A Transcript Of What Brian Bilello Said At Tuesday's Hearing For Bill S 2692

Many people spoke at Tuesday's hearing for Bill S 2692, including Revolution President Brian Bilello. Here's what Bilello said.
Transcript

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While many people, including Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, State Senator Sal N. DiDomenico, and several New England Revolution fans, spoke at Tuesday’s hearing for Bill S 2692, we thought some might be interested in hearing and seeing what club president Brian Bilello said.

The video above includes the bulk of what Bilello said but leaves out the introduction before and the question after. The transcript below is a full summary of the account.

Before we get to that, a huge shoutout goes to Hayden Bird of Boston.com, who did an excellent job covering the hearing. Be sure to follow his work, including today’s thread that details what he saw.


Brian Bilello: Chair Finegold, Chair Parisela, Vice Chair Miranda, Vice Chair Vargas, and members of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, thank you for the opportunity to testify today in support of S 2692, an act relative to economic development on the Mystic River.

We appreciate the legislature's time and willingness to clear a path forward for future development and economic improvement opportunities in the city of Everett. We hope this will be the first of many discussions with stakeholders and officials at the local and state level as we determine the feasibility of the proposed site for a stadium that could serve as a catalyst for environmental rehabilitation and provide new public waterfront access to the region.

We're here today not to disrupt any kind of process, but rather to begin it. The passage of this legislation would be an important first step in putting forward a comprehensive project proposal before our partners at the State and City of Everett to consider through MEPA and Chapter 91 processes with input from surrounding communities. My colleague, [Vice President of Construction and Development for the Kraft Group] Ted Fire, will speak more to that just in a minute and lay out exactly what those processes are, but we know there's a lot of work that needs to be done, and a lot needs to happen before we can get to the stage of shovels in the ground, including the removal of a derelict power plant and its four smokestacks on the site.

We welcome the opportunity to explore if it's feasible to develop what has been a rundown, unused site for a long time and turn it into an economic driver for the region.

The materials we’ve provided include representative visuals of the site, and what it could be and I'm pleased to walk you through them today.

The first page of the handout shows the parcel as it stands today and stood for decades. From a development standpoint, this is not a good site. There's many challenges caused by the previous use, and large portions of this parcel are not developable due to strong easements to accommodate the electrical grid infrastructure, which must remain in place.

We believe that given the proper opportunity, a proposed soccer stadium would begin to clean up this region in drastic need of rehabilitation, as well as pave the future for development options, including possible clean energy initiatives for the area. Our goal today is to show you that what could be achieved on this site if the DPA is removed through this legislation, which you'll see on page 2 of the materials, is a very small portion of the overall DPA.

What exists on the site as it currently stands is essentially a brownfield site that is in dire need of cleanup, and we think we can transform it into something great, primarily access to public transportation, that would bring economic development to the region, including creation of about a thousand permanent jobs and between 1,500 and 2,000 construction jobs, and I'm proud to say we have signed agreements with the Trade Unions Unite Here as well as IBT, so that this building could be, if approved, Union-built and Union-operated.

Page 6 of our handout shows an illustrative rendering of what a soccer stadium could look like on the site. This is by no means a final design, but given the wide array of constraints on the site, we wanted to ensure that a professional soccer stadium could fit on the site. We're able to show here that we can fit the soccer stadium on the site within Chapter 91 guidelines in a manner that allows for an approximate four-acre public park with waterfront access for transportation and allows Eversource to maintain and expand the grid, paving the path for new energy initiatives in the future.

It is our expectation that a majority of fans will use public transportation as they do at most urban stadiums, including new options for getting to their destination via water transit.

We hope to host concerts, events, in addition to soccer matches, and community events to be good partners with Everett and the surrounding communities. We believe all parties involved want to do what's best to receive the best output for what this site could be. We are aware of this unique nature of this legislation, but we believe this is a unique case.

Let me be clear that we're not looking to avoid public process here. This isn't the starting line for us. This is just us trying to get to that starting line. Thank you.

Chair Barry Finefold: Any questions? I just have one quick. Do you think you could operate this without parking? That's interesting.

Bilello: Yeah. If you look at urban stadiums in general, there's very little parking needed. The reason why we are moving, and I get asked this question a lot, why would you move from Foxborough to a place like Everett? We're trying to get the stadium, and our club, to public transportation. What we hear the most from our fans is they want to have public access to the stadium. They want to have public transportation. For us, public transportation is the entire reason why we want to be up in Everett and greater Boston.

Below are some renderings that Bird shared on Twitter.

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