A new report from Shirley Leung details the current problem with the negotiations. We’ve detailed previous reporting from Leung here, but the long story short is the Krafts want to build a stadium on the Bayside Expo/Mall site which is jointly owned by UMass Boston and the Boston Teachers Union. The idea would be to lease the bulk of the site from the school and relocate the Union to a new and improved office site.
Except this is where the snag comes in. The BTU wants the Krafts to fit the bill for their relocation and new facility (at least $13 million) and are asking $17.5 million to sell the land. That’s a total sale package of over $30 million and that doesn’t include whatever the lease and stadium construction costs are for Kraft. UMass Boston purchased the entire 20-acre parcel at Bayside for $18.7 million and as Leung points out, there’s no way two acres costs the same as twenty in the Boston real estate market.
This article has a very heavy pro-Revs slant, but it’s not with out good reason. Aside from the building the stadium itself, the city and state would have to invest in other infrastructure upgrades to The T and the notorious Kosciuszko Circle among other things. UMass Boston would use the money generated from the lease to continue to upgrade their facilities and for the most part everyone seems to be on the same page in negotiations.
Except the Union and their president, Richard Stutman, who does have some leverage in this situation. The Krafts need to purchase his site, but they seemingly won’t do it for an unreasonable amount of money and the union risks getting nothing at all for a site Leung says they’re trying to replace anyway.
We’ve been down this road before...
R̶o̶x̶b̶u̶r̶y̶— Rob McDougall (@RobMcDoogie) January 11, 2017
U̶M̶a̶s̶s̶ ̶B̶o̶s̶t̶o̶n̶ https://t.co/ClnHxqgsuR
thank you Rob, ...but until the BTU lowers their offer or the Krafts decide to overpay by what seems to be a lot, there’s not a whole lot more to add to this situation. The Krafts and Revs have had many stadium deals in discussion but this one seemed to be further along, despite the numerous moving parts and infrastructure needed, and seemed very realistic and beneficial to all parties involved.
It’s easy to say that the Krafts should just start writing blank checks, but that’s not their style, not even with the NFL Patriots. But at the same time Revs fans have heard ownership and MLS Commissioner Don Garber say for a decade that the team is committed to building an SSS in or around downtown Boston.
It also seems completely unfair in my opinion to lay sole blame for the lack of a Revs SSS at the feet of Stutman and the BTU. Do I think they’re being slightly unreasonable? Sure, but it’s their site and they’re free to ask whatever they want to sell it just as the Krafts are free to not accept the deal.
Soccer fans will surely hope that negotiations can restart and the Revolution can move out of Gillette Stadium and into their own home as soon as possible. Until then, we continue to wait, but I think we stopped holding our collective breaths years ago.