Jonathan Kraft Working On Getting Soccer-Specific Stadium For Revolution
Revolution President Jonathan Kraft on Thursday said the team needs a "soccer-specific stadium," and added he has been working on getting one "probably for the last 12 years." Kraft, appearing on Boston's WBZ-FM's "Felger & Mazz," said former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino did not view a stadium "as a priority." Kraft: "So we banged our head against the wall for a while, even though we were willing to do a lot of things that I think would have been compelling." But Kraft said current Boston Mayor Martin Walsh "has a real interest in it and it's something that we're working hard on achieving." When asked if a deal to build a stadium was close, Kraft said the team is "making progress on a number of fronts," but there "aren't tracks of land just sitting there." Meanwhile, Kraft said of a Boston magazine story being critical of the Kraft family's ownership of the Revolution and his not being quoted in the story, "When reporters call your office a day or two before they tell your PR people that they’re publishing a 3,000 or 6,000-word piece on your ownership of the Revolution and they’ve been working on it for months … it didn’t matter what we had to say" ("Felger & Mazz," WBZ-FM, 6/12).
THIS & THAT: Kraft was a speaker Thursday at BostInno's State of Innovation forum in Boston, and while not answering questions directly regarding Colts Owner Jim Irsay's potential punishment from the NFL, said, “If you don’t carry yourself in a way and represent your business in a way that the public as a whole would deem as appropriate, there are going to be issues that affect your fellow partners. And that’s where I think these commissioners really do have a responsibility to make sure that the collective good is being maintained.” Kraft said that he "doesn’t see the NFL adding an expansion team any time soon." Kraft: “The math, the symmetry of (32 teams), it feels right." But Kraft added that he "wouldn’t be surprised if a team eventually moved" to L.A. or London. Kraft: "It feels to us like there is a real appetite for the NFL product in the UK. And I think if the right situation existed for a team to move there and they couldn’t make it work in their market, I think you could see that happen.” In Boston, Ben Volin noted Kraft also spoke of initiatives to improve the gameday experience, as the Patriots are "adding three club/lounge/sports bar-type hangouts at Gillette Stadium starting next season to allow fans to watch the game in a more casual environment." Kraft: "I believe we will get to the point where each game we will mic up about a half-dozen players from each team and the audio streams from each player unfiltered will come to you only in the stadium" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/14).