The bid for a Major League Soccer stadium in Dorchester now boasts the approval of the governor of Massachusetts.
“The opportunity with respect to that could be really terrific,” Charlie Baker told the Boston Globe. “It could be great for all the kids who play soccer.”
Robert Kraft, owner of both the New England Patriots and New England Revolution, has been angling to build a soccer stadium in the Greater Boston area for more than 10 years. He currently has his sights set on the former Bayside Expo Center, which is owned by UMass Boston, and negotiations have been ongoing between Kraft and the university since at least October.
“There are a bunch of pretty significant open issues,” Baker told the Globe.
Mayor Marty Walsh, a Dorchester native, specifically pointed out the need for improved infrastructure in the area before any plans could be finalized. In particular, the infamous rotary at Kosciuszko Circle would reportedly need at least $120 million to fix.
“If there’s an opportunity for solutions to traffic, I think it would be a great fit,” Walsh told Boston.com in August. “I think there has to be a traffic solution there anyway, even with nothing there. … That circle is chaotic.”
Walsh, who is close with Kraft, has supported the Revolution’s move to Boston since the 2014 World Cup.
Boston is one of the few MLS markets without a stadium built specifically for soccer; the Revolution currently play alongside the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
“A facility like that could be used by kids and by UMass Boston and by the community at large,” Baker told the Globe. “If the rest of it could get worked out, I think it could be a plus.”
Though Boston has not been lauded recently for good judgement when it comes to large-scale sports-related plans, the support of both the mayor and the governor appears promising.