Never good enough. That is the echoing refrain. No matter what the New England Revolution, their front office, Brian Biello, or Robert and Jonathan Kraft do, it is never good enough. The current stadium talk is being billed as just not good enough by many critics of the Revs.
Honestly, the Revolution deserve a lot of the criticism they receive. They are behind the times in several different categories, both measurable and immeasurable. Due to this, whether it be on the MLS website's fan comment sections, Twitter, the Bent Musket, or any other number of Revs's blog/sites people tend to jump to the negative immediately. Perhaps it is this Pavlov Dog-like response to Revolution news that has so many people slamming the organization for even considering Revere as a soccer-specific stadium location.
Let me be perfectly candid and straightforward here, I hate Revere. There are a variety of reasons why I dislike that city that have nothing to do with a possible soccer-specific stadium. I do not think the arguments about it being a bit desolate are unreasonable or unjustified. I do, however, find it absurd that the Revolution - or more likely than not MLS scapegoat extraordinaire Robert Kraft - are rushing into the first deal that has come along. But when looking at the actual facts, Revere is not as awful as some people are billing it to be.
Chester, PA, home of the Philadelphia Union's PPL Park, is about 18 miles from downtown Philadelphia and is not on a SEPTA subway line. Bridgeview, IL, home of the Chicago Fire's Toyota Park, is approximately 15 miles from downtown Chicago and nowhere near a CTA subway line. This, of course, does not even get into the locations of Frisco, TX and Harrison, NJ. Meanwhile, Revere, MA, one of two proposed locations for a New England SSS, is on an already existing MBTA subway line and is seven miles from downtown Boston.
You know what else is seven miles from downtown Boston? Boston College. Harvard University is five. Davis Square is six.
Yet, somehow many people are looking at Revere as a ludicrously silly option for the Revolution. Way too far from Boston proper. In actuality, Revere shares a border with Boston. Sure, there is nothing sexy about Revere, or Lynn for that matter, but there is work being done in and around the Wonderland T Station. The MBTA is working on renovating Wonderland into a Transit Oriented Development. There are plans to build up that entire area. There is a complaint that the end of any subway line is terrible. Right now, there is work being done to extend the Blue Line three more stops into Lynn and onto Salem.
You know what other locations used to be the end of MBTA subway lines? Harvard Square. You know what else? Davis Square. Both of those areas are "trendy" and "hip" and filled with that young demographic MLS loves.
Granted, as of this very second, I will admit that Assembly Square in Somerville would be a much sexier location. There is a lot of work being done on that location. On top of a lot of stores already being up and running, an Orange Line stop should be up and running by 2014, and there is very easy access to a highway - something that Revere clearly lacks.
Then there are those who are now having difficulty saying Revere without adding the modifier "way out in" before it. I spent a good portion of my childhood in Dorchester - a neighborhood in Boston. In the summer, when I was not in school and wanted to go to the beach, I never headed to Wollaston, though it was in actuality much closer. I jumped on the MBTA and headed up to Revere Beach. Despite its utter tackiness, it is a destination that a lot of Bostonians without cars who can't get up to Cape Ann or Cape Cod head to in the summer.
And aren't young urbanites without cars the demographics the Revs are looking for in a move to either Revere or Somerville? Honestly, would anyone travel to the Fenway, outside of hospital visits, if Fenway Park wasn't there? The location of the Garden works because of its proximity to North Station and the North End. Revere doesn't have those amenities, but people are still heading there anyway - even if they will not admit it.
But everyone who is saying that the Revolution are just picking a location because it is available and there is nothing positive about it are being negative for negativity's sake. If there is a clear choice between Assembly Square and Wonderland, I would go with Assembly Square; but, let us remember that prior to the Wonderland talk, Somerville had been silent about the Revs for nearly three years.
Listen, I loathe Revere. I really do. Still, it's just not as bad people are claiming it is. You know another location I used to hate? Somerville, or as it was formerly and pejoratively known: Slumaville. It, too, used to be a terrible, slum-riddenwasteland of nothingness. But now it is not. Maybe the Revs can help Revere do the same. Maybe Revere can simultaneously do the same for the Revs.
Regardless, this is still just a story, a dream, an idea and nothing more. In all likelihood, nothing will come from this. Then we can really complain about the Revolution front office on some real grounds, because right now the complaints about them actually doing something seem ridiculous.
And lastly, damn all you people for making me defend Revere, because until there is a SSS there, I will still despise it.