By Ryan Fleming
Earlier today the New England Revolution released a press release stating that their home stadium, Gillette Stadium, will allow people to sit around the entire lower bowl of the stadium for the 2011 season. It will be the first time fans can sit in any section of the lower bowl since the stadium was opened in 2002.
Now, to some, this is news. The Revs only let supporters sit in the North and East ends while the other sections are closed off. By doing this it makes it seem like there are more people at the game than there really is if you’re watching it on t.v. It also makes the atmosphere at the game more uplifting (or so I’m told).
“We believe having fans seated on both sides of the stadium, with our supporters groups at the north end, will create a more dynamic, energetic atmosphere at all of our home games,” Revolution Chief Operating Officer Brian Bilello said. “We’ve seen this at some recent events which have necessitated a full-bowl seating arrangement, and we’re looking forward to experiencing this at every game next year.
This attempt to lure people into the stadium in one of the poorest attended venues in all of the MLS is a poor plan. With people scattered around all over the stadium, Gillette will seem to look scarcely populated, leaving enough room for a sold out Red Sox game to sit in. This new information comes at a time when rumors of a new, soccer-specific stadium could possibly be built in Somerville. If that was to happen, the “breaking ground” date was just pushed forward.
First thing first Mr. Kraft, the Revs need to put butts in the seats. So far, they struggle to do that. Once seats are filled, then you can play musical chairs.
Ryan Fleming is a writer and editor for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.