New England Soccer Today

5 Unique Event Homes for the Revs

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

On Friday, the Revolution’s home grounds looked drastically different as Gillette Stadium was transformed into a 68,000-seat outdoor hockey rink to accommodate the NHL’s annual New Year’s Day Winter Classic.

With the Bruins and Canadiens skating over a sheet of ice that covered where the likes of Lee Nguyen and Diego Fagundez typically roam, we asked ourselves: Which alternate venues would we like to see the Revolution temporarily set up shop?

Here are five locales we thought of, with the only caveat that they had to be places the Revolution had never hosted a game before, just as Friday’s outdoor game was the first time in Foxboro for the Bruins. So while we enjoyed seeing the local XI at Harvard, Brown and even Lusitano Stadium back in the day, those sites were stricken from consideration.

1. Fenway Park. This idea’s been bantered about and discussed many times over ever since Celtic and Sporting CP kicked it around in the shadow of the Green Monster for the inaugural Football at Fenway event in 2010. Since then, Liverpool and Roma have played there twice, and each time, the place was packed with supporters from both sides. Yes, the Revolution don’t have the same kind of fanbases as those of Liverpool, Roma, Celtic, or even Sporting, but with the right kind of promotion, you could probably draw 25,000-30,000 supporters into the 37,000 seat stadium.

2. Boston Common. Admittedly, this would be a logistical nightmare. The city’s expansive park doesn’t feature any stands, nor does it have a proper soccer pitch, so those are two huge obstacles. Another thing: the parking, or lack thereof, surrounding the area. But hosting a match at the Common would be a unique tip of the cap to American soccer history, as the first soccer game ever played in the U.S. took place in 1862 at the very spot where, today, hundreds of people congregate for picnics, ultimate frisbee and other kinds of pickup games.

3. McCoy Stadium. Currently home of the minor league Pawtucket Red Sox, the venerable stadium has actually hosted soccer in the past. In fact, it served as one of the first places Pele ever played soccer in the U.S. Back in 1968, Pele’s Santos side faced the Boston Astros for an exhibition at McCoy, and at a time in which the stadium had generally fallen into disrepair. Today, the ballpark, which underwent extensive renovations in 1999, boasts many modern amenities, and can seat up to 10,000, with plenty of more space on the field level.

4. Nickerson Field. Boston University’s soccer field once served as home to both the Boston Minutemen and the New England Tea Men during the 1970’s, so hosting a Revolution match wouldn’t be its first rodeo. The stadium is essentially right in the Hub, and similar to Jordan Field (formerly Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium), it has a wonderful intimate atmosphere that could still bring in up to 11,000 fans.

5. Mark’s Stadium. Much like Boston Common, it would require an extensive amount of work to get the site of where the Fall River Marksmen built their reputation as a national power during the 1920s to resemble a place where pro soccer can settle in for a night. For starters, the field itself is overgrown after years of neglect. Then, there’s the absence of any seating to speak of. Lastly, because the field is tucked into a residential neighborhood, event organizers would need to hire some of the best police detail in the business just to keep the traffic situation orderly. But to see such a historic site spring back to life after decades of darkness would certainly be worth it for local soccer fans.

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