New stadium key to New England’s future?
If you were hoping for some encouraging news on the Revs’ search for a new soccer-specific stadium in the Boston area, then you might be waiting for a long time.
President Brian Bilello is as hopeful as the next man.
But after six years of unsuccessful negotiations to move away from Gillette Stadium, he revealed yesterday that the MLS side aren’t any closer to making a move to their own stadium.
“We’re still playing in a football stadium outside the city and we’re in the bottom third in terms of draw in the league. We’re in a difficult situation in terms of trying to get that done [build a new stadium],” Bilello said. “We’ve been at it for six years and I’m confident about it. When you’re working with municipalities and cities it’s hard for us to necessarily control a timeline. Once we get our stadium project off the ground, a lot changes.”
A lot should change. But when this move will happen is entirely up in the air, even after all these years.
Another big factor is the franchises play on the field. With New England already five points off the playoff hunt in the East, can they really draw big crowds week in, week out if the side are struggling? Bilello continued to chat in the in-depth interview with Boston.com.
“On the field, [it’s] a little disappointing,” Bilello said. “We’re hoping to be in a better position right now. When you look at where we are in the East, we want to be a little further up the board. We were very good for a long time. We have a job to do right now. We need to turn things around on the field.”
So, Bilello didn’t pull any punches with those comments but would the Revs’ really be viewed differently across the league if a new soccer-specific stadium was built? Maybe. In an anonymous survey last season, MLS players voted New England as having the worst-field and the worst ownership group.
The Kraft family have often had plenty of criticism thrown their way. Are they accountable for the problems the Revs’ are going through? It seems so. Yes, the franchise are actively working with several different municipalities and districts to try and find the correct area to build a new stadium.
But financially a big chunk of investment must be made available from the Kraft’s, to get this thing up and running.
They have done a lot for the league and the game of soccer in the US. But now all their attention must switch to their own club.
Like Bilello said, New England “were very good for a long time.” But if nothing is done about a new stadium soon, the opposite will be true.