Revolution stadium plans being ruined by greedy teachers union, says pro-stadium columnist

Speaking of death notices for MLS stadium plans, New England Revolution owner Robert Kraft’s proposed Dorchester soccer facility is also being declared “all but dead,” at least by Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung. This, though, may be a slightly different story than in St. Louis:

The finger-pointing has begun, and if Kraft goes away, blame the Boston Teachers Union. At issue are the 2.7 acres the union owns on the site where Kraft would like to put his sports venue.

The union, I am told, is asking for a deal that Kraft, a billionaire who also owns the New England Patriots, thinks is too rich.

That’s the start of a long column that comes down to: Kraft wants the teachers union’s land, the union is driving a hard bargain, and Kraft may walk away from the site in response. The entire thing is completely unsourced, except for one reference to “according to people briefed on the matter,” and given that Leung writes that if the deal dies it would be “a shame,” that she goes out of her way to praise Kraft as “credited with saving football when he helped broker a deal with players that ended the NFL’s 136-day lockout in 2011,” and that she’s previously admitted in print that “some may say I have never met a stadium I didn’t like,” there’s a fairly high likelihood that this column was prompted by Kraft’s side griping to her about those damn union leaders refusing to come down on their land asking price. Leung writes that Kraft has “a reputation for being a tough negotiator” — if he can save a few million by getting a friendly journalist to paint his opponents as obstructionists, that’s a phone call well worth making.


4 comments on “Revolution stadium plans being ruined by greedy teachers union, says pro-stadium columnist

  1. It’s their right to ask for anything they want but the teachers do sound awfully greedy when you read the details. Top dollar for the land PLUS they want all relocation fees paid for– from a dilapidated property they were already set to raze and replace before this stadium deal ever came along. Come on… you either give a deal on the land in order to get relocation costs or you get every penny you can for the land and it’s a normal sale.

    • “It’s their right to ask for anything they want…” Yes, it is. If they are being “greedy”, Kraft is being a cheapskate billionaire who wants others to give things to him so he doesn’t have to pay for things.

  2. Shirley Leung is at least right about herself. She’s a person who believes cities are built on some weird demonstration of “greatness” through sports, either the Olympics (a great story now) or large expensive pro stadiums. Having world class universities, hospitals, museums, a strong economy, and good schools simply won’t impress the archaeologists, I guess.

    The question on the land is likely a convenient story. In reality, the Krafts weren’t going to get the kind of public financial support out of Boston to make moving out of their own stadium (where the Revs do well enough) worth their while. They weren’t going to get it because no stadium project in Boston gets it. There are plenty of offers for land that actually generate business and pay taxes on a more regular basis than a soccer stadium.

    I like the Revs and detest Gillette Stadium (or the drive), but there’s no reason to build a soccer stadium on some of the most expensive property in the U.S.

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