Buzz about the possibility of the New England Revolution building a stadium at the Wonderland dog track in Revere is gaining steam, and apparently even gaining a foothold in local mainstream media. Fox 25 anchor Shannon Mulaire interviewed Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo on Tuesday morning about the speculated move, and for once, it wasn't incidental to the conversation. It was the focus of the interview!
Both parties come off looking good here. Mulaire demonstrated a more than passing knowledge of the organization, the team, and their goals, which shouldn't be too surprising considering her avowed interest in soccer (check her twitter bio). Rizzo, for his part, didn't just make platitudes and generalities about soccer. He knows who the Revs are, he knows about their problems, and he knows the demographics of his community and the surrounding municipalities.
Oh, and best quote of the entire interview? Rizzo, with: "I view Revere as soccer central."
Biggest takeaway here is that Rizzo seems passionate about this idea. The rest of the media might be talking this up as a sort of tag-along issue with the mooted Suffolk Downs casino project, but Rizzo has done a great job in print interviews and here of showing us that he feels very strongly about bringing the Revs to Revere. He isn't saying stuff like "this is just one of many options" or something like that; this might be one of his many options, but it certainly seems as though it's his most favored option.
Obviously, Rizzo doesn't get the final say. The company that owns Suffolk Downs (and the dog track) apparently haven't even been contacted about use of the Wonderland property yet, and there's still the town council to deal with. Complaints seem mostly focused on possibly traffic increases; Rizzo, for his part, subscribes to the same opinion I do, which is that the traffic increase would be intermittent at best.
I will say, though, that Rizzo's response to Mulaire's question about Bob Kraft is telling. He stumbled a bit, as if searching for what to say. If I had to guess, and this is only a guess, he fumbled like that because Bob Kraft hasn't said a word to him yet, or at least not a meaningful one. Rizzo has probably dealt almost exclusively with Brian Bilello at this point, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but for us Revolution fans who question Kraft's dedication to the team (so, you know, all of us and fans of MLS everywhere), it's another example of what we perceive to be ownership indifference.
Finally, I want to say this. Obviously talks are in a preliminary stage, and there's still a long way to go before we can start salivating about this happening. But let me ask you this: did the Revs' interest in the Somerville site get anywhere near this much play two years ago?
That's got to count for something.