Gillette Stadium

NoShJFK

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The bolded is correct but… not really relevant?You've yet to articulate why the interests of a football team should trump the interests of a city. That’s the question you need to answer, because a giant, rarely-used infrastructure suck of a stadium doesn’t really serve the latter.

Edit: F-Lines right. The bolded isn’t actually correct. But even if it were, the question still stands.
I believe it to be true but you’re right its not relevant and of course the fortunes of a football team shouldn’t be prioritized over benefits to a city

(although 13yr old me would have told you the fortunes of the pre-curse busting Red Sox were more important than any life saving research at Mass General 😂).

I was merely making additional conversation
 

jlichyen

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I still remember the Jets plan for a West Side Stadium. That would’ve turned out to be the flagship stadium in both the NFL and the nation.

Imagine a stadium of SoFi Stadiums quality just a few blocks from MidTown Manhattan? With a gorgeous new LIRR, MetroNorth, NJT, PATH & NYC Subway mega station built directly underneath - with a Hudson Yards like development surrounding it?

That would’ve totally changed the fortunes of the NYJ franchise from one a joke and one that free agents hesitate going too from one that everyone wants to be a part of.

The stadium they ended up building is awful. It’s just a modernized version of the generic cookie cutter BS that Giant Stadium was.



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(apologies in advance for bringing parochial NYC politics into a Boston forum...)

This was a terrible idea at the time, it was received terribly, it remains a joke and a stain on Bloomberg's term, and it somehow made the preternaturally corrupt Sheldon Silver (the NYS assembly head at the time) look like a hero! It was a dumb idea and it remains a dumb idea.

There is no circumstance in which an 82,000-seat stadium sitting empty except for sixteen days a year when it overwhelms the local infrastructure of the busiest set of stations in the country could be a good idea.

Granted, NJT and the NJ sports authority totally blew it on the new stadium by building a stub-end rail line - a better, if unrealistic plan would have been to build it along the Port Jervis line - but moving the stadium into midtown would have been a transpo and land use nightmare. The current Hudson Yards development, while also corrupt and ugly, is a better use of the extremely valuable land!

Anyway, to bring it back to the actual subject of this forum...

The way to improve Foxboro is not to move it downtown where a car-dominated sport can further mess with the CBD. The best way to fix Foxboro is to improve the connections with the MBTA commuter rail - essentially, make it a real RER system like Alon Levy always says - and improve the connections within the site. The site itself isn't bad!
 

NoShJFK

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(apologies in advance for bringing parochial NYC politics into a Boston forum...)

This was a terrible idea at the time, it was received terribly, it remains a joke and a stain on Bloomberg's term, and it somehow made the preternaturally corrupt Sheldon Silver (the NYS assembly head at the time) look like a hero! It was a dumb idea and it remains a dumb idea.
I remember it didn’t poll well among those who lived in the city itself, something around 50-38... which is likely what ultimately doomed it.

There is no circumstance in which an 82,000-seat stadium sitting empty except for sixteen days a year when it overwhelms the local infrastructure of the busiest set of stations in the country could be a good idea.
There is no circumstance in which an 82,000-seat stadium sitting empty except for sixteen days a year when it overwhelms the local infrastructure of the busiest set of stations in the country could be a good idea.
That stadium would’ve been filled FAR more than 8 times a year. That would’ve been the most used (non-baseball) stadium in the country year in and year out. Every major music event would be held there. There would be a million international soccer games. Would be surprised if what became NYCFC ended up playing there.

And it would not have overwhelmed the transit system as pretty much every single event there would’ve been held during off peak hours. It’s not baseball where you can have a sold out crowd mingling in with a rush hour commute.


Anyway, to bring it back to the actual subject of this forum...

The way to improve Foxboro is not to move it downtown where a car-dominated sport can further mess with the CBD. The best way to fix Foxboro is to improve the connections with the MBTA commuter rail - essentially, make it a real RER system like Alon Levy always says - and improve the connections within the site. The site itself isn't bad!
I can assure you it’s far more likely the Pats build another stadium closer to the city than it is that we actually get a RER style system. As amazing as an RER system would be. We can’t even get the Blue Line 900 feet down the street!!

Anyway I know I’m in the minority on the whole stadium downtown idea (and much to FLines chagrin I don’t have a signed & cited research paper to support my beliefs) But would anyone concede the Patriots (and actually the Jets and Giants also) really did the bare minimum with there stadiums and that putting these stadiums in the middle of endless parking is a waste. Maybe back in the day that was smart but now these stadiums are sure fire investment and development spurring structures. I think any time these facilities aren’t built on top of a rapid transit station or major commuter rail hub it’s a waste.
 

mass88

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One of the issues with Soldiers Field is its capacity - it's the smaller stadium in the NFL with a capacity of 61,500. After the renovation almost 20 years ago, they lost roughly 5,500 seats.

Gillette Stadium is just fine (also little incentive for Kraft to abandon the cash cow he currently has in Foxborough) - only thing I'd like to see Kraft do is fill in the endzones a bit and get the capacity up to 70,000-71,000 and also put partial roof coverings like they have in Seattle to amplify the noise.

Tailgating is a big part of the NFL experience and its pretty unique to the US. I'd much rather be hanging around my car in a parking lot, grilling up some food, music playing, and drinking my own beer than crammed into a bar drinking overpriced beer before walking into a stadium and then deciding if I want to buy even more overpriced beer. They need the parking lot space and better to do it out in a less dense suburb, than taking up precious land in a more dense, urban area.

It works in a city like Indianapolis, where sports are really the only reason people from outside the state come to Indianapolis. Boston on the other hand is far more attractive for visitors both outside of New England, and outside the country.
 

Scott

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I agree about tailgating being important; it's part of the experience. But I disagree with the need for any kind of roof or fake noise. It's plenty loud in Foxboro and this is New England, the weather is on our side. We aren't soft like Texas where people drop dead the minute a snowflake hits the ground. Football is best enjoyed outdoors with no artificial anything.
 

mass88

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I agree about tailgating being important; it's part of the experience. But I disagree with the need for any kind of roof or fake noise. It's plenty loud in Foxboro and this is New England, the weather is on our side. We aren't soft like Texas where people drop dead the minute a snowflake hits the ground. Football is best enjoyed outdoors with no artificial anything.
Take a look at Qwest Field (where the Seahawks play). There are partial roof coverings that are designed to amplify crowd noise. I would not suggest having a domed stadium, or retractable roofed stadium for the Patriots. This would still allow the cold weather to be a factor, but just make the stadium a bit louder. One of the biggest reason why European soccer stadiums can sound so loud is that the bulk of the have large roof coverings, which an addition to protecting fans from rain, amplify frowd noise.
 

Scott

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Well the town of Foxboro won't go for it. I can't imagine them okaying construction to make the stadium louder because historically noise has been an issue. And this is really just another thing Pats fans aren't asking for.
Btw ESPN may not like Gillette but ESPN reflexively dislikes anything pertaining to Boston sports, particularly the Patriots. They are butt hurt that their crusade to destroy Brady failed. Now the story goes that the Celtics are racist because they never hired a black coach when in fact the new one is the sixth.
 

Brattle Loop

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Anyway I know I’m in the minority on the whole stadium downtown idea (and much to FLines chagrin I don’t have a signed & cited research paper to support my beliefs) But would anyone concede the Patriots (and actually the Jets and Giants also) really did the bare minimum with there stadiums and that putting these stadiums in the middle of endless parking is a waste. Maybe back in the day that was smart but now these stadiums are sure fire investment and development spurring structures. I think any time these facilities aren’t built on top of a rapid transit station or major commuter rail hub it’s a waste.
A waste of what? You're asserting that these stadiums are big drivers of investment and development without even providing anecdotal examples let along the kind of research that could actually conclusively support or disprove your unsupported assertion of the benefits of new stadiums (which is a separate if related matter to the question of whether public investment achieves appreciable bang-for-buck to make it worthwhile).

Gillette is where it is because Kraft had a bunch of land he could play with, built a stadium and then built Patriot Place for good measure to take better advantage of those assets. Oh, it wasn't for lack of trying elsewhere, he made efforts to seek alternatives, but most of the governments he was in discussions with were leery at best about the public cost-benefit ratio, and of those that weren't, their voting publics quickly made their disapproval known, to the point that it became financially and politically easier to just build Gillette where it is. You're welcome to dislike that fact, you're welcome to provide critiques of the process that led to that result. But, fundamentally your position is an ideological one until and unless you can provide sufficient facts to support it as something other than rank preference.
 

mass88

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It's getting near the time when the US host cities will be selected for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Canada has their two - Toronto and Edmonton, and Mexico has their three - Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey. Of 17 finalists in the US, 11 will be selected. The authors of the above article are using MLS fandom as a key factor in a city's place, hence why Seattle is so high. Kind of a foolish metric to use, when Boston is a much better option to host matches than Seattle, or even Dallas, or Atlanta. Some other questionable thoughts - such as Denver making sense logistically, despite being a very isolated city, or Miami having a rich soccer heritage. Despite the flimsy article, it does make for some interesting conversation around which 11 cities will make the cut. I think Boston should be an easy choice to have as host. Something tells me some teams are going to be complaining about the sheer amount of travel they need to do (some teams in the recent Euro complained about having to travel to Baku). Not sure why Canada and Mexico needed to be a part of the bid in the first place.
 

North Shore

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It's getting near the time when the US host cities will be selected for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Canada has their two - Toronto and Edmonton, and Mexico has their three - Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey. Of 17 finalists in the US, 11 will be selected. The authors of the above article are using MLS fandom as a key factor in a city's place, hence why Seattle is so high. Kind of a foolish metric to use, when Boston is a much better option to host matches than Seattle, or even Dallas, or Atlanta. Some other questionable thoughts - such as Denver making sense logistically, despite being a very isolated city, or Miami having a rich soccer heritage. Despite the flimsy article, it does make for some interesting conversation around which 11 cities will make the cut. I think Boston should be an easy choice to have as host. Something tells me some teams are going to be complaining about the sheer amount of travel they need to do (some teams in the recent Euro complained about having to travel to Baku). Not sure why Canada and Mexico needed to be a part of the bid in the first place.
Mexico and Canada venues get some first round matches because that was part of the arrangement for the joint bid for the three countries.

As for Boston (Foxboro), Bob Kraft has enough swing with the USSF that it would be hard pressed to not include Gillette as a venue.
 

Equilibria

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As for Boston (Foxboro), Bob Kraft has enough swing with the USSF that it would be hard pressed to not include Gillette as a venue.
That one. Foxboro has been an assumed host in every informed piece I've read, but it has nothing to do with Boston's status as a host city.
 

Scott

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Really? Bob Kraft's pull alone is not enough. How could it not be chosen from that list on its own merits? I don't see 11 cities out of 17 that are clearly more deserving. My logic is this: I can't argue with the top 4 and SF because they are world cities and the bottom 6 of that list probably shouldn't be there at all, so you would have to choose one of the bottom 6 for Boston to be excluded as well as finding Denver, Dallas, Atlanta and Philadelphia superior for infrastructural reasons alone as opposed to them being better sports towns or on their name recognition overseas.
 

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Denver has a massive international airport that's connected to city by an actual metro line. The Broncos stadium (what I'd assume they'd use??) is like 15-30 minutes out of downtown, also connected via metro and bus.
Philly is a similar story.

Gillette is almost an hour outside of Boston. I'd say it's pretty inferior in terms of infrastructure to be the host.
 

Scott

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FYI, right now it takes 32 minutes to get from the Denver airport to Mile High and 44 from Logan to Gillette and 38 minutes from TF Green to Gillette. That doesn't move the needle
 

Bananarama

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FYI, right now it takes 32 minutes to get from the Denver airport to Mile High and 44 from Logan to Gillette and 38 minutes from TF Green to Gillette. That doesn't move the needle
I don't think Airport -> Stadium times are super relevant because we would assume people would stay in the main city, no?
 

JumboBuc

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Hosting a handful of World Cup matches is really no big deal for any major American city. The infrastructure is 100% in place to handle this. If Gillette were to host 5 soccer matches over a couple weeks in June/July, relatively few people in Greater Boston would even notice.
 

Equilibria

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Hosting a handful of World Cup matches is really no big deal for any major American city. The infrastructure is 100% in place to handle this. If Gillette were to host 5 soccer matches over a couple weeks in June/July, relatively few people in Greater Boston would even notice.
It's not even a hypothetical. Gillette is an experienced host of the 2003 Gold Cup, 2003 Women's World Cup, 2005 Gold Cup, 2007 Gold Cup, 2009 Gold Cup, 2015 Gold Cup, and 2016 Copa America, along with international friendlies. Based on Wikipedia, Mile High has hosted 13 international soccer matches since 2002, Gillette has hosted over 40. M&T Bank Stadium is older than both and has hosted 6. Houston's in the 20s but with more friendlies.

Heck - Foxboro Stadium hosted World Cup matches in 1994.

I went to a Gold Cup match between Costa Rica and Canada once - 60,000 very loud Costa Ricans and about 15 people in one end zone with a sign that said "Allez Les Rouges". Canada won 5-0.
 
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mass88

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Denver has a massive international airport that's connected to city by an actual metro line. The Broncos stadium (what I'd assume they'd use??) is like 15-30 minutes out of downtown, also connected via metro and bus.
Philly is a similar story.

Gillette is almost an hour outside of Boston. I'd say it's pretty inferior in terms of infrastructure to be the host.
Denver is perhaps the most isolated US city. No teams will be based there. Any teams playing there will fly in the night before, and fly out after the game. Think the Amazon stadium in 2014 in Brazil. Boston has more international air links than Denver. Denver is very domestic heavy if we're comparing airports. Yes they would use Mile High. Thanks to the NFL, the US easily outclasses any other country when it comes to stadium infrastructure.

Boston would have a good shot at being the base camp for some teams during the tournament. Short flights to NY, Philly, DC and Toronto. Revs have a top notch facility. Not to mention a number of colleges (BC for example) in the region. Better option than Denver.
 
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MrDee12345

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Instead of using Gillette, couldn't they use Alumni Stadium at BC? Sure, it's smaller but it's right on the green line and it would be easy for fans to reach the game by public transit.
 

JumboBuc

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It's not even a hypothetical. Gillette is an experienced host of the 2003 Gold Cup, 2003 Women's World Cup, 2005 Gold Cup, 2007 Gold Cup, 2009 Gold Cup, 2015 Gold Cup, and 2016 Copa America, along with international friendlies. Based on Wikipedia, Mile High has hosted 13 international soccer matches since 2002, Gillette has hosted over 40. M&T Bank Stadium is older than both and has hosted 6. Houston's in the 20s but with more friendlies.

Heck - Foxboro Stadium hosted World Cup matches in 1994.

I went to a Gold Cup match between Costa Rica and Canada once - 60,000 very loud Costa Ricans and about 15 people in one end zone with a sign that said "Allez Les Rouges". Canada won 5-0.
I hear ya and agree in general. But a major difference between World Cup matches and friendlies / lower profile internationals is that fans travel for World Cup matches while lower profile games draw from the local population. The vast majority of the 70k fans at a World Cup match are going to fly into the city and stay overnight (at least) for the game. The vast majority of the crowd at a friendly or Gold Cup match are people who live within driving distance, and for them it's just an activity for the day.

Denver is perhaps the most isolated US city. No teams will be based there. Any teams playing there will fly in the night before, and fly out after the game. Think the Amazon stadium in 2014 in Brazil.
I dunno about that - soccer teams like to be based at altitude. The USMNT often has camps in Denver or SLC for this purpose, especially if they're going to be playing Mexico at Azteca. Just this summer, for example, the European-based contingent of the USMNT had a camp in the Alps in Switzerland in preparation for the Nations League Final at Mile High. A team that is based at sea level and flies into Denver night before a game is going to be at a definite disadvantage against a team that has been a mile high for weeks.

Instead of using Gillette, couldn't they use Alumni Stadium at BC? Sure, it's smaller but it's right on the green line and it would be easy for fans to reach the game by public transit.
Alumni Stadium is a total non-starter for so many reasons, but perhaps the most obvious is that the playing surface is too small for a FIFA regulation pitch. This is the same reason why the Revs will never play there, or at Harvard Stadium.
 

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