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New England Revolution

FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 20: A general view of the empty stadium before a gem between the New England Revolution and the Philadelphia Union at Gillette Stadium on August 20, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

The New England Revolution are on the rise.

And even though this year’s seemingly improbable deep playoff run came to a screeching halt with Sunday’s 1-0 loss Eastern Conference Final loss to Columbus, the team’s ownership group, led by Robert and Jonathan Kraft, feels optimistic about their future.

There is one thing that lingers over the Revs, though, and that’s a soccer-specific stadium. Much closer to the Boston-area than their current Foxborough home, too. And The Kraft’s know it.

“Eventually we’d like to invest the team up in the Boston area in a new stadium,” Robert Kraft told The Boston Globe.

It’s a move that’s long overdue.

In fact, the Revs are the only MLS original still playing in their original location. (It’s worth noting that Foxboro Stadium was demolished for Gillette Stadium early into the 2000s, meaning the Revolution never really left.) They’re also one of just two MLS originals still playing in a too-big-for-them NFL stadium (the Chicago Fire moved back to Soldier Field this past season). Elsewhere, the New York Red Bulls left Giants Stadium for 25,000-seat Red Bull Arena in New Jersey a decade ago. Sporting Kansas City moved out of Arrowhead Stadium for an 18,000-seat soccer arena the following year, and the Colorado Rapids moved out of Mile High Stadium almost 15 years ago.

No matter the attempts or their record in the standings, playing quarter-full games at the 68,000-capacity monstrosity in Foxborough fails to give the Revolution the intimate atmosphere that could make their home games the envy of the league.

“Our current situation in Foxborough is not aligned with the massive growth in the league driven by urban soccer stadiums,” Kraft admitted. “What we’ve seen is many of these MLS teams in these cities are now more popular than the traditional big four sports.”

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – NOVEMBER 29: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft looks on with President Jonathan Kraft before the game between the Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals at Gillette Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

But the Revolution ownership has talked about this before. And we’ve heard rumors of their move away from Foxborough before. There’s been a multi-year rumor that the team is going to build a stadium in Somerville. That’s yet to happen. There was also the 2019 report that said that the team was set to secure a Boston-area location for a new stadium. It’s been crickets since. In other words, we’re well beyond hearing the next rumor. It’s time for shovels in the ground.

Jonathan Kraft is aware of this still-unfulfilled goal, and refused to run from their handling of it.

“We want to build the stadium,” Jonathan Kraft said. “We don’t like failing and we clearly failed at doing that.”

But perhaps a deep run, even if it came up short, and a promising future can be the thing that pushes the Kraft’s plans forward.