Photo courtesy of city of Everett

The team looking to bring a soccer stadium to Everett’s waterfront appears to have a new center forward who could help them score a win: Gov. Maura Healey.

The proposal for the 25,000-seat stadium ran into trouble at the State House last year. Language meant to speed the project along was added into the Senate version of a closeout budget bill, but it was dropped from the final version of the bill, as the House’s lead negotiator, Boston Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, said there were “unanswered questions” about the environmental impact, and acknowledged concerns from the owners of nearby TD Garden about potential competition from the stadium.

“Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll support a soccer stadium in Everett that would deliver an important economic development opportunity for the region and state,” Karissa Hand, an administration spokesperson, said in a Thursday email to CommonWealth Beacon.

The statement does not go into detail on whether Healey backs speeding the project along through legislation that makes a zoning change.

The Kraft Group, which owns the New England Revolution soccer team and the New England Patriots, is seeking to build the stadium on a 43-acre parcel that’s along the Mystic River and across from the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown. The polluted site is home to a defunct power plant.

“We look forward to discussion with legislative and community members to ensure that this property is cleaned up, advances environmental justice, and is put to the best use for the community,” Hand said.

Healey’s administration, in addition to working on the annual state spending plan, is also planning to soon put out an economic development package. That could include language on the soccer stadium.

Sen. Sal DiDomenico, who represents Everett and has been a key proponent of the stadium project, calling it an “economic catalyst,” recently filed his own bill after the setback in last year’s closeout budget bill. The DiDomenico bill does not yet have a hearing date.

Everett city officials have signed an agreement with the Kraft Group that calls for the company to set aside $10 million for affordable housing, four acres for a public park, and $5 million for a new community center. The site is down the street from the Wynn casino that opened in 2019.

The Kraft family has long sought a place in the Boston area to put a soccer stadium. The Revolution currently play at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots’ home field in Foxborough.

They and other project proponents are looking to remove the parcel from its standing as a Designated Port Area, which supporters say will speed up the redevelopment process, since the designation limits what can be done to sites that can support marine industrial uses. But as Senate and House lawmakers weighed whether to lift the designation last year, the Conservation Law Foundation referred to the attempt to include such language in the closeout budget bill as an “end-run around the public process” and a “gift for well-connected developers.”

This article first appeared on CommonWealth Beacon and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Healey Backs Everett Soccer Stadium

by CommonWealth Beacon time to read: 2 min