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.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
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 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.
I’m really struggling to think of a worse reason to build something than “it would look cool on CBS twice a year.”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 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.I’m really struggling to think of a worse reason to build something than “it would look cool on CBS twice a year.”
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.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.
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.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
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).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.
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.PatriotPlace falls flat.
“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.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.
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.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.“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.
That's kind of an important thing to know before rendering a judgement on success/failure.To be fair as a North Shore guy I’m not really sure how many people actually frequent the place during non-event days.
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).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.
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).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.
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.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.
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.I think that was only because Somerville was so happy to get the transit service.
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.Didn't Foxborough give Kraft free land? I know, Foxborough, the land isn't worth much, but that's something.
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.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?
Did they actually try to move to Providence? I only remember Hartford.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.