Boston Globe writes entire article about new $400m Revolution stadium based on fan’s tweet

It’s not every day that you have a story about a team’s stadium price tag going up when there’s no actual plan of what stadium to build or where, but that’s what we had this weekend with the Boston Globe’s report that New England Revolution owner and famed massage parlor enthusiast Bob Kraft is now looking to spend $400 million on a stadium … somewhere:

During a fan event last weekend, Revs team president Brian Bilello offered some reassurance that the hunt remains very much alive. Snippets from the event emerged on Twitter, including the mention of a new price tag. A spokesman confirmed that the Kraft Group is now willing to invest as much as $400 million in a roughly 20,000-seat soccer stadium. The location? Sorry, everyone. That remains a mystery.

This story was apparently entirely based on week-old tweets by Paul Foley, a “dad, oral care expert, soccer fan” and former contributor to a now-defunct sports talk radio show with a now-defunct Twitter account, who got to talk to Bilello (or at least transcribe his statements) at a pregame event. Foley responded on Twitter as one does:

I’m perfectly willing to believe that Bilello actually said “$400 million private investment supported by Krafts” as Foley says he did; what that means is another thing. Is Kraft really ready to build the most expensive MLS stadium in history on his own dime? How a new Revolution stadium would be paid for has been an official secret for even longer than where it might go — way back in 2015 he proposed paying for one with a ticket tax, which only would have worked with a ticket tax of around $40 — so you’d think Globe writer Jon Chesto would have asked the team for an official statement on this, but there’s no indication that he did beyond getting confirmation that Bilello used the $400 million figure. (Though he did get two sports economists, Victor Matheson and Andy Zimbalist, to say, in effect, “man, that sounds like a lot of money.”) As a Professional Editor of Journalism, I would have sent this back to the author with the note “needs comment from team on financial plan or indication that they refused to comment,” but I guess that’s not how the Globe rolls these days.

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6 comments on “Boston Globe writes entire article about new $400m Revolution stadium based on fan’s tweet

  1. Considering the amazing record of pro sports stadium construction in Boston in the last century plus, this seems to be a real hit the snooze bar” story.

    There is no land in the city near transit that anyone seriously wants to allocate to a soccer stadium. Not a paying proposition.

    1. I remember Kraft talking up a Somerville site 15 years ago that wedges a soccer stadium into largely a warehouse area (UPS are still there, but there now appears to be a distillery and a few tech companies). It may have been a longish walk to Sullivan Square or to the future “East Somerville” Green Line stop but it was always going to be pipe dream logistically.

  2. As a soccer fan and an MLS fan, have the Krafts ever seen the Revs as anything other than something to fill some extra dates in Foxboro? They have never shown any real interest in growing the sport.

    1. Curious what exactly that means. They’ve been league runners-up 5 times most recently in 2014. Never lost by more than one goal and once was a heartbreaker in PKs. The past few years they’ve been locked right around .500 so they’re still competitive.

  3. According to Forbes the average MLS team makes somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million per year. That $400 million will take a very long time to payoff.

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