Study: Stadium “Critical” to Somerville Redevelopment
Posted by Mike Marshall on December 16, 2008
A study into the future development of the Inner Belt and Brickbottom districts of Somerville has concluded that a potential 20,000-seat soccer stadium for the New England Revolution would be a “critical” component of any redevelopment plan for the area.
Study authors Greenberg Consultants of Toronto and CBT Architects of Boston argue that a stadium or other “specialized program” is key to establishing a competitive edge for the area. Commissioned by the City of Somerville and funded in part by the Kraft Sports Group, the study calls for a $500 million development that includes a stadium which would be built on the air rights above a proposed Green Line Maintenance facility. The proposal also includes plans for 500,000 square feet of office space, additional hotel and retail space, and the construction of new public parks.
Currently available on the City of Somerville’s web site, the study also suggests the development would create 2,000 new jobs in one of the poorest sections of the city. The stadium would be built during the first phase of the project.
But most intriguing for Revolution fans are three proposed stadium sites within the Inner Belt district, including one site that the study refers to as being “preferred”.
The study gave special attention to the prospect of constructing a stadium on top of a new Green Line Maintenance facility. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation has already indicated that they wish to design the facility so that the air rights could be used for commercial development. In one design scenario, the floor of the stadium would be located 47′ above sea level, or some 30′ above the floor of the maintenance facility.
An added benefit of the scenario spelled out in the study would be a Green Line stop right outside the proposed stadium.
In making their pitch for an urban stadium, authors used examples such Fenway Park (mislabled as Wrigley Field in the document) San Diego’s Petco Park, Chicago’s Wrigley Field, and the unfinished London Olympic Village to describe their vision of a Somerville stadium.
Revolution officials have not yet responded to a request for comment.