SBD/October 1, 2012/Facilities

Greyhound Race Track May Become Site For New MLS Revolution Stadium

Revere, Mass., Mayor Dan Rizzo “will try to acquire” the Wonderland Greyhound Park property in his casino negotiations with nearby Suffolk Downs racetrack “as the first piece of an ambitious plan to bring" the MLS Revolution to the town, according to Mark Arsenault of the BOSTON GLOBE. Rizzo is “negotiating mitigation payments with Suffolk Downs over plans to build” a $1B gambling resort at the thoroughbred track, which "straddles the city line” between East Boston and Revere. As mayor of one of the host cities, Rizzo has “tremendous leverage under state law to demand compensation from Suffolk Downs for accepting casino gambling in the community.” Suffolk Downs and city records show that the partnership that owns Suffolk Downs “also controls Wonderland, a 34-acre parcel entirely in Revere" and assessed at about $10.8M. Revolution Owner Robert Kraft has been “looking for several years for an urban location to build a new soccer-specific stadium, with the intention of moving the Revolution from cavernous Gillette Stadium in suburban Foxborough.” Kraft “explored building in Somerville as recently” as ‘10. The team has talked with Rizzo “about building at Wonderland if the city gets control of the land.” Team officials “believe they could draw 20,000 a game in an urban area,” and Revere “fits the bill as a densely populated community close to Boston, with the added attraction of a large number of immigrants from soccer-crazed Latin America and Brazil” (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/1).
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