Gillette Stadium

citydweller

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The Revs are in the bottom 1/3 of attendance among the MLS clubs. They don't fill the 20,000 seat "soccer capacity" at Gillette. I have to think part of that is location -- many soccer fans in the Boston area are in transit centric neighborhoods -- Gillette is a huge inconvenience. Also the teams that pull strong attendance have real soccer stadiums, so the fan experience is better. Markets like Atlanta, Seattle, Cincinnati, Portland, Toronto and Orlando all pull significantly more MLS fans the the Revs. Certainly seems there would be significant upside in a properly located (T heavy rail location), well designed soccer stadium.
I've been to many Rev's game. The fact that they play in an NFL stadium is not a deterrent. I've also went to the see Brazil play Mexico many years ago at a sold-out Gillette stadium. Somehow, those fans made it to that remote location. IMO, it is not the stadium and it's not the location, it's MLS. There are many passionate soccer/football fans in the area, they're just not necessarily Rev's fans. Would the Rev's draw more fans in a location serviced by mass transit? Perhaps so, but I don't think it would be a significant difference.
 
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mass88

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The Revs are in the bottom 1/3 of attendance among the MLS clubs. They don't fill the 20,000 seat "soccer capacity" at Gillette. I have to think part of that is location -- many soccer fans in the Boston area are in transit centric neighborhoods -- Gillette is a huge inconvenience. Also the teams that pull strong attendance have real soccer stadiums, so the fan experience is better. Markets like Atlanta, Seattle, Cincinnati, Portland, Toronto and Orlando all pull significantly more MLS fans the the Revs. Certainly seems there would be significant upside in a properly located (T heavy rail location), well designed soccer stadium.
Seattle and Atlanta both play in NFL stadiums. Both of those clubs have no plans to build their own stadiums. Both of those teams don't draw enough fans to warrant playing in 65-70k stadiums.
 

JeffDowntown

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Seattle and Atlanta both play in NFL stadiums. Both of those clubs have no plans to build their own stadiums. Both of those teams don't draw enough fans to warrant playing in 65-70k stadiums.
I think the attendance at Atlanta and Seattle justifies their use of an NFL size stadium (certainly way better than the Revs!) Attendance stats for Atlanta and Seattle: (per Wikipedia):

Team2019 average
attendance
2018 average
attendance
Percent
change
StadiumCapacity
(unrestricted)
Percent
capacity
Atlanta United FC52,51053,002−0.9%Mercedes-Benz Stadium*42,500 (at least 72,035)
123.6% (72.9%)​
Seattle Sounders FC40,24740,641−1.0%CenturyLink Field*39,419 (69,000)
102.1% (58.3%)​
Note, like Gillette, they set a different capacity in the big stadium for soccer than for football. But their draw is huge!

Given that attendance they'd have to build an NFL size stadium.
 
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NoShJFK

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Not sure how I didn’t see this.

But I absolutely think that the stadium issue is major with the franchise.Its one thing to get in the car and trudge down to Foxboro for a Pats game (although that is miserable also). But for a Revs game? Only the random novelists or true diehards are going to do that.

I think a stadium inside the 128 belt - close to rapid transit rail would totally change the whole vibe around the franchise. Right now everyone thinks of it a franchise no one cares about - that’s an after thought in the Kraft portfolio. And it IS embarrassing that they are still playing in an NFL stadium. The only others who are - are doing so because the stadium was designed with MLS in mind or the stadium is right in downtown and the team can fill it. Even worse? There isn’t even a legitimate PLAN for a stadium.

Look at most of the MLS Attendance list for the most recent full season (2019)..the 4 teams that were way at the bottom feature 3 teams playing in suburban stadiums and 1 that only just recently announced they weren’t going through with a planned move.

Seattle and Atlanta both play in NFL stadiums. Both of those clubs have no plans to build their own stadiums. Both of those teams don't draw enough fans to warrant playing in 65-70k stadiums.
This is INCREDIBLY disingenuous. Seattle & Atlanta are two exceptions to the rule. Seattle is a unique case because that market is soccer crazy. They constantly pack that stadium for opening day, rivalry games (Portland and to a lesser extent Vancouver) and all playoff games. For all other games the lower bowl is packed. It helps the stadium is right in downtown with both commuter rail and rapid transit LRT connecting to the stadium. The stadium in Atlanta was DESIGNED & BUILT with MLS in mind. A unique set up that blocks off the upper deck in a way that looks natural. An end zone seating setup that fits with the MLS staple of having raucous supporter sections behind the goal. And finally unique, separate and soccer specific locker rooms for both AU and the visitors. And like Seattle they pack the WHOLE stadium for major matches (opening day, rivals, playoffs) and for other matchups the entire lower bowl is full.


The fact the Revs aren’t near the bottom to me is a testament to the potential this franchise has. Do they have the potential to take off in the way Seattle and Atlanta has? Probably not. But I think a new SSS at Assembly/Wonderland/Seaport/ would vault them to the Top 5 or 10 franchises in the league in attendance and revenues.
 
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Brattle Loop

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The fact the Revs aren’t near the bottom to me is a testament to the potential this franchise has. Do they have the potential to take off in the way Seattle and Atlanta has? Probably not. But I think a new SSS at Assembly/Wonderland/Seaport/ would vault them to the Top 5 or 10 franchises in the league in attendance and revenues.
I don't think anyone disagrees that the Revolution would likely benefit (and by extension so would the Boston sports market) from a more-accessible, purpose-designed stadium. Gillette's not a problem for the Patriots, it's a relative handful of games in a season, and it's (location-wise, not the existing stadium) where the Patriots have played for decades, so it's baked into the experience, whereas a (relatively) newer franchise like the Revs could use the assist of a stadium that wasn't such a trek to lower barriers to new and casual fans.

That said, I think a lot of people here, and in Boston in general, are opposed to any kind of public financing or assistance for a stadium. If the Krafts want to buy some land somewhere and build it, by all means, go ahead. It's when things get close to suggesting that the city or state should take some kind of an active role in moving this along that we get into the weeds, because the relative quality and usability of a particular stadium is so far outside the realm of what should really matter to the state that it starts to sound ludicrous. And the only way to counter that is to provide numbers that say, actually, this is the concrete benefit that the state's investment would produce; we frequently see dreadfully-doctored numbers every time an NFL team wants a new stadium on the public dime (or, God help us, when some poor sap city is conned into hosting the Olympics...dodged a bullet there) and we've never had, from the Krafts or anyone else, anything approaching a realistic assessment of what return on investment the public might actually get (in terms of an actual, proper study, rather than speculation or pie-in-the-sky promises), and until and unless that happens, I think that the topic will generate mostly lukewarm responses at best whenever the thread gets anywhere near the idea of public investment in the idea in any form.
 

Scott

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Here's a good reason why there will be no so-called "public investment" here; Charlotte just completed pumping tens of millions of taxpayer dollars into stadium improvements and now the billionaire owner of the Panthers is threatening to move again if he doesn't get a whole new stadium. He claims the one they just renovated might be in danger of falling down, seriously, he said that.
 

MrDee12345

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I've often wondered why the Revs don't move to Harvard Stadium. The public transit there isn't ideal, but, in my strong opinion, Harvard Stadium is one of the coolest stadiums in the country. It's old, it's dripping with character and it's actually in Boston! I think a stadium that unique would give the Revs a unique advantage and the team wouldn't have to spend much money building a new stadium.
 

jklo

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I've often wondered why the Revs don't move to Harvard Stadium. The public transit there isn't ideal, but, in my strong opinion, Harvard Stadium is one of the coolest stadiums in the country. It's old, it's dripping with character and it's actually in Boston! I think a stadium that unique would give the Revs a unique advantage and the team wouldn't have to spend much money building a new stadium.
Surely Kraft wants to own the Stadium if he's going to move the team out of Gillette.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I've often wondered why the Revs don't move to Harvard Stadium. The public transit there isn't ideal, but, in my strong opinion, Harvard Stadium is one of the coolest stadiums in the country. It's old, it's dripping with character and it's actually in Boston! I think a stadium that unique would give the Revs a unique advantage and the team wouldn't have to spend much money building a new stadium.
Because Kraft would never make money there, since "character" and "coolness" are not the names of countable revenue streams.. No luxury boxes, Harvard U. takes its great big greedy cut of the proceeds from a full-subservient tenant, and Harvard gets any/all parking revenue. It's not a pro sports venue if it's structurally unable to make the team owner revenues in line with their league rivals. Substitute "BC" and you get the same exact answer.
 

NoShJFK

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Here's a good reason why there will be no so-called "public investment" here; Charlotte just completed pumping tens of millions of taxpayer dollars into stadium improvements and now the billionaire owner of the Panthers is threatening to move again if he doesn't get a whole new stadium. He claims the one they just renovated might be in danger of falling down, seriously, he said that.
This was an OWN-goal by the MLS. Some of the cities they’re expanding in do not deserve expansion teams. Miami is understandable obviously. Nashville maybe. But Charlotte is not the kind of city where soccer will take off. And having them play in an NFL stadium is going to turn into an abomination for the league.

That Charlotte stadium is as medicore as it gets. It’s 100x more generic than the FleetCenter was. It’s location is great but the stadium itself is half ass for an NFL team - thinking they’re going to draw for the MLS in that stadium is hysterically off base.

and I think Boston holds its sports to a high enough degree of social relevance that infrastructure investments for any kind of stadium would not be off limits. But the basic nature of Boston is NIMBY on steroids no matter the project
 

Scott

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I ask sincerely, are you actually a Boston sports fan? Have you been to the games here? Because you claim to speak for what they want but I am not hearing this from the people I know who go to the games all the time and I don't personally see an infrastructure issue. What I hear is that the ticket prices are too high.
 

Brattle Loop

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I think Boston holds its sports to a high enough degree of social relevance that infrastructure investments for any kind of stadium would not be off limits.
An assertion that flies completely in the face of the fact that every time in recent history one of the franchises has tried to push a plan involving any kind of large-scale public financing it has run into a brick wall of opposition to the point of collapsing under the weight of public derision. (Add the Olympics bid to that too.) You can choose to classify it as reflexive NIMBY-ism all you want, but that's a dramatic over-simplification. The fact is that pouring public money into sports venues is never (or almost never) a good deal for the public whose money it uses. The considerable reverence in which the city tends to hold its sports franchises does not generally extend to people mindlessly supporting a bad deal of the kind that typically lines the pockets of team owners who can almost always afford to build these places on their own (as Gillette and renovated-instead-of-replaced Fenway attest).

The relative success of an MLS franchise is not a matter of public concern. I'd argue that the success/sustainability of any professional sports franchise is barely a matter of public concern; it's a big-enough and rabid-enough market that strident opposition to public financing of stadiums has yet to see any of the major teams go through with their hostage-negotiation relocation threats (the Hartford Patriots would like a word on Boston-specific NIMBYism). I know I keep coming back to this, but until and unless you or a team or someone can produce actual, hard, realistically-studied numbers showing benefits of a new (soccer or any other kind) stadium outweighing the costs (assuming public financing of some kind; as stated, I don't think anyone on this board actually opposes the idea of a privately-funded stadium for the Revs) then all we're talking about is taxpayers giving the Krafts or whoever a shiny bauble for no discernable reason. Gillette is clearly adequate, at least for the time being, as a home for the Revs in the Kraft Group's view, seeing as they've not done anything to change that fact. You might not like that fact and wish for something better, but it's not NIMBYism to ask for a better reason for building a stadium (with public investment) beyond "I don't like this place", because I don't think it's a winning argument.
 

NoShJFK

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I ask sincerely, are you actually a Boston sports fan? Have you been to the games here? Because you claim to speak for what they want but I am not hearing this from the people I know who go to the games all the time and I don't personally see an infrastructure issue. What I hear is that the ticket prices are too high.
I’m as rabid of a Boston sports fan as there possibly could be. Ticket prices are too high for all the teams but that’s something I think Bostonians are willing to put up with if the product is championship caliber.

The Garden is 100000x better the venue it used to be. 10 years ago it was already out of date. But the recent renovations combined with the outside environment with the Hub has made it a substantially more enjoyable place to watch a game. The only thing they’ve screwed up is putting the seats too close together in the balcony but otherwise I’m happier with the Garden now than I was 10 years ago

Fenway you won’t get any complaints out of me about. Once again ownership has made renovations that have kept its historical charm while making it modern enough. While I do like what the Yankees did with building a New YS that closely resembled the old and I wouldn’t have been crushed if the Sox did something similar. I’m happy they’ve gone the route they did and if these new projects come to fruition then wow watch out - the whole experience including outside the park will be next level.

Now the Patriots and Revs are different. Obviously the Revs are a country mile behind the other 4 teams in relevance but there Stadium situation is an embarrassment to the team, to the league and to the region. Everything about it screams after thought

As for the Pats - I mean Gillette is good *enough* ... I guess. But it’s a pain in the ass to get too and it just could’ve been a lot better than it is. I mean look at LA, Atlanta, Dallas and Minnesota.. there enormous and amazing. It’d just be nice if we had something similar
 

Arenacale

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Now the Patriots and Revs are different. Obviously the Revs are a country mile behind the other 4 teams in relevance but there Stadium situation is an embarrassment to the team, to the league and to the region. Everything about it screams after thought
Because the Revs are an afterthought. That's not something a new stadium can fix - soccer simply does not have the roots in the US that the other sports do, and the Revs simply do not have the roots in the region that the Big 4 teams do. It will be decades before that changes, new stadium or not.
 

JumboBuc

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I've often wondered why the Revs don't move to Harvard Stadium. The public transit there isn't ideal, but, in my strong opinion, Harvard Stadium is one of the coolest stadiums in the country. It's old, it's dripping with character and it's actually in Boston! I think a stadium that unique would give the Revs a unique advantage and the team wouldn't have to spend much money building a new stadium.
Aside from it being artificial turf striped for American football (and all the other revenue-related reasons brought up by others) the field at Harvard Stadium isn't even wide enough to fit a professional-class soccer field. Harvard Stadium is about 75 yards wide at its widest from concrete wall to concrete wall. Once you get into the curved part of the stadium it's even more narrow. Most MLS pitches (including Gillette) have 75 yards of playing surface. The narrowest pitch in MLS (which really is too narrow) is 70 yards at Yankee Stadium, and even that couldn't fit in Harvard Stadium.

There's no designing around the width of the concrete walls, so Harvard Stadium is simply a non-starter for top-flight soccer. Harvard's own teams don't even play there.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Now the Patriots and Revs are different. Obviously the Revs are a country mile behind the other 4 teams in relevance but there Stadium situation is an embarrassment to the team, to the league and to the region. Everything about it screams after thought

As for the Pats - I mean Gillette is good *enough* ... I guess. But it’s a pain in the ass to get too and it just could’ve been a lot better than it is. I mean look at LA, Atlanta, Dallas and Minnesota.. there enormous and amazing. It’d just be nice if we had something similar
But nothing substantive about how they're "different". Nothing substantive about how the competing stadiums that are supposedly better that could be gleaned from as learned behavior. No comparisons on the relative ease of transport (like...tell us why the Game Train isn't good enough and isn't good enough vs. other stadiums instead of just pretending it doesn't exist in the moment you claim "pain in the ass to get to"). There is nothing whatsoever being offered here except personal fee-fees, "I thinks", "I believes"...repeated stridently over and over and over again.

It's tiresome. It's not bringing this thread anywhere except the same circular arguments repeated via weekly thread-bump. You're going to have to start looking within for the reason why this isn't going anywhere. We get it beyond shadow of a doubt: you very intensely want a public-financed pro sports stadium in the CBD. You're still, however, eschewing any form of neutral evidence that could potentially convince someone else to believe as fervently in such a build, and are really flailing trying to illustrate what's so goddamn objectionable about Gilette that it Just Won't Do™. Find a better way to articulate this than the ol' double-down and pretending this fast-growing mountain of presented contrary evidence simply doesn't exist if the census of Greater Boston merely believed a thing as hard as you do. That's not how this is going to go. That's not how it has gone in the last 50 years of Greater Boston political realities viz-a-viz financing pro sports venues. The onus is on you here to present some contrary evidence to that repeat-affirmed consensus, not keep bleating the same feels over and over again in hopes that you'll eventually tire out others into tagging along.
 

Charlie_mta

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Let the private sector pay for the stadiums they need, at which they have done quite well. There are much more pressing infrastructure needs that use public funds, such as transit, streets, trails, parks, and schools.
 

Scott

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So the last time I took out a mortgage to see a Patriots game was in September about 5 years ago. I got the seats from my brother who shares season tickets with two friends, it was four seats in a row in the 200 section near the lighthouse. I really like the seats; you can see the game really well. I took my son who was a preteen and other family. We had to essentially beg the other two guys who owned the seats and tell them it was only family because the stadium takes security seriously and if someone did something dumb they would definitely lose their seats.

Getting in wasn't hard because we were dropped off via a shortcut to rt 1 and walked a little. We checked out the tailgaters. We walked through the tunnel and into the stadium. Security pointed us in the right direction and it was well marked. The seats were wide, concessions were ample, the bathroom functioned, and a good time was had by all because the Patriots won. I suspected they would because I purposely asked for a crappy game early in the season because no young kid wants to freeze his ass off seeing Tom Brady and Gronk lose.

The last time I went to the Revs it was at the old stadium. MLS was always a major disappointment to me. Back in the day there was excitement that the US would create a league on par with other countries and that has never happened. I believe that because soccer isn't a major sport here that that is the determining factor as to why the Revs still play in Foxboro. So I do blame the NIMBYs but I think it is the owner too.
 

erom

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I don't think anyone on this board actually opposes the idea of a privately-funded stadium for the Revs
If it's downtown, yes, I would be. We need that land for more important things than sports.
 

JeffDowntown

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If it's downtown, yes, I would be. We need that land for more important things than sports.
Perhaps a downtown location with severe height restrictions due to Logan. There are locations like that out in the far Seaport.
 

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