New England Revolution History
10-20-14: The New England Revolution will play its final game of the regular season at Gillette Stadium on Saturday against Toronto FC. As the season winds down, the team has climbed into the second spot in the Eastern Conference and trails just D.C. United with a 16-13-4 record.
The New England Revolution is one of the ten charter members of the MLS that have been
included in the league since its inception. The reason for the team’s name as the Revolution
comes from the important part that New England played in the American Revolution, hence the
team’s logo resembling the American flag. Maybe the team hoped that their patriotism would
help them sell New England Revolution tickets, something that worked only in the early years of
New England’s long history in the MLS may lead you to believe they are a historically rich
team that has had at least some success over the years. That is quite the opposite of what is
true as the most success the team has had comes in the stands with the large number of New
England Revolution tickets that were sold in the teams early years. The team was routinely in
the top three in the league in attendance for the first three years as they had a combined home
average of 20,000 New England Revolution tickets sold during that period.
Success on the field for the Revolution didn’t come easy as it took the team 12 years to win
their first trophy, which was the 2007 U.S. Open Cup. The team keeps that as their lone MLS
trophy as they have never won a Supporters’ Shield or MLS Cup despite their regular season
success in the 2000’s. New England may be a spot that professional soccer may never succeed
in since during their most successful years, New England Revolution tickets sales dropped year
after year despite them reaching the MLS Cup Final in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Gilette Stadium and the Fans
The team plays its home games at Gillette Stadium, which it shares with the NFL’s New England
Patriots. It is assumed that the Revolution play at Gillette because they are owned by Robert
Kraft who is also the owner of the Patriots. The capacity at Gillette Stadium allows the team to
sell just over 22,000 New England Revolution tickets per home game, a number that has only
been reached a few times over the years.
The franchise played at Foxboro Stadium for the first six years of its existence, and then moved
to Gillette Stadium in 2002 after it replaced Foxboro. The benefits the team received from
the move to the new stadium included the capacity to sell more New England Revolution
tickets and also now playing in a stadium that was built knowing it would be home to a soccer
club along with a football team. Even though the team had only been playing at Gillette for
a few years, discussions began in 2006 to build a soccer specific stadium in a surrounding
city specifically for the Revolution. This stadium was announced to have the capacity to sell
between 20,000 to 25,000 New England Revolution tickets and cost anywhere between $50
and $200 million based on the cost of other soccer specific stadiums built by MLS clubs. Talks
broke off for a while between neighboring cities about the soccer stadium, but were brought
up again in 2010 when Robert Kraft declared $1 million had been invested in finding a suitable
location for a new stadium to sell New England Revolution tickets.