Officials fail to reach deal for $250M Boston soccer stadium
- Plans for a $250 million, privately financed, 20,000-seat downtown Boston soccer stadium have been shot down by public officials who say the proposed site can't handle the additional traffic the development would bring in, according to ESPN.
- The owners of the New England Revolution were in negotiations since 2015 with the University of Massachusetts Boston to lease a site for the new stadium and said the team had invested millions of dollars and thousands of hours in planning a preliminary design.
- The Revolution will continue to play at the New England Patriots' Gillette Stadium outside Boston, but officials from the Kraft Group, which owns the NFL and MLS teams, said they will continue to look for soccer-specific stadium sites.
In an environment where teams often seek public financing to make their stadium deals happen, owners who agree to foot the entire bill themselves are a welcome relief to city officials who usually have to cobble some special publicly financed deal together that may or may not gain taxpayer approval.
Such was the case in San Diego when the Chargers' organization made staying in the city contingent on a new stadium and convention center financed with a 4% hotel tax increase. Voters rejected the measure, and the Chargers announced their plans to relocate to Los Angeles. To replace the Chargers' Qualcomm Stadium, a group of investors has proposed a $1 billion MLS soccer stadium-anchored development that would be privately financed.
Similarly, the Los Angeles Football Club is underway with a $250 million soccer stadium that is expected to result in a total investment of $350 million in South Los Angeles — all private money. The 22,000-seat Banc of California venue should be ready in time for the 2018 MLS season.
The path hasn’t been as smooth for a group that wants to bring an MLS franchise to St. Louis. SC STL asked the city to kick in $80 million toward a new $200 million soccer stadium, but the city, despite opposition from Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, put together a deal that would have given the team $60 million from a proposed half-cent increase in the city's sales tax — a deal that voters rejected early last month.
Follow Kim Slowey on Twitter