Is a Boston soccer stadium Kraft’s goooooaaaaaaallllll?
The New England Patriots have long been viewed as the NFL’s equivalent of the CIA with secrets held close to the vest and little useful information disseminated to the masses.
But while head coach Bill Belichick is often targeted as the key player in the information hoarding, he may be challenged by his boss, owner Robert Kraft. The Kraft family has said over the years they are looking to build a soccer stadium somewhere in Boston but concrete information has been hard to come by.
So you have to look elsewhere, as the Boston Business Journal did, to find anything of substance. Jorge Mas, a Miami businessman who co-owns the unnamed MLS franchise that will debut in the next year or two, made a pitch to the Miami Herald editorial board to back a new stadium near that city’s airport. Mas, whose partner includes British soccer star David Beckham, pointed to Kraft’s New England Revolution as the last team to have a new stadium. But he said that will be changing.
“One of the only franchises left to build a soccer-specific stadium is the New England Revolution, which is owned by Bob Kraft of the New England Patriots,” Mas told the editorial board. “They’re building a facility, I think, right near or next to, Boston Garden.”
“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, Walsh’s press secretary, told the BBJ in an email.
Give Mas a pass for not knowing the city’s geography, but it’s unlikely he’d be that far off about making note of a league partner’s plans for building a soccer stadium. Those types of intentions are often shared among league owners and officials. Kraft and his family did not return the BBJ’s calls for comment so Mas’s remarks are the ones we have to work with.
Widett Circle, a sort of no-man’s land just south of downtown between Southie and the South End, has been viewed as a potential landing spot for a number of transportation and sporting venues, most recently the lamented 2024 Summer Olympics. But there’s always been talk that Kraft would like to site his stadium there, though you won’t hear that talk from Kraft, who was burned by state and local politicians in the late-90s over a broken promise of building a football stadium in Boston.
The timing of it could work in Kraft’s favor as well. Boston is being eyed as one of the cities that could host qualifying games in the 2026 World Cup. A new soccer-specific stadium could go a long way toward securing that honor.
But the problem with Widett Circle is the same one that confronted the Olympics – access. To build a stadium would also require upgrading the transit system to the area, especially if you’re trying to accommodate World Cup crowds. So you can expect similar resistance from the #NoOlympics folks as well as those in the neighborhood who want other higher uses for the valuable plot. There’s also the Department of Transportation’s argument that the site is needed for off-peak train storage. And there’s a growing call to just rip it all up and remake it into open space.
Whatever the outcome is, though, don’t look toward Foxboro for information. Instead, keep an eye on Miami media. We’ll learn more.
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Sen. Cindy Friedman says it’s time to treat substance use disorder like the disease it is — with medication. (CommonWealth)
More than 200 immigrants suspected of being in the US illegally were arrested on state or local charges this year but released before federal authorities could take them into custody, according to a new report. The report by the Center for Immigration Studies says sanctuary policies played a role in many of the situations. (Salem News)
Subsiding flood waters in Worcester leave behind a mess. (Telegram & Gazette)
Rockland selectmen cannot fire the embattled Town Administrator caught up in a salacious sex scandal because the town charter requires the vote of four members of the five-member board. Deirdre Hall, at the center of the scandal, has resigned and Selectman Edward Kimball, who was also swept up in the tawdry affair because of an alleged relationship he had with Hall, would likely have to recuse himself, leaving just three selectmen to vote. (Patriot Ledger)
Construction of a large development including a hotel, apartments, and retail space on the south side of Salem finally gets underway. (Salem News)
Neighbors near a Framingham golf course where developers are planning to build a 129-unit age-restricted complex have filed suit against the city’s Planning Board for its decision to approve the project. (MetroWest Daily News)
Comings and goings: Athol Police Chief Russell Kleber was placed on leave, with town officials refusing to say why he is out or even whether he is being paid. (Telegram & Gazette) Former Boston schools chief Tommy Chang received one year’s salary ($267,383) for agreeing to leave two years before his contract was due to expire. (CommonWealth) Fred Mitchell Jr., the fire chief in Georgetown, received a $32,782, or 49 percent, raise. (Eagle-Tribune)
Boston received a $4.9 million grant to address youth homelessness issues. (Boston Globe)
Under withering pressure from all political sides, President Trump flip-flops on his statements about Russian interference in the 2016 election in Helsinki and chalks it up to using the word “would” when he meant to say “wouldn’t.” (Washington Post) A contorted Boston Herald editorial calls Trump’s performance at the Helsinki summit the worst day of his presidency but argues that his Russian policies “are the right ones and far stronger than those of his predecessors.”
Connecticut, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey filed a joint lawsuit alleging the federal government’s new $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions violates the Constitution. (Governing)
False rumors on the popular messaging platform WhatsApp have caused mobs to kill more than two dozen innocent people in India since April. (New York Times)
Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini is endorsing Dan Koh in the Democratic primary race in the Third Congressional District. (Eagle-Tribune)
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is hitting the campaign trail in Ohio, Indiana and other states Trump won to try to boost Democratic candidates. (Boston Globe)
A report from the Pioneer Institute and Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance says allowing more accessory or “in-law” apartments in communities can help address the regional housing shortage. (Boston Herald)
A review of Census and IRS data shows that when women earn more than their husbands, both downplay the disparity in reporting. (U.S. News & World Report)
Even as new hotels pop up across the state, the demand for rooms is exceeding the pace of what’s being built. (Wicked Local)
The European Union fined Google a record $5.1 billion for antitrust violations for forcing smartphone manufacturers who use its Android system to favor Google searches and its Chrome browser. (New York Times)
Federal officials and Boeing have reached a $3.9 billion deal for the plane-maker to build new jets to fly as Air Force One but the new color scheme remains up in the air. (Wall street Journal)
Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch has hired the former dean of DePaul University School of Health to become the first-ever provost at the beleaguered Quincy College at a salary of $240,000. (Patriot Ledger)
A study from the Mass. Budget and Policy Center says the state’s failure to revise its education funding formula is shortchanging school districts of $1 billion a year in funding. (Boston Globe)
Mental health patients in severe crises are spending days stuck in emergency room facilities as the state continues to deal with a shortage of treatment beds. (Boston Globe)
Matt Salmon, whose family owns five nursing homes, says the industry is on the verge of collapse and desperately needs state aid. (CommonWealth)
Environmental advocates are using a new report showing an increase in renewable energy in the state that has Massachusetts as number 1 in energy efficiency to push the South Coast region as a hub for the burgeoning industry. (Herald News)
Brewster officials have signed host agreements with three medical and retail marijuana facilities, moving the businesses one step closer to licenses. (Cape Cod Times)
Emanuel Lopes was arraigned and ordered held without bail in charges of killing Weymouth police officer Michael Chesna and resident Vera Adams. (Boston Globe)
The drug case involving the daughter of Worcester county judge that led to the retirement of several top State Police officials and put a spotlight on the Worcester district attorney ended yesterday as Ali Bibaud was granted a continuation without a finding and placed on probation. (Boston Herald)MEDIA
Jon Lester, now with the Chicago Cubs but formerly with the Red Sox, talks about whether the Boston media are more negative. (MassLive)