The Boston Globe reports that New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft is looking at the Bay State Expo Center as a home for his soccer team, the New England Revolution. The Expo Center was a convention center that went bankrupt and was foreclosed upon. The nearby University of Massachusetts Boston bought it in 2010 and has been sitting on it.
According to The Dorchester Reporter the facility is on 20 acres of land. Located on Dorchester’s Columbia Point penninsula across Dorchester Bay from South Boston, the Expo Center is surrounded by parking and is very close to the JFK/UMass Red Line station and a grocery store. At a North End density of 275 dwelling units per acre, there could be 5500 homes and busineses built there.
The Bay State Expo Center property, via Google Maps.
Adding some vitality and density to the area would improve it, as well as proving an opportunity to introduce traffic calming to Mount Verson Street and William T Morrisey Boulevard. According to The Globe, Corcorran Jemison, the company that owned the Expo Center, still controls a web of easements through the property and is fighting with UMass over a sign, which they want removed in order to build an apartment building.
Even though a soccer stadium would be much smaller than a football stadium or Frank McCourt’s infamous South Boston MegaSportsPlex, it would still mean a lot of parking and a lack of mixed uses. According to The Globe, traffic concerns will also result in opposition, with Rep. Stephen Lynch opposing the stadium idea already.
It remains to be seen whether Kraft will make an attempt to get the taxpayerts to foot his bills.