The New England Revolution are in the MLS Cup and drawing well at Gillette Stadium, so naturally enough talk of a new soccer-only stadium has died down — no, wait, of course it hasn’t:
The Revolution soccer club is back in the MLS playoffs, has been drawing some of the biggest crowds in its 19-year history, and finally has a high-profile star in US national team member Jermaine Jones.
So how about that new stadium?
This is one of the weird … I guess “ironies” is the wrong word, but inconsistencies of the stadium game: When teams are doing poorly on the field and at the gate, the question is when they’ll get a new stadium to reverse their fortunes; when they’re doing well, the question is when they’ll get a new stadium to match their success. It’s a heads-I-win tails-you-lose argument that never seems to get noted by the news media, and certainly zooms right past Boston Globe reporter Callum Borchers.
Certainly, a new soccer-only stadium would be nice for the Revolution owners, and the Kraft family (which also owns the Patriots and Gillette Stadium) has been on record as wanting one for several years now. Yet as Holy Cross economist Victor Matheson told the Globe, the team’s success at their current stadium makes them less likely to want to kick in for a separate stadium of their own:
“The Krafts are already getting all the revenue streams, which is certainly why it’s been less urgent,” said Victor Matheson, a sports economist at the College of the Holy Cross and former MLS referee. “They need a substantially better location than they have now to make it worthwhile.”
After privately financing Gillette Stadium, the Krafts have not pledged to do the same for a soccer stadium that probably would cost more than $100 million.
So: The Revolution are doing well playing in a football stadium that they own, so the only thing that would make them move would be if somebody hands them land in a prime location and, probably, subsidies. That would seem to be the definition of not actually so much needing a new stadium, but far be it from me to question the logic of the Boston Globe — no, wait, of course it isn’t.