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$250-million soccer stadium on Columbia Point? Shirley Leung's all in

The Krafts think the old Bayside Expo Center, now owned by UMass Boston, would make a great location for a Revolution stadium. And Shirley Leung, on the rebound from the Olympics, swoons.

Some may say I have never met a stadium I didn’t like. But I really like this one. What’s most exciting is the opportunity to build something different in a part of the city that could use an economic jolt. It’s not another strip mall, big-box retailer, or luxury condo tower — and that’s a good thing.

Bidding for the sprawling Olympics tore the city apart, but a Dorchester stadium could be the project that brings everyone together.

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Comments

I bet if UMass sold this prime waterfront location to the highest bidder, it would receive the economic jolt Shirley seems to think our neighborhood needs, such as a new mixed use neighborhood. What we don't need is a soccer, concert, and event stadium surrounded by parking and adjacent to 1000's of residents at Harborpoint.

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like Fenway Park was built without parking. There is plenty of public transportation within a short walk.

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Not a good example. Fenway Park was built in 1912. I think it's a safe bet that there were fewer cars then. And today there are plenty of parking garages in the Back Bay and parking lots, some next to the Park. Furthermore, despite the presence of public transportation there is a huge amount of traffic and gridlock on game day near Fenway and adjoining neighborhoods.

If they build the proposed soccer stadium, there will absolutely positively be a huge amount of traffic and gridlock on game day, regardless of whether they do or don't build parking for the stadium.

Why do so many people pretend that development does bring traffic problems?

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You're saying you think that traffic and gridlock around Fenway park would be less bad if there were more parking? You'll have to explain that one to me...

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Read the original comment and my response. Thank you so very much

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and people that are foolish enough to buy them park in the street putting a burden on the neighborhood and those that live there. Transit oriented housing development does not work and neither does transit oriented sports venues.

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I just couldn't agree with you less. An outdoor venue for soccer and concerts that isn't Fenway, with all of the baggage incurred over there, is absolutely what Boston needs. I can't wait to buy my season tickets to the Revs/Lady Revs and walk there. If the city and state have to pick up the tab on the traffic circle, I'm absolutely ok with that. It's due for a fix anyway. Just so long as Kraft builds the stadium with his own money I will support it whole-heartedly.

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There are no "Lady Revs." The women's pro soccer team in town is the Boston Breakers and they play at Harvard's soccer stadium.

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Well that's too bad but I'm still all in.

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You don't even know who is play for fuck's sake. Your comments read like the boston2024 plants here.

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Eat shit. Write better. Not necessarily in that order.

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Thoughts on whether the Breakers would move their home stadium? Can you sell beer at the Harvard facility? Seems like that would be a big part of the economic decision of the team.

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Why not Suffolk Downs?

Though I will say, anything to get soccer out of Foxboro and to somewhere with public transportation is a good thing. For that sport to thrive long term in the US, you really need to get it somewhere that people live, particularly soccer-hungry, transportation-starved folks that live along the Blue Line and other neighborhoods in the city. I think the NE Revolution, Salt Lake, Denver, and FC Dallas are the only teams that don't have urban stadiums on reliable public transport, and not shockingly none are near the top in attendance.

MLS is certainly a third tier product, but I'd certainly catch a handful of games at a local stadium. I last went to Gillette for the USA-Haiti match summer 2015, and that Route 1 post-game experience is something I don't really care for, though ymmv.

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a dedicated Fubol stadium of appropriate size would sell out FIFA friendlies, CONCAF games, qualifiers, and exhibition games from premier leagues. Plus having a stadium for concerts that ISN'T Fenway would be nice (pssst...the sound SUCKS there).

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For that sport to thrive long term in the US, you really need to get it somewhere that people live

I don't understand your logic here. Football's already thriving here. Why can't football and soccer share the same infrastructure, like Foxboro stadium?

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Because as of right now football, and to a large part, MLS in the Boston area is only for the relatively well-off (be it NEP ticket prices, or needing a car to get to a NER game). Football is a well-established sport and (for the time being) doesn't need to sell itself, demand is high. Soccer is another beast altogether. I'm just of the opinion that you need to have the sport no longer suburban-centric as it currently is. Millenials are more city-centric, less car-reliant, and of course much of the Latino population isn't in or around Foxboro.

There's a big difference between the Revolution merely existing, being near the bottom in MLS attendance, and actually thriving.

And I'm not sure why you just lump football and soccer together. 20 years ago when I was in high school, the football players were the cool, tough kids, and the soccer players were "soccer f**s". I know soccer has gotten much more popular, but I highly doubt they are really close to being on the same level popularity-wise despite the growth. This is why I don't really get your "it works for the Patriots, why not the Revolution" thing.

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If you're talking about professional sports (entertainment), then consider that 99.5% of people watching the Patriots play every week are not going to Foxboro. They're watching from home, on TV. You don't need a downtown stadium for that.

And if you're talking about amateur sports, then consider that every single football field outside is also a soccer field. You also don't need a stadium for that. You just need 3 acres of grass.

If soccer isn't "thriving" enough for you, then I think it's just an expectations vs. reality problem.

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Chicago's stadium is also suburban.

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I suppose that contributes to the dreadful attendance they have despite being such a large city.

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You would have that same RT 1 experience with Suffolk Downs. Most people would probably be driving in to the neighborhood and the traffic would be pretty bad.

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because you wouldn't have to be part of "that Route 1 experience". You could just take the Blue Line. Maybe a commuter rail stop could even be added nearby.

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Where would you put the commuter line station? It is pretty tight up here already with the Blue Line and the houses right up against it plus the new flood laws would make it pretty difficult to extend any line through Eastie. Where will it originate and go to?

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around where it now crosses under Railroad Street. I bet there was once a station there, long ago. It's a bit far from the track, so you'd likely need shuttle buses too.

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As long as not a single penny of taxpayer money is used, why not. I'd like to think Bostonians are smart enough to realize that giving millions to a billionaire is legit the dumbest thing you can possibly do.

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Of course we're going to pay.
I doubt the Krafts are going to pony up for the traffic changes.

More likely, when it comes time to decide The Mayor will declare that the fixing of the rotary is long past due and crucial to the day to day operations of The City. Using Fire and Police Depts emergency access concerns as cover.

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Incessant complainers really don't like nice things. There will always be a group that complains on any new idea (Boston Grand Prix, Olympics, soccer stadium, casino, et al). You only live once people, lighten up.

I hope Kraft builds the thing so some of us can have another fun location/events in the city. Spending some tax money to build the stadium will allow a higher volume of tax money to be collected later, while giving more job opportunities. A Saturday schedule in August, 2020 of Revolution, world class dinner, and casino sounds fantastic.

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These were rejected because they were NOT NICE THINGS. Take a look at how the Olympic parasite has wrecked Rio.

Lighten up? Your wallet, you mean.

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Or is John Fish, under that alias?

We don't all hate fun, you know. We just don't want to pay for the rest of you yokels to plop your soccer stadium right in the middle of our fair city, so you can have a shorter cab ride to get from dinner to the Revs game. Some of us also hate what professional sports stadiums do to cities that build them, and would rather not be footing the bill for a stadium twenty years from now when we're still paying off the bonds for it. Kraft will not pay for it. He'll pull the same shenanigans he did with Hartford and then Foxborough, and get plenty of sweet public money to subsidize his costs.

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Dorchester resident here. I don't want this stadium anywhere near me.

There will be huge traffic jams on game day and other event days. Apparently there will be lots of events because Marty thinks the stadium could have all kinds of uses for the communitly

K Circle needs an overhaul, but that is a separate discussion. Shame on Marty and others for saying that the stadium is a good idea because fixing K Circle will be part of the deal. So creating a new traffic nightmare is ok, because we will solve an old traffic nightmare? It doesn't make sense to me.

MLS soccer is a terrible product. The thought that building a stadium closer to the Latino population will increase Latino attendance is laughable. I know several Mexican and Central American soccer fans. Most of them have cars, but they wont drive to Foxboro because the Revolution and MLS suck.

And finally, if Shirley is for it, I'm against it.

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The state ponied up for access an infrastructure but Kraft paid for the stadium himself with financing from the league. The NFL was against the Pats going to Hartford because they didn't want to lose a team from a top ten television market (I think we're #7) which was a big factor in their loaning the money. The infrastructure still accounted for 17% of the overall cost but that is far less than most municipalities paid in the years leading up to that deal. The average stadium since '97 is 44% private funding and 56% public.

Source: https://cbsminnesota.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/nfl-funding-summary-12-...

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it would be best if you didnt let things like facts and figures get in the way of good ol fashioned nimbyism and pessimism

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What job opportunities? The team is already in the state so you aren't adding any jobs. The Revolution players don't even make much. Everyone else involved will be making $11 an hour selling hot dogs. The only one making money off the deal is Kraft, and he is already a billionaire, so why the hell should I give him some of my tax money? He can afford to build his own damn stadium. Study after study has shown that stadium deals are the worst thing a city or state can do.

And LOL at casinos and the olympics being a "new idea". Those things have been financial disasters for decades. Ever hear of Atlantic City or Greece?

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… and then you witness politicians giving the handouts to billionaires anyway time and time again. Rejecting the Olympics was a miracle.

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Nothing's happening there and you have both parking and the Blue Line.

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And there's a commuter rail there too.

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IMAGE(https://elmercatdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/wonderland-cr.jpg)
   See it larger

There are (back burner) plans to add a new Commuter Rail station at Wonderland, providing a connection to the Blue Line terminus. They're so close to each other here, it would be very practical to do. Having such a connection would provide a manifold of benefits to commuters, including easier access to the Airport from North Shore communities beyond the reach of the Blue Line.

If the proposed DMUs are deployed and usher in faster, more frequent Commuter Rail service to Lynn, Salem, and Beverly; an easy transfer to the Blue Line at Wonderland would make public transit much more practical and attractive to many commuters who presently clog traffic on Route-1A, Route-60, US-1, etc.. There's nothing you can really do to increase capacity on those routes — the only way forward is mass transit.

For those who don't know its history, the Wonderland site was once home to a Greyhound track — similar to a horse racing track, a place where people go and place wagers on which animals they think will win. It closed a few years ago when Massachusetts voters decided to ban dog racing.

As you can see in the picture, it's quite a large property and a fabulous location— 10 minutes from the airport, adjacent to a huge public beach, virtually on top of public transit— there's even plenty of parking! The property has enormous potential, so something important should go there. Whatever is built, it would be foolish not to incorporate a new Wonderland commuter rail station in the plan.

If a new Wonderland soccer stadium does that, it sounds good to me!

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Shirley Leung is like a one-person army, decimating the Globe's credibility. Win some awards for great and important journalism by real journalists, and then let some airhead or shill piss it away in most people's minds.

It's not Shirley Leung's fault entirely. An editor has strangely defended her, almost as if Leung is a young child rather than a professional journalist. And either the owner supports Leung, or is being generously hands-off on the journalism while he watches the journalistic reputation be sabotaged from within.

This is not merely a controversial columnist or a healthy mix of opinions alongside journalism. This is cancer that is seen as reflecting Globe reporting and editorial position as a whole.

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Leung is even more potent than the other forces that have stripped away the Globe's credibility the past 20 years or so?

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But they were caught and terminated.

Had the Globe terminated Shirley Leung in the middle of the Olympics mega-scam, once it was clear something was wrong, and directed a corrective effort of their best journalists to investigate both the Olympics and Leung's crack dealer, then credibility would be preserved and even shored up.

Something smells wrong.

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Not a big Shirley fan, and not sure I love the idea (Suffolk Downs makes more sense), but I do like the idea of some different development in town;

It’s not another strip mall, big-box retailer, or luxury condo tower...

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Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But Ms. Leung has managed to not only set her clock 7 hours ahead of local time, she's also been diligent about changing her batteries.

Which is to say, if you ever need a quick barometer for "Is this a terrible idea?" you need look no further than Shirley's inane musings.

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Is I can safely save a minute by ignoring whatever she's prattling on about.

Pity about the wasted trees and ink, tho.

Maybe they could replace her with rotating guest columnists - I'm thinking 9-12 year olds would be more interesting and clueful.

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and kraft ended up paying for gillette stadium himself, so its not entirely out of the realm of possibility for this to happen again

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The neighborhood does not need another concert venue or soccer stadium. What the neighborhood needs is senior housing, dorms for college students and an apartment complex for veterans who have lost their housing do to the sins of gentrification

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Just another giant traffic jam that Boston residents and those who work here will be forced to deal with.

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Some other commentators are engaging in total delusion that for some reason everyone will use the T. Some will, but many will also drive,whether there is a parking lot or not.

And Day Blvd cant even handle the traffic in the late afternoon when the UMass satellite lot empties out for the day.

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Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded.

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Right now the old parking lot is being used for overflow from UMB while they are constructing on what seems to be the entire campus.

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Let's bring even more traffic to an already congested area!

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How about we do what should have been done at the seaport - mixed use residential living dining marina on a people scale - views and green space and real public acces to the water. And not the very disappointing glass canyon that the seaport has turned into. Totally no interest in a stadi on our precious waterfront.

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As the Globe steadily declines and they move into rental property, Kraft should buy the Globe site on nearby Morrissey Boulevard. They could make an exit off the Expressway and there is already rail access from the time when the Globe actually sold papers. Paper and ink was delivered by train. Any decision should be after the election. If Mr. Trump wins, many of the soccer fans will be deported as soccer has never been an American sport and has no following. They could rent out Joe Moakley Park and nobody would notice. I wouldn't trust Kraft in his business suit and sneakers, approaching 80, so Marty Walsh should nix any public money, even though he is desperate to save the unions.

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