Jermaine Jones signed and gave the New England Revolution something they were missing, a marquee name that resonated with American Soccer supporters. Now, reports are coming in from every direction about how Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Revolution, is searching for a location to build a New England stadium; a soccer-specific stadium within the Boston City Limits. This would be the best thing that has ever happened to the Revolution as a franchise, even bigger than the signing of Jones.
A new stadium in Boston would provide the Revolution, and their supporters, to create the atmosphere normally associated with MLS clubs. The spacious Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, which is roughly 30 miles outside of Boston, is a destination for football fans. It was not designed to house a professional soccer team, and that shows as the stadium is never close to full. Even during the Eastern Conference Final, plenty of good seats were still available. The New England Revolution is not a destination team, at least not in Foxborough. Put a New England stadium to Boston and that will change drastically.
Robert Kraft is a shrewd businessman, so this is not something that hasn’t been discussed or even worked on behind closed doors. The Kraft family understands the need to move Revolution into the city to be more profitable and appealing to a growing fan base. With the discussions of Eastern Conference rival DC United potentially moving into a new stadium by 2017, it adds a little more pressure to get New England in their own home.
In its infancy, MLS utilized football stadiums to play their games. That process has changed tremendously within the last 18 years with the construction of smaller, more intimate stadiums that are “soccer specific”. As of today, there are only 3 teams in the MLS that utilize football stadiums: DC United (RFK Memorial Stadium), New England Revolution (Gillette Stadium), and the Seattle Sounders (Century Link Field). Expansion teams, like NYCFC, will use temporary homes (Yankee Stadium) while the process to find land, design, and build the new stadiums is completed. The days of using a football stadium for convenience are gone.; it’s time to make an investment in the growth of the franchise and put MLS teams in a home of their own, not someone else’s.
Along with a new stadium, it’s time for a logo upgrade to step away from the flag with a soccer ball attached to it. There are thousands of designs online that would work better than what they currently use. When the move to Boston happens, a new logo should be a part of that re-brand.
However, the team should not abandon the “New England” tag in the name. This is still New England’s team, no matter where the stadium is located. It is likely to be the only team that region will have, so it needs to encompass all of it. There is a pride issue to maintain, of course.
While moving into the new luxurious Boston real estate, let’s fix that logo, Mr. Kraft. Thank you for reading.
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