Finding suitable places to play in Boston and Washington, D.C., continues to hover near the top of Major League Soccer’s to-do list.
Putting a new stadium polish on these two weathered franchises, once the bell cows of MLS, is every bit as vital to league progress as getting that new franchise up and running in New York, or adding No. 20 elsewhere.
Come to think of it, short of turning up more revenue in the next round of TV negotiations or perhaps putting a tourniquet on the steady blood flow from refereeing wounds, developing facilities in these two markets should probably represent league priorities No. 1 and No. 2.
So, we all rejoice seeing stories like this, where establishment officials around Boston are at least engaging the issue. This all looks like complex stuff, negotiations attached to multiple cities and entwined with other projects, primarily ongoing negotiations with a casino. So, while it does represent possible movement, it’s laborious progress at best. Don’t hold your breath.
While many have (and will continue) to doubt the Kraft family’s true commitment to movement, the front office seems to sense the urgency, at least.
What New England Revolution president Brian Bilello told ace soccer reporter Kyle McCarthy:
Every year this goes by, it’s another year we feel like we’re behind. We would have like to have built this thing in 2006 [in Somerville, a Boston suburb] and that project didn’t work out. I think for us, we recognize where we are at and the urgency of how important the stadium is. We’re going after it as quickly as we can.”
McCarthy is a Boston-based freelance writer, so he’s been on top of this thing for years. His latest on the latest in New England’s stadium chase is here.
Meanwhile, even though this is serious stuff, I couldn’t help but chuckle over this line from the MLSSoccer.com report on the latest news (Read it in Seth Meyers, Weekend Update voice from SNL, you’ll see what I mean):
“Revolution president Brian Bilello confirmed that the team is in preliminary talks with city officials regarding the possibility of building a soccer-specific facility in the urban Boston core.”
When you start stringing together your “preliminaries” with and your “possibilities,” well, I believe we can all agree that shovels aren’t going into the ground anytime soon.