Remember last spring when it was announced that Bob Kraft and the New England Revolution were in negotiations to potentially build a new stadium at the old Bay Side Expo. Don’t know where the old Bay Side Expo is? Well, it’s behind the State Police Barracks near Day Blvd. near the circle of hell that is know as Kosciuszko Circle.
Some residents went bananas over the thought of a 25,000 person stadium right in the middle of two neighborhoods in an extremely congested area. We’re all familiar with the gridlocked nightmare at the rotary, right?
Then the subject was eerily quiet. Nothing. Until this week.
On Wednesday, Shirley Leung wrote a column in the Boston Globe about the fact that the deal may be be dead in the water. It seems that the Teacher’s Union is holding out for more money for the property – $17.5 million in cash plus costs of relocating and rebuilding their union hall – so a cool $30 million – and Kraft ain’t having it. It seems like it was so close to being a done deal with proponents like Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh and UMASS president Marty Meehan pushing for it.
This made us scratch our heads and say – was there any public process for this giant undertaking? We know there were a lot of people opposed to the idea of a soccer stadium, so were the concerns falling upon deaf ears while negations continued. Well, Representative Nick Collins must be wondering the same thing. He released the following statement:
“The Bayside Expo Center property is the gateway to Dorchester and is pivotal toward the vitality of Columbia Point and the city as a whole. A thorough community review involving all stakeholders is necessary to ensure that this valuable public asset is developed responsibly to maximize economic and social benefits. We have one shot to get this right and we need to have an open, public process that considers what’s best for UMass, the neighbors and area businesses and the city of Boston. I stand with my fellow elected leaders in calling for transparency and thoughtful planning as we consider next steps.”
What do you think, Southie?