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White Stadium

The City envisions revitalizing White Stadium as the centerpiece of BPS athletics and a hub for community.

White Stadium Fact Sheet

White Stadium Information Sheet 

White Stadium, constructed in 1945, has served as a home for many Boston athletes and community members but is in a state of disrepair and in desperate need of revitalization: It lacks the spaces and amenities needed to be a citywide resource and a hub for BPS athletics. The City and BPS envision revitalizing White Stadium as a centerpiece of BPS athletics through a commitment from the city to construct the East Grandstand for BPS athletics and a private partnership to construct the West Grandstand and bring a professional women’s soccer team back to Boston. We are planning a significant investment in the stadium and athletic facilities. The FY24 Capital Plan proposes $50 million to fund the design.

Project Status: Design

GND for BPS Status Tracker, design

Community Engagement Process

Since July 2023, the City has worked alongside BUSP to undergo a robust community engagement process and seek stakeholder input. We are continuing to organize community meetings by topics raised from community members. Public community meetings are announced on this site and through email.

We are also hosting smaller meetings with BPS community members and Franklin Park community advocates from all surrounding neighborhoods. We have received invaluable feedback on design, the impact on Franklin Park, community benefits, supplier diversity, and transportation planning.

These meetings overlap with the Article 80 permitting process the project must undergo. Article 80 is a zoning code process to review and approve large projects. Learn more here about the review process and the opportunities it offers for community feedback, including a public meeting and formal comment period, here.

Meeting series overview:
Time Public Meeting  Private Meeting
July - August (2023) 
  • Boston Unity’s public proposal presentation
  • BPS coaches and students
  • Local community running groups
  • Boston elected officials 
September - October (2023)
  • Transportation Planning
  • Neighborhood Groups
November - December (2023)
  • Supplier Diversity and Community Benefit
  • Advocacy groups
January - February (2024)
  • Article 80: Large Project Review Process (major updates on the design)
  • Investments in Franklin Park (date TBA)

 

  • Boston Public Schools Athletic Dept. and Coaches 
  • Boston Elected Officials

Future Engagements

  • Ongoing meetings to refine design as needed
  • Boston Public School students

Explore the materials from previous meetings and find information on upcoming meetings below.

February 12: Alignment with the franklin Park action plan
March 25: Community Listening Session
January 11: Article 80 Large Project Review
November 29: Supplier Diversity and Community Benefits
September 27 and October 4: transportation Meeting
July 13: Kick off meeting

Project History

History

White Stadium was constructed in 1945 in the Playstead area of Franklin Park. Since then, it has served as a home for many Boston athletes and community members. Unfortunately, today the stadium is in a state of disrepair and in need of revitalization. It does not meet current codes or accessibility requirements. It also lacks the spaces and amenities needed to be a citywide resource for BPS athletics.

The City and BPS envision revitalizing White Stadium as a centerpiece of BPS athletics. We are planning a significant investment in the stadium and athletic facilities.

In 2023, we launched an updated needs assessment of the facility. The assessment found that many spaces need to be improved and expanded. Improvements will include an expanded staff office, a modernized press box, improved locker rooms, and an 8-lane track. New BPS programming may also include a strength and conditioning suite, a gymnasium, an indoor turf field, a community space, and a student resource space. 

 

Who is Boston Unity Soccer Partners?

  • Boston Unity Soccer Partners (BUSP) is a professional sports enterprise founded and led by women, and dedicated to promoting women’s sports and advancement at all levels. BUSP is committed to creating a home for the greatest female athletes of our time; building upon the supercharged legacy of Boston’s historic sports teams; cultivating a community of fans with impact at our core, and forging new connections across our city through sport. 

How did the City select Boston Unity as a partner?

  • The City issued a request for proposals in April 2023 for a public-private partnership to reimagine and reinvest in White Stadium. The City received one response to the RFP from Boston Unity Soccer Partners (BUSP) that was reviewed at a community meeting in July. 
  • Per the evaluation committee’s recommendation, the City designated Boston Unity Soccer Partners LLC (BUSP) as the Preferred Proposer for the lease of the White Stadium West Grandstand and Adjacent Areas. A designation is the first step which allows the City to enter into negotiations with the selected partner. It is the beginning of a design and programming process, not the end. 
  • Since designating Boston Unity, the City has held a series of community engagements on critical items like transportation, community benefits, and investments in Franklin Park. The ultimate agreement between the City and Boston Unity will incorporate the community’s feedback, needs, and priorities.
  • See this image of the leased area. 

Why pursue a public-private partnership? What resources is the City committing to this project? 

  • Due to the significant deterioration of the property, renovating the stadium to the standards our students deserve will require significant resources. Support from a private partner can help the City and BPS fund a more ambitious project for BPS students.
  • BUSP is investing in the West Grandstand, while the City will contribute a construction budget to reconstruct the new East Grandstand and the field.
  • The City has budgeted $10.5 million towards a programming study and design of the East Grandstand. The total project budget will be determined by the final design.

What is the capital investment from Boston Unity? Is it more than 50% the total investment for renovation/expansion?

  • Boston Unity is proposing to cover the capital costs needed to renovate the West Grandstand to support their needs as a professional soccer team and to pay annual rent to the City. Boston Unity estimates that their construction costs will be at least $30 million. The total construction costs for the City’s proposed project for the East Grandstand have not been finalized, so we cannot say what Boston Unity’s percentage of the total White Stadium renovations will be.

 

Why pursue a public-private partnership? What resources is the City committing to this project?

Funded in part by a unique public-private partnership with the Boston Unity Soccer Partners (BUSP), a professional women’s soccer team, and a major philanthropic campaign kicking off in 2024, the White Stadium renovation will provide BPS student athletes and coaches with beautiful new facilities.

Due to the size of investment needed to renovate the stadium, in April 2023, the City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to lease a portion of the stadium in a public-private partnership. A potential partner would contribute to renovation and maintenance costs, pay rent, and provide community benefits.

The RFP required proposals to meet the City's vision and goals:

  • Enhance and compliment BPS's athletic programs.
  • Contribute to the activation and usability of Franklin Park in line with the values and aspirations of the Franklin Park Action Plan.
  • Contribute to the economic development of Boston and the communities surrounding Franklin Park.
  • Respects the impacts that activation can have on those who live, work, and play around the Stadium.
  • Addresses transportation needs. The proposal should minimize the congestion on nearby residential streets and maximize use of public transportation.

In June 2023, the City received one proposal in response to the RFP. In July 2023, we hosted a community engagement session to get community input on the proposal, and the proponent submitted responses to community questions. Per the evaluation committee’s recommendation, the City has designated Boston Unity Soccer Partners LLC (BUSP) as the Preferred Proposer for the lease of the White Stadium West Grandstand and Adjacent Areas.

WHAT DOES THIS DESIGNATION MEAN?

A designation is the first step that allows the City to enter into lease negotiations with the selected partner. It is the beginning of a design and programming process, not the end. The City will continue to host community sessions on critical items so the lease incorporates community needs and priorities.

The goal for this public-private partnership is to reimagine White Stadium as a hub for Boston Public School athletics and a treasure of the local community. The partnership will also bring a professional women’s soccer team to Boston. The lease area represents 14% of the total space that will remain BPS owned. We are committed to centering opportunities for BPS students and the surrounding community through this partnership.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Please see "Project History" section above for information about the history of project and how we got to our current stage.

  • Will the City of Boston set transportation parameters for the Boston Unity Soccer transportation plan? 
    • The City and Boston Unity are currently developing a detailed analysis of the neighborhood streets surrounding the stadium. We plan to present a detailed traffic management and control plan for game days and other large events during workshops in each neighborhood starting in the first two weeks of April.
    • The analysis will include: recommendations of street closures for resident-only access, placement of police details, locations to receive pedestrian safety improvements, location of no-stopping signs to prevent drop offs, temporary traffic pattern changes, among others. The plan will be refined using community feedback and will be formalized and codified in the Transportation Access Plan Agreement (TAPA) between the Boston Transportation Department and Boston Unity Soccer Partners.
    • Boston Unity Soccer will not be allowed to utilize the existing parking within Franklin Park for game days. These parking spaces will remain available for regular Park users and Zoo visitors.
  • How will game-day parking restrictions be enforced? What are the mechanics if a neighborhood doesn’t otherwise have residential parking restrictions? 
    • Game day parking restrictions will be enforced by BTD Enforcement personnel, BTD Towing,  and Boston Police. We anticipate in the case of White Stadium events that parking restrictions will be less for additional roadway capacity that would impact area residents and more to ensure stadium patrons do not attempt to park on residential streets and negatively affect residential on street parking availability. Given that a large parking facility is not being proposed to serve the stadium, the volume of cars destined for the site will be less than in other stadiums that rely on large parking facilities and generate additional traffic congestion. To that end, game day regulations and limitations for non-residents and accompanying signage for the surrounding streets will be implemented. We anticipate that residents will need stickers to identify their vehicles, and look forward to working through the details for implementation. A Residential Parking Program is being explored. Additional game day parking restrictions for all parties, where accommodation for an abundance of pedestrians may be necessary, is also to be determined through the ongoing process.
  • What will the radius of game day parking restrictions be? There may be people on all sides of the park who will be affected.
    • BTD will be considering the adjoining residential streets emanating from the main entrance on Walnut Street within a walkshed deemed too distant for stadium patrons to travel. That is generally considered greater than a 15 minute walk. The capture would include the surrounding and adjoining neighborhoods on all sides. Again, these parking restrictions will be tailored to prohibit non-resident, game day patrons from overburdening the existing residential fabric. Additional parking restrictions for all parties will be determined as we move further along in the process and evaluation of needs, but it is not expected that additional parking restrictions to accommodate traffic volume will be necessary to a large degree. As mentioned previously, game day parking restrictions will be implemented to ensure pedestrian safety and is to be determined.
  • How will the City ensure the safety of pedestrians on game days? 
    • Public safety is the collective responsibility of all participating City departments but will rely heavily on uniformed Boston Police officers, Boston Police traffic details, and the potential implementation of BTD approved street closures or soft closures allowing for vehicle access for residents only. Data analysis during the ongoing process will be used to formulate a strategic plan based on the anticipated pedestrian volumes and pedestrian corridors.
  • How will the transportation plan mitigate congestion on Walnut Ave?  
    • Our Transportation Management Plan will encourage fans to utilize alternative modes of transportation to and from White Stadium.  Vehicular traffic from spectators will be limited to shuttle buses connecting spectators with nearby transit stations and satellite parking facilities.  In addition, the shuttle routes into and out of Franklin Park will be split between Walnut Avenue, Blue Hill Avenue, and the Arborway to reduce shuttle traffic on Walnut Avenue. 
  • What is the capacity for bike parking?  
    • The bike parking structure will not be permanent and will be sized to meet demand through observations and data collection as events occur.  To begin, we plan to provide parking for approximately 1,000 bikes via bike valet and Bluebikes valet.
  • Can we set aside pull-over spaces for rideshare? 
    • Yes, we are proposing a dedicated spot for rideshare pick up and drop off outside Franklin Park
  • Is there a set place for ADA parking to go to the games? Are they expected to take shuttles?  
    • In order to remove private single-use vehicles from the historic Franklin Park, there will be no private parking (ADA or otherwise) available.  ADA spectators that arrive by shuttle or TNC will be provided service through Franklin Park to the stadium.  
  • Where are these satellite parking lots? 
    • The specific satellite parking facilities have not been identified at this time.  Catchment areas have been determined where satellite parking demand is expected.  Through the advance sale of tickets and parking, BUSP will be able to monitor parking demand and determine the parking facilities that are needed.
  • On game days, is there going to be more traffic or less traffic?  
    • Matches, like all events at Franklin Park, are going to generate traffic.  The difference is that there will be a transportation management plan in place for BUSP matches, which has not been the case for other events at Franklin Park to date. 
  • Will the shuttles be electric?  
    • BUSP will explore all options for the provision of shuttles, which will be contracted through outside vendors.  Although utilizing electric shuttles is an important goal that we hope to achieve, we do not yet know the extent to which shuttle availability will allow for this at the outset.  
  • How will transportation be managed during BPS events?
    • The design contract for the East Grandstand includes a transportation plan, which will address transportation and circulation for small, medium, and large BPS events.
  • How will people with disabilities be accommodated in the transportation plan?
    • People with disabilities will be accommodated via the use of ADA compliant shuttle buses and through the use of ADA-accessible passenger carts within Franklin Park between the Stadium and the pick-up/drop-off locations.  White Stadium itself will be ADA compliant as required by code and Boston Unity is consulting with universal design experts on additional accessibility strategies to make the Stadium experience on game days inclusive and welcoming for all. 
    • Will the Playstead area be used for parking?
      • The Playstead area will not be used for parking.
  • How much will BPS be able to use the renovated stadium?
    •  Currently, White Stadium is an inadequate facility for BPS athletics. The facility is in poor condition, with one grandstand damaged in a fire decades ago, and both grandstands are not ADA accessible. Given the field's current state of disrepair, BPS is unable to maximize its use. The current field is playable only about 250 hours per year, and the field falls drastically short compared to the use of typical grass fields, which accommodate 750-900 hours annually. ○ The renovation will allow BPS to take full advantage of the field which can support programming, including BPS games and practices, of 750-900 hours per year. All sports that currently use White Stadium, including cheerleading, track & field, soccer, cross country, and football, will continue to be able to use White Stadium, and many more students and teams will be able to use the facility than are able to today. The enhanced facilities will continue to support Parks and Rec summer camps for kids, school field days, student athlete summer conditioning, and Special Olympics events. ○ Some football games, which may overlap with the soccer season, will be relocated. In consultation with Boston Unity Soccer scheduling, BPS will maximize the number of football games that could be played at White Stadium and guarantee that White Stadium will be able to host football games at the conclusion of the soccer season, at least for Thanksgiving and end-of-season rivalry games for many more teams than are able to play there now.
  • Will BPS football be displaced from White Stadium?
    • Some football games, which may overlap with the soccer season, will be relocated. In consultation with Boston Unity Soccer scheduling, BPS will maximize the number of football games that could be played at White Stadium and guarantee that White Stadium will be able to host football games at the conclusion of the soccer season, at least for Thanksgiving and end-of-season rivalry games for many more teams than are able to play there now.
  • Will the BPS Special Olympics Field Day continue at White Stadium?
    • Yes, the BPS Special Olympics Field Day will continue to take place at White Stadium.
  • What potential community impacts might arise from large events or activities at White Stadium and the Grove beyond soccer games, and how will these impacts be addressed?
    • The City is not contemplating additional large-scale events at the Stadium beyond the important community and BPS events that already take place there and the proposed soccer games and practices. 
    • Existing events will benefit from the White Stadium redevelopment project in several ways. First, they will have access to the new state of the art facilities, including both the East and West Grandstands, and additional programming space available at the Grove. Second, recognizing that transportation and traffic management are challenges during existing large-scale events at White Stadium, the detailed traffic management and circulation plan being developed for Boston Unity Soccer games, which will be memorialized in an enforceable Transportation Access Plan Agreement, will serve as a blueprint the City can use for mitigating negative impacts on neighboring communities during all large events. 
  • How will soccer games coexist with existing programming in the stadium and playstead? Will the events that have called Franklin Park home for decades have priority over the soccer games?
    • Cherished community events will continue to call White Stadium home. Franklin Park and the Playstead are home to many important community events, including BPS Graduations, Caribbean Kiddie Carnival, BAMSfest, Puerto Rican Festival, and more. The lease agreement between the City and Boston Unity will codify that scheduling for White Stadium will be prioritized as follows:
      1. Major City, Community, and BPS special events in the Stadium and Playstead;
        • These signature community events include but are not limited to, BPS graduations, Caribbean Kiddie Carnival, BAA Half Marathon, BAMS Fest, Puerto Rican Fest, and more.
      2. BPS games and Boston Unity Soccer games (approx. 20 per year); 
      3. BPS practices and other City events; and 
      4. One Boston Unity Soccer practice during the week prior to a Boston Unity Soccer game.
    • In addition, the City and Boston Unity will work with event hosts to 1 minimize scheduling conflicts and ensure all uses can coexist harmoniously. For example, Cross Country meets typically take place on the Playstead on Saturday mornings into the early afternoon. Boston Unity scheduling can take this into account and schedule games for later afternoons or evenings.
  • What happens if BUSP wins the championship? Is that game being held at White Stadium? 
    • Boston Unity will use White Stadium for twenty games per year during the soccer season between March and November. The twenty games includes potential playoff and championship games.
  • How will annual events like cross country meets or regular Franklin Park usage, like Zoo visitations, be coordinated with the White Stadium project? 
    • The City will work closely with organizations that host events in the stadium, on the playstead, and on cross country courses to ensure they do not conflict with Boston Unity games. The City is also working closely with the Franklin Park Zoo to minimize disruption to Zoo visitors.
  • How has BPS been engaged on this project? 
    • BPS student athletes and coaches have been engaged since the White Stadium project began in the winter 2022 when the programming study began to envision a new athletic hub at White Stadium. Since then, the BPS Athletics Department has worked closely with the Mayor’s Office and Public Facilities Department. At this stage of the project, the design of the East Grandstand has advanced enough that we will be re-engaging with BPS students and coaches for their feedback and input on relocation needs and making the athletic hub welcoming.
  • Will the public have access to the stadium such as the track? Are there expanded hours of operation that come with a renovated stadium?
    • Currently White Stadium is only open from 8-4pm Monday through Friday. A renovated White Stadium would have expanded hours of operation and be open on the weekends for the public to use and enjoy. For example, when the stadium is open the community will have the ability to walk the track and east grandstands. The new stadium will also have new amenities such as public restrooms and water fountains for park users.
  • How do we guarantee the integrity of the playing fields, especially if it will be the location for multiple sports and events?
    • In the proposal that the City has received, Boston Unity commits to maintaining a grass field to a professional standard. Beyond this commitment we are working out a field maintenance schedule that will be responsive to community advocate feedback and the Franklin Park Action Plan suggestions.
  • Will the Grove be available for events other than BUSP events?
    •  Yes. We look forward to the Grove becoming a beloved attraction and focal point to be enjoyed by the community. Daily visitors are welcome to enjoy the varied programming we intend to provide at the Grove. Community and private events can be scheduled as well.
  • How will the historical significance of Franklin Park be preserved?
    • In response to community feedback, the City is working with Reed Hilderbrand, the landscape architectural firm engaged on the Franklin Park Action Plan, for guidance to ensure the Grove and White Stadium renovation design is aligned with the Franklin Park Action Plan, and to consider the value of existing cultural assets.
    • We deeply value the use of Franklin Park as a peaceful respite. The use for professional soccer games will be time-bound, limited to twenty days per year and only two hours before and one hour after a game. The Grove area will be open and free for the public to access from morning to night on non-game days and before and after the game time windows on game days, adding a functional and multi-purpose community space for rest and relaxation. The renovation will also provide public restrooms and water fountains to support park users that are currently not available.
  • How much will tickets cost? Will this be something affordable for most community residents?
    • There will be a range of ticket types and prices for professional women’s soccer games at White Stadium. Boston Unity Soccer 2 intends to have a supporters section and to offer favorable pricing for neighbors who reside in the area immediately surrounding White Stadium. Boston Unity Soccer will dedicate a neighborhood fan section and create a multi-lingual presentation in the renovated White Stadium to provide an inclusive game experience for community members.
  • What is the plan and design for the East Grandstand? 
    • Informed by BPS and community feedback, the new East Grandstand will provide:
      • A professionally maintained grass field;
      • A new eight-lane track, long jump area, and field event spaces; 
      • A state of the art athletic facility with
        • Brand new locker rooms;
        • A new strength and conditioning suite;
        • Sports medicine suite;
        • Student resource space;
        • Community space; and 
        • BPS Athletics offices. 
    • These enhancements will promote health and wellness while providing year-round opportunities for the BPS athletic programs to develop our 1 students as scholar-athlete leaders. The revitalized site will also offer year-round employment and internships. The design is in development by our designer, Jones Architecture, working closely with BPS. We will continue to share details publicly as the design is refined.
  • Where will field sports, including throwing, high jump and long jump, be located?
    • We are still refining the design for where these areas will be located and will share them publicly when they are developed.
  • Is there going to be handicap access for bathrooms, etc.?
    • After renovation, the entire facility will meet all ADA requirements.
  • Will there be public wifi for outdoor and indoor usage of the stadium? 
    • Yes, there will be full wifi coverage for use in the stadium and the Grove.
  • It looks like the mobile endline seating goes over the grass and track. How do you plan to protect those surfaces? 
    • The track will be appropriately designed to receive the weight of the seating and will also be covered with a protective layer when the endline seating is located on the track. 
  • What is the cost of the project and how is it being funded?
    • Currently, the City estimates that the City’s portion of the project will cost $50 million. The original estimate for the Boston Unity Soccer portion of the project was $30 million, and that estimate has increased to $50 million and continues to be reviewed. Boston Unity Soccer is proposing to cover maintenance of the West Grandstand and field, which is estimated to cost over $400,000 annually.
  • What would it cost to achieve the renovation of White Stadium without a private partner?
    • Our kids deserve a world class stadium and athletics facility – the kind of investment that suburban districts can afford. 
    • The City and BPS have capital needs that are greater than the resources we have available, and we have to make difficult tradeoffs. BPS is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of 131 school buildings, 30 of which are over 100 years old. The City can’t afford a world class facility on par with our suburban counterparts without a private partner. 
    • Without private investment, $50 million does not go very far. It is less than the estimated cost to build a new community center, for example. Any project relying solely on City funds would be at a much smaller scale and wouldn’t deliver the amenity we want for BPS athletes. 
    • Boston Unity Soccer Partners is committed to provide various community benefits which the City would not be able to provide alone. For instance these benefits include: 
      • Five hundred thousand dollar annual community benefit fund
      • A professionally maintained stadium and playing surface
      • Neighborhood fan zone with discounted tickets
      • Internship and mentorship opportunities for youth within the community
      • Additional commitments to local, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses that come from a larger project
  • What is the City’s long-term budget plan for maintenance/partnership management?
    • The City will partner with Boston Unity Soccer to manage and maintain the stadium facility. Boston Unity will bear the cost of maintenance of the West Grandstand and field, which is estimated to cost over $400,000 annually. The City and Boston Unity Soccer will partner closely to ensure smooth and efficient stadium operations.
  • What are the benefits for the community, especially BPS programs?
    • BPS will benefit from a state of the art athletic facility with a natural grass field. The new facility will include spaces for BPS strength and conditioning training, sports medicine facilities for student athletes, student lounge space, and community space, to create a true hub of athletics and home for BPS student athletes and to provide additional amenities to the community. The renovation will also allow BPS to take full advantage of the field, which will be able to support programming of 750-900 hours per year. 
    • On top of the benefits of the new stadium, Boston Unity is proposing scholarships for select BPS students addressing access to high performance club soccer for city youth, a Boston Unity Mentorship Program with the Boston Public Schools to provide access and support with athletes and staff, and summer internships in sporting, sports medicine, physical therapy and sports management for Boston youth. 
    • The project will also offer benefits to local businesses and organizations. The Project will provide opportunities to local designers to help create team merchandise that is distinctly Boston and culturally specific to the neighborhoods of Franklin Park. A portion of the in-game video advertising time will be dedicated to featuring local business partners and vendors providing expanded reach and exposure to potential customers beyond game day attendees. Boston Unity Soccer will also work with community leadership to maximize the use of the renovated West Grandstand and the Grove for community use. These spaces will be made available for community events, cultural festivals, and private events.
    • There will be an Advisory Committee, including neighborhood representatives from Franklin Park neighborhoods to make recommendations to support organizations and initiatives. ○ 
    • Boston Unity Soccer is also proposing a $500k annual community fund, increasing by 3% annually, to be distributed to organizations and initiatives that reflect the following pillars:
      • Investments in Franklin Park and the Franklin Park Action Plan 
      • Youth Sports and Development
      • Health and Wellness of Black and Brown Communities
      • Local Business Development
  • Why is a renovation of White Stadium needed?
    • The existing stadium was state of the art when it was built in 1945, but it lacks the amenities needed to be a Citywide resource for BPS Athletics, especially after a fire destroyed the East Grandstand. Our students deserve a state-of-the-art facility for today’s needs. We envision expanding the field to meet Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) standards and accommodate an eight-lane track as well as rebuilding the East Grandstand to provide high-quality indoor athletic and training facilities, locker rooms, and community and office space needed by students and athletic staff.
  • Are Boston Unity Soccer and the City using the same contractors for building?
    • As part of the public-private partnership, the City will be reconstructing the East Grandstand, track, and athletic field, and Boston Unity will be constructing the West Grandstand. 
    • The City is subject to public procurement laws and will be following Ch. 149A for the construction of public buildings. This includes a public bidding process. The City cannot determine the ultimate contractor until it has awarded a contract under the public bidding process.
    • Boston Unity Soccer will engage in its own bidding process for the general contractor and subcontractors working on the West Grandstand side of the project. 
  • How will the City and Boston Unity Soccer ensure equity in construction?
    • The City will be constructing the East Grandstand, track, and athletic field. As a public entity, the City follows public procurement law. The City is committed to equity in our contracting, and our Supplier Diversity team works to ensure that minority- and women-owned small businesses can thrive and grow in Boston through equitable access to City contracts. For capital construction projects, the law allows us to set targets for minority- and women- owned businesses based on their proportion in the market. We will be setting targets for this project when design advances.
    • Under the lease, Boston Unity will be responsible for rebuilding the West Grandstand. One of Boston Unity Soccer’s main goals since the beginning has been to partner with the local community as much as possible to fill contracting needs. Boston Unity Soccer anticipates that their part of the project will create 500 construction jobs and more than 300 permanent jobs. They intend to contract and employ a 50% threshold for minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses, with a special emphasis on local companies and people from the surrounding Franklin Park neighborhoods. 
    • They will work to achieve this commitment in all three phases of the project, including (1) design, planning and permitting, which we are in now; (2) construction, which will begin later in 2024; and (3) stadium operations, which will begin with the opening of the NWSL season in the spring of 2026. 
    • They have developed a 4-step plan to achieve this goal, including reporting and transparency to track and report out on their progress. Boston Unity Soccer is committed to providing multiple avenues for engaging, recruiting, sourcing, mentoring, and supporting to develop individuals and businesses to be able to meet the needs of the project. Boston Unity Soccer is committed to fostering meaningful relationships with community groups, business associations, and government agencies to meet their goals. For additional information on these plans, please refer to slides 32-39 of the November 29, 2023 community meeting presentation here.
  • Are there opportunities for investment from local residents? 
    • BUSP aspires to provide a platform for investment at all levels. The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has rules that govern investments in its member clubs, but we continue to explore avenues to welcome broader participation. In addition, we will continue to invite the local community to engage with us in meaningful ways as we build the team and renovate White Stadium alongside the City of Boston. For example, we will have a community fund advisory committee, which will include local residents, to help guide grant-making decisions from the annual fund.
  • What will be the quality of the food service worker jobs at the stadium? 
    • Will they be union food service or low wage? BUSP’s goal in all of its contracting, hiring, and partnerships is to focus on supplier diversity, with twin priorities of (1) an ambitious goal of 50% M/WBE participation at all levels, and (2) an emphasis on local sourcing of people and companies from as close to the stadium as possible. We look forward to working with union partners to the extent they are able to help us in achieving these important goals.Transparency and Process:
  • What is the timeline for the project? What is the timeline for demolition? 
    • We have been working towards a goal to have the stadium open in time for the March 2026 soccer season. We previous shared that we were planning on demolition in spring 2024. Given public feedback, we have committed not to begin demolition until we have a comprehensive plan for the stadium that we are confident meets BPS’s needs and addresses stakeholder concerns.
  • What are the next steps in the BPDA Article 80 process? Will there be a scoping determination? What agencies are involved? What is the date of the BPDA article 80 vote?
    • Boston Unity Soccer began the BPDA process in December when they filed their project notification form. Following the filing, an impact advisory group was formed, a formal Article 80 public meeting was held, and an IAG meeting was held. 
    • Following comments from BPDA review and public comment, Boston Unity Soccer will provide a memo responding to comments and providing updated plans as necessary, which will be posted publicly. The IAG will meet to review these responses and a proposed cooperation agreement including mitigation for the project. A date for a BPDA board vote has not been scheduled.
    • All information on the BPDA process so far can be found here.
  • Is this project subject to Article 97 and MEPA?
    • Adopted by the voters in November 1972, Article 97 of Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution protects public land acquired for natural resource purposes. The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) requires state agencies to minimize damage to the environment through a review process, and Article 97-protected land is subject to MEPA review.
    • White Stadium is not subject to Article 97. The 14 acres of the stadium parcel was sold by the City (for $20,000) to the White Fund in 1947 for the purposes of building the stadium. That sale to the White Fund was sanctioned by  A Special act of the Massachusetts Legislature - Chapter 542 of the Acts of 1947. The White Fund still holds the deed. 
    • In 1949, the Stadium was completed and care, custody, and control was assigned to the Boston School Committee (where it remains today, 75 years later).
    • In 1950, the Legislature passed a special act and determined that the entire White Stadium parcel is a school facility and school yard, and this remains the case. 
    • As a legal/constitutional matter, the property can be renovated without going through Article 97 because the property is not considered parkland for over the last 77 years and has been a school stadium for that entire time, and will remain a school stadium. 
    • Because the property is not subject to Article 97, and no other threshold triggers are met, MEPA does not apply.

 

  • What is the duration of the lease? 
    • The Request for Proposals issued by the City is for a ten-year lease with two ten-year options to extend.
  • There are a lot of things being committed here, such as a transportation plan. Is there going to be a legal document that codifies all these transportation plans? 
    • The City and Boston Unity will be entering multiple legal agreements, including a lease, a Cooperation Agreement through the Article 80 process, an Memorandum of Agreement with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and a Transportation Access Plan Agreement with the Boston Transportation Department
  • Can the City commit to Boston Unity Soccer being the only for-profit user of the Stadium? 
    • The City is not contemplating additional large-scale or for-profit events at the Stadium beyond the proposed soccer games and the important community and BPS events that already take place there. The lease agreement will allow Boston Unity Soccer to hold approximately 20 games and practices in White Stadium, but doesn’t permit other events without City permission. 
  • Who has control of the vendor spaces in the Grove? 
    • The Grove will be included within the area leased by Boston Unity Soccer, which is committed to hiring, contracting, and supporting women, minority, veteran, and local individuals and businesses. Boston Unity Soccer will comply with and attempt to exceed the BPDA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Development Policy and will contract using the “Massport Procurement Model '' inclusionary standards to a 50% MBE/WBE and local businesses threshold.
  • What will become of the Overlook ruins? 
    • The Franklin Park Action Plan (FPAP) identified several culturally-significant, site-defining features in need of rehabilitation and reuse, including the ruins of the former Overlook Shelter. This area has the potential to function as a hallmark gathering and performance space for park programs, including the Elma Lewis Playhouse. The Parks and Recreation Department are beginning a community process to reimagine the Overlook Ruins as a permanent home for the Elma Lewis playhouse. An RFQ was released recently for a feasibility study to begin this process. Guided by the Franklin Park Action Plan’s recommendations, the selected design team will explore design options that activate the space, preserve and restore (as appropriate) the significant masonry elements, and support public use with a focus on performances. Through the design review process, the City (including the BPDA and the Parks and Recreation Department) is also working with Boston Unity to refine their designs for the Grove to ensure a harmonious relationship with the Overlook.
  • Will restricted funds be set aside for long-term care and upkeep of Franklin Park? 
    • In 2018, the City directed a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Winthrop Square Garage to a $5 million maintenance trust for Franklin Park. The earnings go towards maintenance and programming expenses related to Franklin Park. Currently, these funds are going towards repaving Glen Road path, invasive plant removal, cobble gutter and drain cleaning, and Wilderness picnic grove rehabilitation. At the 2024 State of the City address, the Mayor also announced an additional investment of the biggest increase in staffing in 50 years for the entire park, consisting of two additional maintenance crews, one focused on natural resources, and a dedicated full-time park administrator. Boston Unity is also proposing a $500,000 annual community benefits fund to be distributed to organizations and initiatives which support one of four thematic areas, one of which is investments in Franklin Park and the Franklin Park Action Plan. An advisory committee will be formed to recommend organizations and initiatives to receive funding.
  • Is there a comprehensive approach to managing the health of vegetation in Franklin Park?
    • The Franklin Park Action Plan recommends the development of a park-wide natural resource and ecological management plan. That work has not begun yet. 
  • Are other elements of the Franklin Park Action Plan reliant on capital investment from Boston Unity Soccer?
    • No, the Bear Dens and Overlook projects are funded independently from the White Stadium projects and are not reliant on capital investment from Boston Unity Soccer. ○ See the Bear Dens webpage for more information and details on upcoming Bear Dens meetings.
  • Will Boston Parks and Recreation come forward with a comprehensive management plan, as the Action Plan requests?
    • The operational commitments that the Mayor announced are a significant step forward for plan implementation in the management and maintenance of the park. We're also making progress on capital improvements, but agree that there is more work to do on all 3 fronts.
  • How will noise spillage be minimized?
    • Boston Unity Soccer is committed to minimizing excessive noise impacts on the area surrounding White Stadium during Boston Unity Soccer matches, which will generally be 2 hours or less in duration. The Stadium sound system will be designed to provide clear communication to attendees while minimizing excessive noise spillover, including through the use of directional and modulated speakers to focus sound within the Stadium. Crowd noise during matches, especially during key moments like goals, can abruptly fluctuate from quiet to enthusiastic cheering, though Boston Unity Soccer expects any such fluctuations to be intermittent and short-lived. In addition, there are several elements within the Stadium that are designed to focus the sound away from residential abutters and into the Stadium
    • Boston Unity Soccer’s commitments to noise mitigation will be memorialized in the lease agreement between Boston Unity Soccer and the City, and in the Cooperation Agreement between Boston Unity Soccer and the Boston Planning & Development Agency.
  • How will El Parquecito, the playground near Walnut Ave, be impacted by this project?
    • There are no changes to El Parquecito proposed as part of this project. Being a highly utilized and valued playground, the transportation plan coordinated between the City and Boston Unity will carefully consider access and safety to the playground area during game and non-game days throughout the year. This transportation plan will be memorialized in an enforceable Transportation Access Plan Agreement (TAPA) between Boston Unity and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD).
  • What will be the impact on the environment? This includes light, water, and preservation of green space.
    • In response to community feedback, Boston Unity Soccer has engaged ecologists and arborists to preserve and improve the ecological value of the area surrounding White Stadium, in accordance with principles set out in the Franklin Park Action Plan. The City, its Parks Department, and Boston Unity Soccer will partner to preserve existing trees, remove invasive plant species, and plant new native trees and understory that will enhance the biodiversity within the site. The overarching approach is to be light on the land and ensure that any introduction of impermeable surfaces is minimized.
    • Lighting: 
      • On an average day during the soccer season, the Stadium will be lit until 10pm for Boston Public Schools and public use. Boston Unity Soccer matches may extend that lighting impact until approximately 11pm on evening match days.
    • Water:
      • The area around the Stadium currently lacks adequate drainage and is saturated during storm events, making certain areas unusable. The Boston Unity Soccer and City design teams will employ green technologies to capture stormwater for reuse and to reduce the effects of stormwater on the 9 landscape directly surrounding the East Grandstand, West Grandstand and the Grove. ○ 
    • Preservation of Green Space: 
      • The intended design maximizes green space and reduces paving as much as possible while creating a welcoming atmosphere for public use and crowd movements that will naturally occur around the Stadium. We are also working to reduce the paved areas within the Grove to respond to public comments and will use permeable paving solutions wherever possible.
  • How will the impact of 10,000-spectator soccer games be minimized for wildlife in the park and zoo animals? Will engaging the noise study consultant include Franklin Park Zoo leadership to provide input?
    • In coordination with the Franklin Park Zoo and other stakeholders, Boston Unity Soccer will develop game day protocols that will address impacts such as noise, and the noise consultant will be taking future readings and will consider impacts to the Zoo when setting sensors for noise receptors. Boston Unity Soccer will use the practices referenced above to minimize noise impacts.
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