New England Revolution owner Jonathan Kraft said the franchise is “focused” on building a soccer-specific stadium in an urban setting, but he did not offer further details during a radio interview Wednesday with 98.5 The Sports Hub.
After speaking briefly about the Revs’ recent performances and soccer’s growth in the country, Kraft mentioned the attendance numbers at Major League Soccer games in Atlanta and Los Angeles, calling them “great sports cities with urban venues.”
“That’s really what the final step here in this market is for us,” Kraft said on the show. “And I know … we sound like a broken record, but we really have been working very diligently on it. And I think, in Mayor [Marty] Walsh now, we have a mayor of the city — his predecessor was really never interested in seeing this happen — I think Mayor Walsh is. And hopefully, this is something we can accomplish in his second term here. Then, I think people in the city will really get to experience [soccer].
“When Arthur Blank built this Atlanta stadium, he built it knowing he was going to have a soccer configuration and a football configuration. When we built Gillette … we probably didn’t do as much as we could or should have done relating to soccer. It’s been a long road and, for us, we really are focused on making that happen.
“I think when we have a soccer-specific venue, in a city like Boston — that’s both so sports crazy, but with the young, millennial population, who love and understand this game — I think you’re going to see the energy and excitement level rival any of the other cities in this country where soccer has been totally embraced in the mainstream sports culture.”
Officials representing both Boston Mayor Walsh and the city’s zoning board said there is no proposal before the city to build a stadium at this time.
“Mayor Walsh has always said that he’s interested in building a soccer stadium in Boston, however there is currently no proposal before the city,” Samantha Ormsby, Press Secretary for Mayor Walsh, said Tuesday.
When the hosts of the radio show asked Kraft specifically, “What’s next? People want that venue, Jonathan,” he responded: “Like I said, Mayor Walsh, I believe, really wants it. I know people think it’s just talk when we say that and we don’t get into details. We’ll get into details when we have something to announce. People aren’t interested in hearing anything other than we are working on it and then when we have something substantive to talk about, we will.”
Before closing the show, Kraft added, “More and more people talk to me about the Revolution, and that’s exciting, too, and we will get the stadium done.”