The recent news that Suffolk Downs will close is bad for Revere as it will be the second race track in the city to shut down in the last five years. It could, however, be good news for New England Revolution fans.
On Tuesday, the state gambling commissioners neglected the proposal for a Mohegan Sun casino on the Suffolk Downs grounds in favor of one in Everett. The vote was quickly followed by word from Suffolk Downs officials that the track would fold.
Mayor Dan Rizzo addressed the situation on Tuesday by claiming that the closing would be a "major loss to my city." Rizzo went on to say that he’s committed to helping "create some sort of meaningful development there that will not only generate revenue for the city, but put people to work."
Could Suffolk Down property, which is accessible by the Blue Line, be developed into the Revolution’s new home?
When asked about any conversations that he has had with Revolution investor/operator Robert Kraft about building a soccer specific stadium Rizzo said, "We’ve had conversations in the past, but that’s privately owned land and if those discussions were to reinstitute itself then I’d certainly participate in those conversations."
Revolution president Brian Bilello spoke about Revere being a potential stadium location in 2012 when talked to the Boston Globe. Bilello said, "We are in discussions with the City of Revere, which offers the proximity to urban centers and access to transit that we are seeking for a future Revolution stadium, but talks are preliminary at this stage."
In the same article, Rizzo is quoted as saying that he would "love to see a full-blown professional soccer team here."
Talk of a permanent home for the Revolution has amped up recently, largely because of the excitement that revolved around the World Cup. Officials in Providence, RI and Boston, MA made public statements this summer expressing interest in having a soccer stadium in their city.
Revolution owner Jonathan Kraft also spoke of building a soccer stadium this summer, saying "we need a soccer-specific stadium."
With public statements from the Revolution ownership as well as a few potential suitors, it will be interesting to see what materializes.