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? Well, it looks like deal is dead in the water. According to the Dorchester Reporter, State Rep. Nick Collins said negotiations between UMass and Kraft have officially ceased.
A few months ago it was revealed that there was some back room shenanigans going on. Shirley Leung wrote a column in the Boston Globe about the fact that the deal was in jeopardy because the Teacher’s Union was 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 was less than pleased. If it weren’t for the Teacher’s Union, it could have been a done deal! Proponents for the stadium included Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh and UMASS president Marty Meehan.
Some of our elected officials were not happy with the whole process. According to the Bay State Banner, Senator Linda Dorcena Forry released a harshly worded statement about the “back room deal.”
State Representative Nick Collins also asked for transparency. “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.”
So now it’s official. The soccer stadium will not be at the UMass location. Phew.