Revolution Stadium Proposal in Everett

Reardon's Beard

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The Revolution’s bid to build a soccer-specific stadium in Everett is headed for an important vote in the Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday.

Tucked into a much larger economic development bill (S. 2856) is the same language from an earlier standalone proposal (S. 2692) that would reclassify a 43-acre parcel of land located at 173 Alford St. (a decommissioned power plant currently owned by Wynn Resorts) to no longer be categorized as part of the Mystic River “designated port area” (DPA). In doing this, the legislation would open up the land to be developed by the Revolution for the possible building of a stadium. Under its current DPA status, it can only be utilized for industrial purposes. This would only be a preliminary step. The current legislation does not authorize the construction of the stadium, but enables it as a possibility (whereas its current DPA designation prevents that).

“Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a certain parcel of land located at 173 Alford street situated partly in the city of Everett and partly in the city of Boston shall be removed from and not be considered to be within the boundaries or a part of the Mystic River designated port area pursuant to 310 C.M.R. 25 and 310 C.M.R. 9 or any other applicable law, rule or regulation to convert the parcel into a professional soccer stadium and a waterfront park,” notes the current language of the bill in Section 166.

If the DPA is removed, the Revolution would have at least five years to try to build a stadium. If the club is unable to complete the process, the land would eventually revert back to its original status as part of the DPA. State Senator Sal DiDomenico proposed the original bill in late 2023. It received a public hearing in April, and was reported out favorably by the committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies in May. The proposed legislation had stalled. That was until Monday when the Senate unveiled it’s larger economic development bill, tucking the stadium-related language toward the end of its 174 sections.

The House did not include the stadium language in its earlier version of the bill (H.4804) from late June. This means that if the Senate measure passes with the stadium language included, it would have to be reconciled in conference committee. Only then would it potentially head to Gov. Maura Healey’s desk.

Similar stadium-related proposals regarding the Everett DPA site have been floated before. Attempts in 2022 and 2023 gained approval of the House and Senate, but in separate years. Both times, the two chambers failed to agree to include the stadium language in the final version of each bill.

Currently based at Gillette Stadium, the Revolution have sought to build a Boston-area stadium for decades. The latest pitch in Everett is arguably the most complicated — given the preexisting DPA status of the proposed site — but could ironically provide the most sellable justification as a result.

The team, owned by Robert Kraft, has proposed to fund the $100-million process of cleaning up the the site (which would need to be decontaminated after the power plant infrastructure was removed). Given that a Wynn Resorts representative noted at the hearing in April that no other group was currently proposing to clean up the area, allowing the Revolution to do the job has received support from Everett Mayor Carlo DiMaria.

“There’s no other industry that’s going to come here and spend that money to clean that up,” DiMaria said at the hearing.

If the DPA is removed, it would effectively only get the local soccer team to “the starting line” in the words of Revolution president Brian Billelo. He spoke at the hearing in April, and promised transparency should the construction of a stadium become viable at the Everett site.

“Let me be clear: We are not looking to avoid the public process.”
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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This stuff is kinda-sorta my day job.

I agree with the mayor that if the team is going to put down the money to clean up the site, it's a huge plus for the prospects of success.

Committing land to the likes of a "designated port area" is done with the goal of preserving and promoting certain kinds of uses - usually 20th century uses that are no longer economically viable on their own (else they wouldn't need this kind of treatment). But even if there were a viable industrial use that would benefit from the geographical siting, the environmental remediation would still need to be done. Which is massively expensive, and there would be no reason for an industrial user to do it. So they would end up needing to further incentivize some sort of private actor anyway.

Taking the parcel out of the DPA is the easiest way forward, but there needs to be something suitably sexy to generate enough political will to overcome the statutory scheme.

So this makes sense to me, even trying to keep my footy-fan sensibilities out of it.

With the exception of protecting parkland, I don't like these kinds of land-use schemes anyway. They restrict flexibility, tie the hands of policymakers and potential buyers, and often lead to stagnation. I also don't like subsidizing uses, and I especially don't like subsidizing stadiums. But, in this case, if I were the state, while I might not shovel cash at the Krafts for the cleanup, I might enable them, say, to finance the cleanup with a bond issue, to spread the cost out over 100 years, or somesuch (the finance end of it is not my bag - I'm more the can-I-put-a-commercial-catering-hall-here (for example)-and-is-that-an-industrial-use guy).

Now- is anyone talking about extending the Orange Line out to this thing?
 

Reardon's Beard

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Now- is anyone talking about extending the Orange Line out to this thing?
Fingers crossed! How close to existing transit is the space?
As a local I can testify it's close enough for a healthy walk but it's a tricky spot. The orange line is on the other side of the Mystic, and the blue line is further away. There is a commuter line that goes by the Encore although probably not ideal.

If it was simply road improvements I would imagine a lot of shuttles to either blue or orange lines, but I don't think it's ideal either and would just pile onto too much congestion that already exists.

My guess is someone is thinking about it quite a bit. If it were up to me, I'd sort out a way to do a custom connector that links the MBTA more directly to the stadium however possible. It would be a benefit for the whole area.
 

Salem's Lot

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As a local I can testify it's close enough for a healthy walk but it's a tricky spot. The orange line is on the other side of the Mystic, and the blue line is further away. There is a commuter line that goes by the Encore although probably not ideal.

If it was simply road improvements I would imagine a lot of shuttles to either blue or orange lines, but I don't think it's ideal either and would just pile onto too much congestion that already exists.

My guess is someone is thinking about it quite a bit. If it were up to me, I'd sort out a way to do a custom connector that links the MBTA more directly to the stadium however possible. It would be a benefit for the whole area.
I think that I read that part of the proposal is a walking bridge from Assembly to the Stadium and Encore.
 

Humphrey

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I think that I read that part of the proposal is a walking bridge from Assembly to the Stadium and Encore.
It's half a mile from the Sullivan Square T station to 173 Alford....you'd think they'd put the walking bridge parallel to the bridge that carries 99 over the Mystic. Or maybe I'm missing something there.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Titans Bastard

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If this stadium comes to fruition, there will be some transportation challenges but I think they are surmountable. The location isn't perfect, but I doubt the Revs will get a shot at anywhere better than this.

Some transportation thoughts:
  • The site is approximately a 20 minute walk from the Sullivan Square stop on the Orange Line. There will need to be improvements to the pedestrian experience — for example, these sidewalks are way too narrow to handle pedestrian traffic to the stadium. Some of these improvements may be in the Lower Broadway bus lane grant (see below) that Everett has already received, but I'm not 100% sure of those details.
  • Getting a large number of pedestrians from Sullivan Sq station across the godawful mess of Sullivan Square to the Alford St bridge also needs some thought.
  • There's also the planned Mystic River pedestrian bridge that will connect Assembly Square to the casino, though this would be more useful if the Assembly stop on the Orange Line had an exit to the east side of the tracks. As it stands, people will need to take a circuitous loop to the north to get across the tracks and access the bridge. I'm not aware of any plans to add an east exit to the station at this time.
  • The Alford Street / Lower Broadway corridor is slated to get a lot of transportation-related upgrades in the coming years.
  • I have to imagine the Revs will run additional gameday shuttles to supplement service.

All of this will take work but I think it's doable, and I think it's less quixotic than the NWSL / White Stadium transportation plan.
 

InstaFace

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All of this will take work but I think it's doable, and I think it's less quixotic than the NWSL / White Stadium transportation plan.
Honestly, if this Everett stadium gets real momentum, I'd be surprised if the Boston Teabaggers weren't tenants within a few years. As much as the NWSL teams want to own their own stadia now, the difference in seating capacity and fan experience would overcome that hesitancy, I think. Because the White Stadium thing is already a clusterfuck, years from when the rubber actually meets the road.

Different thread, I know, but also a little interrelated.
 

67YAZ

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Honestly, if this Everett stadium gets real momentum, I'd be surprised if the Boston Teabaggers weren't tenants within a few years. As much as the NWSL teams want to own their own stadia now, the difference in seating capacity and fan experience would overcome that hesitancy, I think. Because the White Stadium thing is already a clusterfuck, years from when the rubber actually meets the road.

Different thread, I know, but also a little interrelated.
This was also make me think of the Chicago situation. Mansueto has been investing in real estate, particularly Chicago, since he sold Morning Star. He has been poking around stadium sites, but with borrowing and construction costs high and the Bears situation at Soldier Field in flux…what’s the rush?

Well, now Laura Ricketts is controlling owner of the Red Stars and she is also looking to build a city stadium. She got a bill for funds intro’d into this year’s legislative session. It didn’t go anywhere, but served notice that there’s a new owner with clout and ambition on the scene.

Metro areas like Chicago and Boston can probably make a 20-30k stadium with an MLS/NWSL team as anchor tenant profitable with concerts and other events supplementing the matches. The transportation and parking have to be good, of course. And there can only be one. Can these cities really support 2 similar sized stadiums? Of course, when it comes to these wealthy owners making massive investments, they want to own the project and not be a tenant.
 
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Titans Bastard

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Honestly, if this Everett stadium gets real momentum, I'd be surprised if the Boston Teabaggers weren't tenants within a few years. As much as the NWSL teams want to own their own stadia now, the difference in seating capacity and fan experience would overcome that hesitancy, I think. Because the White Stadium thing is already a clusterfuck, years from when the rubber actually meets the road.

Different thread, I know, but also a little interrelated.
I agree. It would make a lot of sense to combine efforts.
 

Bigdogx

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Jul 21, 2020
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I know one thing, it is difficult to drum up fan support and grow the team when you can never watch a game on tv! Apple tv and standard definition channels are not even slightly good enough!

I wish them luck and today i beleive using tax dollars for things like this is not even close to the top things are local and federal politicians blow our money on. I know one thing though living my entire life in this state, they better grease the correct democrat palms in this state if they want to build anything around or in Boston!
 

shaggydog2000

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If this stadium comes to fruition, there will be some transportation challenges but I think they are surmountable. The location isn't perfect, but I doubt the Revs will get a shot at anywhere better than this.

Some transportation thoughts:
  • The site is approximately a 20 minute walk from the Sullivan Square stop on the Orange Line. There will need to be improvements to the pedestrian experience — for example, these sidewalks are way too narrow to handle pedestrian traffic to the stadium. Some of these improvements may be in the Lower Broadway bus lane grant (see below) that Everett has already received, but I'm not 100% sure of those details.
  • Getting a large number of pedestrians from Sullivan Sq station across the godawful mess of Sullivan Square to the Alford St bridge also needs some thought.
  • There's also the planned Mystic River pedestrian bridge that will connect Assembly Square to the casino, though this would be more useful if the Assembly stop on the Orange Line had an exit to the east side of the tracks. As it stands, people will need to take a circuitous loop to the north to get across the tracks and access the bridge. I'm not aware of any plans to add an east exit to the station at this time.
  • The Alford Street / Lower Broadway corridor is slated to get a lot of transportation-related upgrades in the coming years.
  • I have to imagine the Revs will run additional gameday shuttles to supplement service.

All of this will take work but I think it's doable, and I think it's less quixotic than the NWSL / White Stadium transportation plan.
Each orange line train set has a capacity of about 1000 passengers fully loaded. They are at 8 min headways now, so that would mean it would take 4 hours to deliver 30k fans to the stadium if nobody on the orange line in one direction were going anywhere else. If we assume an equal number of fans heading in from the north and south, trains at absolute max capacity, and still nobody on the trains going anywhere else, we're looking at 2 hours to get all the fans near stadium. And then they'd all have to get moved from Sullivan or Assembly to the stadium, which would be an enormous pain in the ass as you note. There would be bus service as well, but that is going to be much lower capacity and only make a small difference as compared to the train numbers. And who would want to get to the stadium two hours early when there is nothing remotely close to it except an industrial area and a casino? Maybe they would hang out in Assembly, but that would still require building that pedestrian bridge and redoing the Assembly station. I think it just doesn't add up. There has to be parking, and a lot of it. And I don't know how you reconfigure Sullivan square to get that many fans from the T over to the stadium and handle all of the cars coming off the highway, because I work over at the Schraft center and have driven and taken the orange line there and it is a disaster for driving and walking, but you would have to.
 

BigMike

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Each orange line train set has a capacity of about 1000 passengers fully loaded. They are at 8 min headways now, so that would mean it would take 4 hours to deliver 30k fans to the stadium if nobody on the orange line in one direction were going anywhere else. If we assume an equal number of fans heading in from the north and south, trains at absolute max capacity, and still nobody on the trains going anywhere else, we're looking at 2 hours to get all the fans near stadium. And then they'd all have to get moved from Sullivan or Assembly to the stadium, which would be an enormous pain in the ass as you note. There would be bus service as well, but that is going to be much lower capacity and only make a small difference as compared to the train numbers. And who would want to get to the stadium two hours early when there is nothing remotely close to it except an industrial area and a casino? Maybe they would hang out in Assembly, but that would still require building that pedestrian bridge and redoing the Assembly station. I think it just doesn't add up. There has to be parking, and a lot of it. And I don't know how you reconfigure Sullivan square to get that many fans from the T over to the stadium and handle all of the cars coming off the highway, because I work over at the Schraft center and have driven and taken the orange line there and it is a disaster for driving and walking, but you would have to.
You could definitely pregame in assembly. But most of assembly is closed by 9, a few bars and restaurants open, but certainly not enough capacity to hold many thousands of people

The Pedestrian bridge would also help some with parking as Assembly does have multiple garages. So some game day parking would be available there. Of course getting to Assembly in the 5-7 timeframe via car is already a bit of a nightmare, so even dealing with a thousand additional cars would be a big problem
 

Senator Donut

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Here is MASSterList pouring some cold water on the plan

But despite a major push — and one backed by a powerful family, at that — the jury’s still out on the fate of the stadium. Top House Democrats have refrained from making any statement committing to a stance for or against the measure this time around, even though the chamber voted in favor last term. Spokespeople for House Speaker Ron Mariano and House Ways and Means would only say that the chamber looks forward to reviewing the Senate’s final eco dev legislation once it’s passed.

Considering we’ve seen both chambers take a stance on the measure in recent years, the flip-flopping of positions reveals that reps and senators do not seem to be on the same page, or very communicative about the measure at all — at least publicly. That lack of open communication especially spurs questions about what factors are at play behind closed doors and what’s been the catalyst of such change. — Ella Adams

https://massterlist.com/2024/07/10/house-silence-on-the-everett-soccer-stadium-front-raises-questions/
 

TallerThanPedroia

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Each orange line train set has a capacity of about 1000 passengers fully loaded. They are at 8 min headways now, so that would mean it would take 4 hours to deliver 30k fans to the stadium if nobody on the orange line in one direction were going anywhere else. If we assume an equal number of fans heading in from the north and south, trains at absolute max capacity, and still nobody on the trains going anywhere else, we're looking at 2 hours to get all the fans near stadium. And then they'd all have to get moved from Sullivan or Assembly to the stadium, which would be an enormous pain in the ass as you note. There would be bus service as well, but that is going to be much lower capacity and only make a small difference as compared to the train numbers. And who would want to get to the stadium two hours early when there is nothing remotely close to it except an industrial area and a casino? Maybe they would hang out in Assembly, but that would still require building that pedestrian bridge and redoing the Assembly station. I think it just doesn't add up. There has to be parking, and a lot of it. And I don't know how you reconfigure Sullivan square to get that many fans from the T over to the stadium and handle all of the cars coming off the highway, because I work over at the Schraft center and have driven and taken the orange line there and it is a disaster for driving and walking, but you would have to.
Does NSRL help here? Let people from west and south ride to Chelsea station?

(pie in the sky I know)
 

Senator Donut

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I've also heard that the slope of the Mystic River bridge precludes the MBTA from adding an infill stop near the casino, even though the Newburyport/Rockport Line abuts the property.
 

Titans Bastard

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Each orange line train set has a capacity of about 1000 passengers fully loaded. They are at 8 min headways now, so that would mean it would take 4 hours to deliver 30k fans to the stadium if nobody on the orange line in one direction were going anywhere else. If we assume an equal number of fans heading in from the north and south, trains at absolute max capacity, and still nobody on the trains going anywhere else, we're looking at 2 hours to get all the fans near stadium. And then they'd all have to get moved from Sullivan or Assembly to the stadium, which would be an enormous pain in the ass as you note. There would be bus service as well, but that is going to be much lower capacity and only make a small difference as compared to the train numbers. And who would want to get to the stadium two hours early when there is nothing remotely close to it except an industrial area and a casino? Maybe they would hang out in Assembly, but that would still require building that pedestrian bridge and redoing the Assembly station. I think it just doesn't add up. There has to be parking, and a lot of it. And I don't know how you reconfigure Sullivan square to get that many fans from the T over to the stadium and handle all of the cars coming off the highway, because I work over at the Schraft center and have driven and taken the orange line there and it is a disaster for driving and walking, but you would have to.
It's not a completely straightforward transportation situation, but I'm a little more optimistic than this. If/when this stadium is ever built, the Orange Line will have greater capacity by the time it is built. The OL is already running 100% newly built trains and they are continuing to receive more deliveries. They will definitely have the capacity to run 5-6 min headways in advance of any stadium opening (possibly as low as 4.5 minute headways, if goals from the signal upgrade project are met). Also, the MOU between Everett and the Revs calls for a stadium of "approximately 25,000" rather than the 30k.

Given that most games will be held at off-peak times for retail, the Revs should be talking to Assembly Square, the Gateway Center, etc. There's the "East of Broadway" proposal that's in the pipeline, which is immediately next door to the stadium site and plans to build a 2,300+ space parking garage. This will also eliminate the "nothing but industry and casino" factor. This part of Everett is changing fast, and there are ways to gin up a solid chunk of parking capacity without much additional parking bundled specifically with the stadium.
 

shaggydog2000

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It's not a completely straightforward transportation situation, but I'm a little more optimistic than this. If/when this stadium is ever built, the Orange Line will have greater capacity by the time it is built. The OL is already running 100% newly built trains and they are continuing to receive more deliveries. They will definitely have the capacity to run 5-6 min headways in advance of any stadium opening (possibly as low as 4.5 minute headways, if goals from the signal upgrade project are met). Also, the MOU between Everett and the Revs calls for a stadium of "approximately 25,000" rather than the 30k.

Given that most games will be held at off-peak times for retail, the Revs should be talking to Assembly Square, the Gateway Center, etc. There's the "East of Broadway" proposal that's in the pipeline, which is immediately next door to the stadium site and plans to build a 2,300+ space parking garage. This will also eliminate the "nothing but industry and casino" factor. This part of Everett is changing fast, and there are ways to gin up a solid chunk of parking capacity without much additional parking bundled specifically with the stadium.
I would like a soccer specific stadium in the Boston area, and that location is probably as good as we're going to get. I don't live that far away from the area and it would be fun to be able to go down there to see a game, and maybe start caring about the local football club. But the no added parking or car traffic angle the stadium proposal pitched is a lie, there are going to be a lot of cars and added traffic, and parking will be needed. Fenway doesn't technically have any parking either. Relying on the MBTA is a tough angle too, we know their level of incompetence. If a stadium is built there, a lot of structural improvements will need to be made around it, and we know those don't happen quickly around Boston. But hopefully in 10-15 years the stadium will be there and the area will be built up and all of these details will be worked out. But I can't rule out a general cluster fuck situation in the short, medium, or long term. I would generally expect it in the short and medium term.
 

the1andonly3003

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Jul 15, 2005
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It's not a completely straightforward transportation situation, but I'm a little more optimistic than this. If/when this stadium is ever built, the Orange Line will have greater capacity by the time it is built. The OL is already running 100% newly built trains and they are continuing to receive more deliveries. They will definitely have the capacity to run 5-6 min headways in advance of any stadium opening (possibly as low as 4.5 minute headways, if goals from the signal upgrade project are met). Also, the MOU between Everett and the Revs calls for a stadium of "approximately 25,000" rather than the 30k.

Given that most games will be held at off-peak times for retail, the Revs should be talking to Assembly Square, the Gateway Center, etc. There's the "East of Broadway" proposal that's in the pipeline, which is immediately next door to the stadium site and plans to build a 2,300+ space parking garage. This will also eliminate the "nothing but industry and casino" factor. This part of Everett is changing fast, and there are ways to gin up a solid chunk of parking capacity without much additional parking bundled specifically with the stadium.
How did the Orange Line get the latest upgrades over the Red and Green?

At least Fenway has the Commuter Rail....