Talks cease for Kraft soccer stadium at Bayside Expo Center site

April 29, 2017 GMT

Talks between UMass Boston and the Kraft Group to build a soccer stadium for the New England Revolution at South Boston’s Bayside Expo Center have ended.

State Rep. Nick Collins (D-South Boston) said he spoke with University of Massachusetts officials yesterday who said they would now turn to the community to help determined what to do with the site.

“A high level official inside the UMass systems president’s office called to confirm there were no more conversations that were going on with Kraft around the soccer stadium, that it was officially over, and we’d be talking in the coming weeks and months about the best use of that site,” Collins said.

If the deal had gone through, the stadium would have been built at the site of the Bayside Expo Center.

UMass bought the land for $18.7 million in 2010. In June of last year Robert Kraft and the school were in talks to build a stadium for the New England Revolution, his soccer team, there.

The Revolution now play at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, home of the New England Patriots. Kraft has been on the hunt for a destination to build a soccer-specific stadium to house the Revolution closer to its urban fan base.

A stadium for the Revolution would most likely be smaller than Gillette and would accommodate other events in the offseason.

Politicians balked at the idea, concerned about the traffic it would bring to an already congested area of the city.

Kraft spokesman Stacey James declined to comment on word the deal fell through. Collins said he is looking forward to finding a new use for the space. A UMass spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I want to turn our focus toward maximizing the benefits of this unique waterfront property in our neighborhood. It has great potential and we need to get it right,” Collins said.

“We want to ensure that Dorchester residents are brought to the table to help decide what is the best use of the land for the community, the students and faculty.”