding fans into the game On and On.

Of course there are major obstacles that had to be overcome and still would to this day. But the payoff ... enormous.

It would be OFF THE CHARTS. It was a major and I do mean MAJOR mistake to not build the stadium there. Foxboro is hideous. It would be one thing to build just outside the city. But Foxboro is a traffic hell hole withnot enough traffic infrastructure and Patriot Place is nice enough but it feels like a shopping center that falls far short of its potential. Then again it’s in Foxboro...

And you know - it’s as fantasy land as proposals go around here. But the life of *SOME* stadiums now is pretty short, around 30 years in some cases. 10 years from now if there is any land left... Kraft should aim again for the of
The history of big-city CBD's recouping adequate value from massively public-funded stadium outlays in this country is...um....very extremely not good, that's why.

We were lucky enough to be smarter than that. Consistently so, given that public subsidy of sportsplexes was roundly panned in polling the multiple times it was tried here. You're entitled to your opinion as is anyone, but the pros cited here largely boil down to a personal/emotional argument and not a financial/ROI argument.
 

NoShJFK

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
79
Reaction score
61
The history of big-city CBD's recouping adequate value from massively public-funded stadium outlays in this country is...um....very extremely not good, that's why.

We were lucky enough to be smarter than that. Consistently so, given that public subsidy of sportsplexes was roundly panned in polling the multiple times it was tried here. You're entitled to your opinion as is anyone, but the pros cited here largely boil down to a personal/emotional argument and not a financial/ROI argument.
Kraft was willing to fund the stadium itself at his own cost. Asking for infrastructure improvements only which was a very reasonable deal at the time considering what was happening in other cities. And if the economics are even REASONABLE (I.e a minor loss to the city - sometimes it’s worth it anyway because of the development it spurs or the transportation infrastructure it provokes or even just the civic pride angle.

Also, with Super Bowl 48 being played in New York (errr East Rutherford) I would not be shocked if Boston landed a Super Bowl if they had a world class stadium right on the skyline and harbor. That economic impact of such an event would more than pay for the cities investment. If the stadium had a roof then you’re talking about a slew of events (CFB playoffs, NCAA Final Four). Possibilities are endless. But instead we’re stuck with Route 1 in Foxboro
 

BronsonShore

Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2014
Messages
159
Reaction score
256
Can anyone imagine for a second - the Patriots with all their success the last couple of decades - ENTHUSIASTICALLY selling out a stadium every week with NFL Opening Night and AFC Championship games played IN Boston with the harbor and the skyline in the background?
I’m really struggling to think of a worse reason to build something than “it would look cool on CBS twice a year.”
 

NoShJFK

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
79
Reaction score
61
I’m really struggling to think of a worse reason to build something than “it would look cool on CBS twice a year.”
I’m saying for the city. The financial windfall for the restaurants and bars. The life it would bring to the area. It would all make for one hell of an atmosphere.

Clearly the right place for sporting venues is close to urban centers. The suburban parking lot is a dreadfully misguided model
 

MrDee12345

New member
Joined
Nov 28, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
18
I love having baseball, hockey and basketball in the city, but to me, football is a perfect for the suburbs. Sure, it's a mediocre stadium surrounded by parking lots, but that's where the fun is. Would you really be able to have the type of tailgating you have in Foxboro at a stadium in Southie? People would still come by car, which would mean parking, which might mean some tailgating, which would mean giant parking lots near downtown Boston. Nah. Keep it in the suburbs.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
7,807
Reaction score
3,242
Kraft was willing to fund the stadium itself at his own cost. Asking for infrastructure improvements only which was a very reasonable deal at the time considering what was happening in other cities. And if the economics are even REASONABLE (I.e a minor loss to the city - sometimes it’s worth it anyway because of the development it spurs or the transportation infrastructure it provokes or even just the civic pride angle.
The economics were not reasonable in the CBD. That's been proven umpteen times over. There isn't a financial/ROI leg to stand on...only a "feels" argument.

At least be clear about that.

Also, with Super Bowl 48 being played in New York (errr East Rutherford) I would not be shocked if Boston landed a Super Bowl if they had a world class stadium right on the skyline and harbor. That economic impact of such an event would more than pay for the cities investment. If the stadium had a roof then you’re talking about a slew of events (CFB playoffs, NCAA Final Four). Possibilities are endless. But instead we’re stuck with Route 1 in Foxboro
No...it wouldn't. This has been studied ad nauseam, and the economic ROI of the Super Bowl averages something like 10-20% of the "hype" return quoted when the bids are announced. Google "Super Bowl economic return" and you'll get an avalanche of cold-water data thrown on that claim.
 

NoShJFK

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
79
Reaction score
61
I love having baseball, hockey and basketball in the city, but to me, football is a perfect for the suburbs. Sure, it's a mediocre stadium surrounded by parking lots, but that's where the fun is. Would you really be able to have the type of tailgating you have in Foxboro at a stadium in Southie? People would still come by car, which would mean parking, which might mean some tailgating, which would mean giant parking lots near downtown Boston. Nah. Keep it in the suburbs.
Thats not totally true. US Bank Stadium doesn’t have a lot of parking. Soldier Field really doesn’t have a lot at all. Mercedes Benz in Atlanta has a decent lot a mile away and a mediocre lost 0.3m away but none of these stadiums are surrounded by vast lots (for example like you see in Philly).

You could’ve built (and probably still can) in the South Boston / Seaport area and creatively weave in a few small lots with dense development that feature underground parking structures or parking garages wrapped by development (even charge a premium for the open air tailgate suitable top level?)

And if suburbs are preferable or at least out of the Downtown area - I think something like Reading or Revere or Waltham or Dedham would’ve been workable. All either more convenient or within a stones throw of rapid transit or a reasonable extension. Foxborough as said before is a traffic hell hole and PatriotPlace falls flat. It’s one thing when the team is on a dynastic run but when they’re mediocre or just another franchise .... Foxborough is no fun.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
7,807
Reaction score
3,242
PatriotPlace falls flat.
How so? What is the accepted standard for success that this getup fails to achieve? It doesn't fail on profitability; Kraft makes buff margins on Patriot Prace.

Sorry...you can't just fling a claim like that out there like it's accepted conventional wisdom. It's not accepted or conventional wisdom. If you are expecting the taxpayers of Boston to pony up for the megabucks pro sports stadium they refused to publicly fund 20, 30, 40, and 50 years ago...you are going to have to moor that pitch in something waaaaaaaaaaaay more evidence-backed than your own intense personal feels.
 

NoShJFK

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
79
Reaction score
61
How so? What is the accepted standard for success that this getup fails to achieve? It doesn't fail on profitability; Kraft makes buff margins on Patriot Prace.

Sorry...you can't just fling a claim like that out there like it's accepted conventional wisdom. It's not accepted or conventional wisdom. If you are expecting the taxpayers of Boston to pony up for the megabucks pro sports stadium they refused to publicly fund 20, 30, 40, and 50 years ago...you are going to have to moor that pitch in something waaaaaaaaaaaay more evidence-backed than your own intense personal feels.
Falls Flat” didn’t mean profit margins. If that were the case the thing would be shut down or transitioned into something smaller. Falls Flat means ... the experience isn’t all that great as a consumer and its aesthetically tacky and dull.

To be fair as a North Shore guy I’m not really sure how many people actually frequent the place during non-event days.

And again, Kraft was willing to fund the entire stadium privately. Why do you keep glossing over that? Hell if in 10 years they attempted to build new and in the city I think it’s a safe assumption that the vast majority would be privately financed again.

But you don’t have to lecture me on the taxpayers. I have no illusions about our states pathetic inability to fund major transformative projects (not named the Big Dig). We still continue to refuse to embark on any major MBTA expansion (NSRL, Silver LRT, BLX, Blue/Red, OLX). And don’t even get me started on how we covered ourselves in glory turning down THE OLYMPICS.
 
Last edited:

JeffDowntown

Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
3,548
Reaction score
913
Falls Flat means ... the experience isn’t all that great as a consumer and its aesthetically tacky and dull.
You are basically describing the aesthetic of virtually all suburban destination shopping in America. That is an aesthetic that seems to be thoroughly embraced by the masses. I am certain the aesthetic and experience were thoroughly market researched. The masses asked for an Olive Garden appeal and got it.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
7,807
Reaction score
3,242
Falls Flat” didn’t mean profit margins. If that were the case the thing would be shut down or transitioned into something smaller. Falls Flat means ... the experience isn’t all that great as a consumer and its aesthetically tacky and dull.
So...entirely 100% a "feels" judgement. That's OK for you. But don't attempt to speak for the masses when you claim that.

To be fair as a North Shore guy I’m not really sure how many people actually frequent the place during non-event days.
That's kind of an important thing to know before rendering a judgement on success/failure.

And again, Kraft was willing to fund the entire stadium privately. Why do you keep glossing over that? Hell if in 10 years they attempted to build new and in the city I think it’s a safe assumption that the vast majority would be privately financed again.
I'm not glossing over that. He built it privately, and it's been a smashing success. The J.W. Henry ownership of the Sox chose not to make another attempt at public funding, chose instead to do a superlative self-financed renovation of what they had...and it's been a smashing success. New Garden was 100% privately funded by Jerry Jacobs...and it's been a smashing financial success (regardless of whether you feel the building has the innate charm of what came before it).

The stadium you're asking to be built in the CBD was not one that could be financed fully privately. It required nearly record-breaking public outlays. We've proven we don't need to do public stadium financing to get full value capture out of our local sports franchises. Therefore that waterfront stadium is not going to be built.

When the crux of your argument is "Screw it...we shoulda built it anyway because optics"...you're arguing for massive public outlays that don't empirically pay off, that don't poll well here, and that are not the only alternative to doing this right. That would be fine if you were willing to admit it was a purely personal preference...but don't misconstrue the evidence. The private-funded successes are a direct argument against what you're demanding we do here.

But you don’t have to lecture me on the taxpayers. I have no illusions about our states pathetic inability to fund major transformative projects (not named the Big Dig). We still continue to refuse to embark on any major MBTA expansion (NSRL, Silver LRT, BLX, Blue/Red, OLX). And don’t even get me started on how we covered ourselves in glory turning down THE OLYMPICS.
You're seriously arguing the Olympics were going to be worth it when the IOC's & USOC's institutionalized corruption showed its ugly hand at the end? Look...we had a regime willing to bend over against the public will to make it happen. And it wasn't enough for the bureaucrats on the selection committees who wanted us to bend over an order of magnitude harder. They were totally ready to move the goalposts and demand a whole other level of public subsidy if we didn't cave into the racket. The City, thank God, got a belated negative reaction to that and said "No mas." Lots of experts were screaming at them for a whole year prior that the IOC/USOC were baiting them in order to ratchet up the demands. Go re-read the Olympics thread in the aB thread archives here if you want the blow-by-blow for how that controversy went down back in the day. History records that we were probably extremely lucky we didn't play along with the grift, because we almost certainly would've lost our shirts on the Games after all the final screws were put to us (to say nothing about how the mega-event economy isn't going to be normal again for at least the rest of the decade because of COVID's long shadow).

You're not going to retcon that one into a sorely missed opportunity. General consensus was it was a BIG dodged bullet. Multi-time host L.A. might be structurally set up to pull this off at break-even or slight profit...we most definitely are not. And even L.A. right now is only projected to break-even on the '28 Games as a *best*-case financial projection...as costs for them have inflated grotesquely since they got the award. Break-even as of the FY2019 projection...nevermind now after COVID changed the world and changed the terms of preventative measures. They're probably going to lose some not-inconsequential money on it as costly amounts of extra pandemic-response/prevention overhead exerts its gravity still 7 years from now.
 
Last edited:

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
2,209
Reaction score
1,126
Any large project to be built with public funding in Boston, and in most of the communities inside Rte 128, gets mired down in endless negotiations, opinions, and gets saddled with all kinds of expensive side projects and mitigation. Look at the moribund I-90 interchange/viaduct replacement in Allston. The cost of a stadium in Boston would go sky high because of the typical endless hand-wringing and expensive scope creep, The one exception I've seen to that in the last 20 years is GLX, and I think that was only because Somerville was so happy to get the transit service.
 

DBM

Active Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
973
Reaction score
247
The history of big-city CBD's recouping adequate value from massively public-funded stadium outlays in this country is...um....very extremely not good, that's why.
In fact, it's so shamefully, sordidly, abhorrently Simpsons "Monorail!"-style rotten, that back in the day, a Holy Cross professor (I assume F-Line is alluding to him?) became an academic celebrity for devoting his career to studying, exposing, and expounding on the vileness of this graft.

Anyway, as noted above, metro Boston, compared to other metros of its ilk nationwide, got extremely lucky with the evolution of Fenway, the Garden, and what became Gillette Stadium, circa 1990-present. None taxpayer-funded, and the worst you can accuse any of them of is perpetuating preexisting game-day traffic congestion issues, as well as aesthetic demerits (bland, uninteresting, overly-commercialized).
 

jklo

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
706
Reaction score
113
Didn't Foxborough give Kraft free land? I know, Foxborough, the land isn't worth much, but that's something.
 

DBM

Active Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
973
Reaction score
247
I think that was only because Somerville was so happy to get the transit service.
Somerville, yes--but have you forgotten about Medford? Dismiss this duo as racist NIMBYite cranks as you may, but I'm assuming there was a fairly sizable cohort of like-minded residents, of roughly equivalent age, socioeconomic, and ethnocultural status, in their neighborhood.

Of course I may be mistaken--perhaps they were truly lunatic fringe outliers?
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
7,807
Reaction score
3,242
Didn't Foxborough give Kraft free land? I know, Foxborough, the land isn't worth much, but that's something.
Don't think so. Old Foxboro Stadium was located on the former site of a private horse-racing park that went belly-up in the 60's, where the land ended up getting donated for free to help out with a bankruptcy settlement. That was about the extent of the charity; it got $0 in public funding for its construction (it was a dump because it had to be cheap!). When Kraft bought the stadium out from under the team's feet in the mid-80's, he also paid out-of-pocket for another 700 acres of surrounding land from the ex-racetrack owners...most of which he made into parking lots for the self-contained revenue source. Gillette was built on some of that 700 acres, and Patriot Place was built mostly on the slab the demolished old stadium occupied.

Town of Foxborough is a well-known NIMBY hellhole that generally hates the Patriots org...even though it almost single-handedly funds town services. If there was any public-to-private transaction involved in the last 40 years, it was extremely minor window-dressing. The only serious threat against Gillette actually being built was the town itself making a show of withholding the construction permits for a spell in '98-99, until they got tapped on the shoulder and reminded what would happen to their budget if the team took up Buddy Cianci's lastmost offer to get the team to move to Providence instead. As far as the town is concerned, Route 1 has been more or less ceded off for Kraft-land and the cranberry bogs + Lawton Family Farm create this one-third mile wide strip of demilitarized zone that keeps the unwashed visitors away from the thoroughly un-evolved townies.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
7,807
Reaction score
3,242
Somerville, yes--but have you forgotten about Medford? Dismiss this duo as racist NIMBYite cranks as you may, but I'm assuming there was a fairly sizable cohort of like-minded residents, of roughly equivalent age, socioeconomic, and ethnocultural status, in their neighborhood.

Of course I may be mistaken--perhaps they were truly lunatic fringe outliers?
Somebody needs to find the YouTube supercut somebody once did of Dr. Wood's greatest town meeting screeds, edited from hundreds of hours of public access TV broadcasts. Lunatic is right. Dude (and to lesser extent his live-in partner Rosen) is a townie anti-celebrity for his decades of Old Man Yells at Clouds act on a variety of subjects. GLX was only one of his pet causes of many (and he and Rosen didn't even live anywhere near the project area...they were out in Wedgemere by the town line)...but being such an indefatigable newspaper letter-writer he probably managed to overrepresent the project's local opposition by a factor of 10, since he always claimed to speak for the masses. People in Medford eventually learned to treat his incessant rantings as a sunk cost of doing basic business at town functions, and he was largely ignored by the latter-aughts...although his certain car-crash personal qualities kept him quoteable in the press for a few more years after his fellow townfolk largely tuned him out.

The only real bones of contention in Medford were hyper-specific in nature. The original West Medford station siting immediately across the grade crossing was pigeonholed for unworkable design, because the traffic effects (esp. pedestrian for the bus transfers) across Route 60 would've been very awkward. But the state withdrew it rather than attempt any troubleshoot, so the opposition wasn't strong so much as that just happens to be the last record of anything being talked about there. And also some gripes over the proposed Winthrop St. intermediate stop proposed to plug the Tufts & Route 16 gap because of eminent domain land-taking required for the headhouses and bus bulbouts on a street not exactly configured well for that...but Winthrop always projected off-scale low on ridership amongst all stops, so was always very likely to be VE'd from the final project. Other than that, they were lockstep boosters with Somerville all the way.
 
Last edited:

jklo

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
706
Reaction score
113
Town of Foxborough is a well-known NIMBY hellhole that generally hates the Patriots org...even though it almost single-handedly funds town services. If there was any public-to-private transaction involved in the last 40 years, it was extremely minor window-dressing. The only serious threat against Gillette actually being built was the town itself making a show of withholding the construction permits for a spell in '98-99, until they got tapped on the shoulder and reminded what would happen to their budget if the team took up Buddy Cianci's lastmost offer to get the team to move to Providence instead. As far as the town is concerned, Route 1 has been more or less ceded off for Kraft-land and the cranberry bogs + Lawton Family Farm create this one-third mile wide strip of demilitarized zone that keeps the unwashed visitors away from the thoroughly un-evolved townies.
Did they actually try to move to Providence? I only remember Hartford.
 

Top