Categorized | Features

The Corner Stoehr: Somerville Blues Cured?

Posted on 29 June 2010 by sstoehrst

Recently, Revolution COO Brian Bilello volunteered to stand before the firing squad and take questions from fans in New England.  Apparently the response was pretty good and Mr. Bilello took the time to answer several of the most popular and pressing questions on the Revs’ blog.  You can read all of his responses here.

Although he addressed public transportation, attendance, SuperLiga, new crest/rebranding, and media coverage, I want to give some attention to an issue he touched on that I’ve covered before: the Somerville soccer-specific stadium. After rehashing the typical party dogma about how the stadium remains a top priority for the Revs organization (funded by an ownership group whose sole goal in life right now is to recoup money they invested in Patriot Place), Mr. Bilello looked to be patronizing Revs fans yet again.

Then Brian starts to get specific. I have to say; I appreciate how he immediately addressed the Somerville location rather than hitting us with the typical “we’re examining all options” line:

With the decision regarding the MBTA’s Green Line maintenance facility in Somerville in place, we have re-launched the process of examining that area as a stadium site. We were in a holding pattern for a bit while the city and MBTA worked out the details of the facility. During the next few months our architects and engineers will be studying the area to determine if it is possible to build a soccer stadium on that site given the footprint of the maintenance facility and other existing structures.

Finally, a reason why we stopped talking to Somerville in the first place. It would seem that the MBTA rail yard was still a problem after all – and now that it’s been dealt with, the Revs can move in and start getting the concrete details sorted. But the fabulous Mr. Bilello was far from finished. He then hit us with this gem:

In the last few months, we have also begun studying three additional sites around Boston’s metro core. These sites may not have been available to us in the past, but have recently shown potential interest in having our stadium.

Immediately I began racking my brain for metro-area locations that might be available for development, and to be honest not a lot comes to mind.  Then again, my knowledge of the Boston area is really restricted to the city itself,  so I’ll trust better Beantown minds than mine to make the educated guesses.  But the idea that there are other locations courting the Revolution is very encouraging and says a lot about the grassroots support in the region.  Honestly, I will remain skeptical until I see some kind of concrete move or result, be that a formal proposal or a shovel breaking ground. Having said that, and despite my better judgment, Mr. Bilello’s revelations have stirred an excitement in me, an expectation that I might actually see a soccer-specific stadium in New England within the next decade.

For once, he’s done what a lot of us have been calling for: answered questions directly and with specific examples.  Also, almost as if to placate us into accepting that the Krafts care about the Revolution and are investing in them fully, Brian admitted that the organization had put “more than $1 million” into exploring new options for a soccer-specific stadium.  Well, Mr. Bilello, that’s certainly commitment.  Here’s to the next million going to a construction company instead.

Excited by Mr. Bilello’s responses, or taking it all with a grain of salt? And do YOU know where else they might be looking? Leave a comment!

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Jacob Says:

    aren't all the developments around the convention center stalled? might this be one of those sites that may not have been available in the past?

  2. Stoehrst Says:

    As far as I know this is still the Bricktown district where the Green Line is being extended. I'm assuming they have a timeline for moving forward on developments if they are stalled now. Any hold-up was probably due to the argument over placement of the maintenance facility.

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