RI wants New England Revolution to move in
By: Alexandra Cowley
Team USA may be out of the World Cup games, but team Rhode Island is pushing for a soccer win of their own. The New England Revolution is in the market to build a new stadium and a few Rhode Island leaders have already been in contact with the team about why they should consider the ocean state.
The New England Revolution soccer team has always played at Gillette Stadium under Patriots owner Robert Kraft. But it’s hard to fill all the seats, so they’re looking to downsize. A smaller venue, guaranteed to swell with dedicated fans.
“We’re hopeful they come here or someplace in Rhode Island,” Jim Bennett is director of economic development for Providence. He’s been in talks with the Revolution about the team considering the ocean state.
Bennett said, “They do, absolutely do have to build a new stadium. 15,000 people in a 60,000 seat arena doesn’t look good for television and they just got a major television contract. Most of the buildings and sites throughout the country are in that 20 to 25 thousand footprint and it’s become a great sport and a great attraction for the young urban person.”
Central falls mayor James Diossa says they have a perfect spot for a soccer stadium. The land where the old Paramount Greeting Card buildings still stand.
“There is a lot of potential here, the people are here, it’s close, so I think it would be a great spot,” said Diossa.
Diossa says he’s already spoke with Revolution’s president.
“He was very receptive and interested in maybe having another conversation,” he explained.
The New England Revolution in Rhode Island would be a huge economic boost for our restaurants, hotels, and airport. Bennett says our big competition is Boston, but we may have a leg up. He says we can build a stadium faster and cheaper.
“I still think they’re looking at other areas, but if I can get them down to Federal Hill to get a bite to eat I think we have good shot,” laughed Bennett.
The New England Revolution would not comment on where they’re looking to build the stadium. The next step for Rhode Island will be getting a proposal together.
(C) WLNE-TV 2014