Here is a 'team' that has never played a game, do not have a league, do not have a stadium (well the Revs don't either), and do not even have any players, yet they are making bigger splashes than many MLS teams, Revolution especially included. Honestly I am not sure whether I am angry, sad or impressed by this. They are doing something that we as Revolution supporters can only dream of, yet we have a team and are in a league. One can only hope that as the league grows the Revs will grow with it, however it is sad to see that the Revolution need to go with it.
|We'd love to see a similar Revolution|
campaign in Boston.
The former Kansas City Wizards were one of those teams that just existed, you didn't really think much about them. They had a goofy name and no real home, they were playing in a 10,00 seat baseball stadium, awkward to say the least. A funny thing happened on the way to the forum for Kansas City; they realized it was time to get serious... they lost the goofy name for... well another goofy name. Sporting Kansas City was announced as the new team name and that they were going to build a new stadium, their own home, all in the past year or so. They are now building a stadium that looks to rival Red Bull Arena as one of the best soccer stadiums in the country and they have quickly made themselves relevant in the Kansas City market. It didn't take very long it just took some effort and investment. Sporting KC so far has sold over 9,000 season tickets, still more than half our average attendance in 2009 and it would almost sell out their old home.
I know, I know, we should just be happy we have a team or some shit like that right? Wrong, this is New England... we don't just have teams... we have teams that matter, and if you want to compete in this market you damn sure better matter. I'm glad Kraft helped save the league when times were tough, but times aren't tough for the league at all anymore. Times are tough for the New England Revolution however, why aren't you stepping up to the plate now to save your own team?
This is not a lashing out against the Revolution Front Office, as many, myself included, have been known to do from time to time. Sometimes those comments are justified and sometimes they are not. However on many times I have had the occasion to speak with members from varying levels of the FO and I have come to the conclusion that this isn't about inept people running the marketing departments or even the team (well maybe Mike Burns... sorry but I can't find anything I like about the guy). The Krafts are treating this team as an investment, no more no less. Do the Krafts care about the team? Sure they do but they care about it like any person would care about their investment. They put their money in hoping to see it turn into something great but they are biding their time to give it the extra push, waiting for the right moment, waiting for security in the league to know that they can put more in; waiting... waiting... waiting...
The reason we don't have the success that other teams have is not because of the fact that COO Brian Bilello holds more than one, or even 2 jobs with the Krafts,
"In addition to his role with the Revolution, Bilello also works on other aspects of The Kraft Group's operations, including but not limited to the New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium, Patriot Place and other new business ventures." (link)
it's not because the Marketing Department has no idea what they are doing. Its that they aren't being given the tools to succeed, and by tools I mean money. Why don't we have a Designated Player yet? Not because we are "waiting for the right player" it's because Kraft would have to pay extra outside the salary cap... Why do we think our COO has multiple jobs within the Kraft organization? Kraft doesn't see the need to have one person focus on the running of his soccer team and nothing else. Why do we have the almost comedic Revs Girls, and maybe a billboard in Braintree that few people will see instead of billboards along the Route 93 (The Boston Breakers had billboards on I-93 this past summer) and downtown? Because Kraft probably gives them a shoestring budget to work with, which subsequently is how I think the rest of the team is forced to operate. Granted this is an opinion and educated guess of what goes on, and I am not intimating that this is fact however I would love to be proved wrong, and just maybe the Revolution and Krafts themselves will do that.
There is a market for soccer in this country, MLS is going into it's 16th season and it is stronger than ever. This league is not going to fold anytime soon like the NASL. The growth of soccer in the past few years has been amazing to watch. Owning a professional soccer team in the United States does not have to be seen as a risk anymore. So why is the Kraft family running this team like a slum-lord runs an old apartment building in an up-and-coming neighborhood? The neighborhood is better now than when you bought it and now the neighbors want you to fix up your property, otherwise it's bring their values down. The New England Revolution used to be one of if not the flagship team of MLS, we need to and can return to that, they owe it to the sport, the players, and most importantly the fans and future fans. Soccer is here and it is here to stay. Bob and Jonathan do right by your team and your name, re-invest in this team and let it re-take it's rightful place at the top of the league.