New England Soccer Today

USOC Backs Boston for 2024 Games; Good for Revs?


In a development that could impact the future of a soccer specific stadium for the New England Revolution, the U.S. Olympic Committee tapped Boston as its bid city for the 2024 Summer Games on Thursday.

“Today’s selection by the USOC is the beginning of an incredible opportunity for Boston,” said the city’s bid chairman, John Fish, who will be part of a celebratory news conference Friday with the USOC leadership.

The Commonwealth capital was a surprise winner considering that competing bids from San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. were all in play prior to Thursday’s announcement. To date, the only other city with an official bid in place is Rome. Bids are expected from Germany, France and Hungary.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will award the 2024 Games in 2017. The last time the U.S. hosted the Summer Games was in 1996, when Atlanta, a surprise winner itself, welcomed the global sports community to the city.

So what does this mean for the Revolution? Here’s what we know so far:

-The latest development in the stadium saga came in November, when the Boston Globe reported that a parcel of land on Frontage Road in South Boston was being eyed as a potential location for a Revolution stadium. The interesting thing about the site – which is currently owned by the city – is that it is directly adjacent to another site being targeted by the Boston organizing committee for a soccer stadium as part of its bid.

-However, Boston’s bid package details that its proposed Olympic soccer stadium – which would seat approximately 40,000 – could be downsized to become the permanent home for a soccer team (presumably the Revolution). It’s worth noting that Revolution owner/operator Robert Kraft is part of the Boston’s Olympic organizing committee.

-According to the aforementioned Globe report, an unnamed source detailed that Kraft Sports Group would like to have a stadium in place within five years. The fact that the IOC will award the 2024 Games in two years could mean that if Boston prevails, the plans for a Revolution stadium could be fast-tracked at that juncture.

– In November, Revolution owner/operator Jonathan Kraft said the organization “will stay quiet until we have something.” So any official comment from the Revolution regarding what a winning Boston bid would mean for the team’s stadium prospects is unlikely.

-Of course, if a potential Revolution stadium is indeed tied to the Olympic bid, the biggest hurdle is the IOC’s vote in 2017. And by no means is Boston the favorite to win. In addition to Rome, either Hamburg or Berlin will submit its bid for Germany, while France and Hungary are also working on bids. Given Boston’s stature compared to its European rivals, the possibility exists that their bid could be overlooked by “sexier” destinations.

-Based on a report in November, the previously-rumored Wonderland Greyhound Park location is Revere is no longer under consideration. Nor is Somerville, it appears, after a request for comment on the city’s effort’s to build a Revolution stadium was not returned.

-In short, if Boston does get the 2024 Games, it’s a virtual certainty the Revolution will be calling the city its home within 10 years.

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