SBD/March 29, 2011/Facilities

Revolution, MLS Remain Committed To Soccer-Specific Stadium Near Boston

Revolution looking to build a soccer-specific stadium closer to Boston
MLS Revolution co-Owner Jonathan Kraft and MLS Commissioner Don Garber yesterday said that the club intends "to be playing in a soccer-specific stadium, and Major League Soccer is committed to helping them make the move," according to Frank Dell'Apa of the BOSTON GLOBE. The "hangup, though, involves finding a suitable venue, preferably in Boston." Kraft said, "We believe if we’re going to build one of these, then it should probably be closer to the urban center and public transportation. We’ve looked at a number of locations that could make sense but haven’t yet been able to get anything finalized." The "focus on finding the properly scaled facility for the Revolution has increased as other MLS teams attract attention and fill medium-sized stadiums in cities from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest to Ontario." Garber: "Our stadiums are a lot less expensive than larger stadiums but this would be an expensive proposition. We’ve got to find a way to drive more commercial revenue into the team so we can marshal some of that support to funding the package, coupled with getting a local municipality believing in it enough that they would work with us on some public support. ... I don’t think anybody questions that this is a fantastic soccer market. The question is how to bottle all that up, harness all that passion and convert that passion into support for the Revolution." Dell'Apa notes the Revolution and DC United are the "only MLS teams that have played under their orginal names and in the same location" since the league started in '96 (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/29).

KICKING IN: In Atlanta, Douglas Sams reports Brazilian soccer team Cruzeiro Esporte Clube "wants to build a $30 million youth soccer complex" in Alpharetta, Ga., and its leaders "say they have deep-pocketed investors to pull it off." Cruzeiro "might also consider introducing a Major League Soccer team to Atlanta, though that part of the plan is not as far along." One site under consideration for the youth complex is developer Stan Thomas' "stalled Prospect Park at Georgia 400 and Old Milton Parkway." The soccer complex "could cover 100 acres and contain up to 18 fields." Cruzeiro President Zezé Perrella said that "expanding its youth soccer program into Georgia is part of the club’s broader effort to build its name in the United States" (ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE, 3/25 issue).
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