2.3 min readBy Published On: March 28th, 2024Categories: News0 Comments on White Stadium Reno Plans are Moving Forward

Back in December, a new plan to renovate White Stadium in partnership with a pro women’s soccer team was revealed, and it stirred a bit of local controversy.   First, when it was announced that BPS football games and practices would be prohibited during soccer season – from roughly March to November. The rule is in place to protect the field’s natural grass.  Secondly, the project was stalled by a lawsuit from The Emerald Necklace Conservancy and 21 residents over concerns that the soccer team’s involvement might reduce public and student access to the stadium.

But last week, a Superior Court Judge sided with the city and the pro team to move forward with the plan.

The Boston Unity Soccer Partners released the following statement: “We are grateful that today’s ruling demonstrates the court’s understanding that the communities around Franklin Park and White Stadium should not have to wait any longer for the decades of neglect and underuse to be addressed. We are confident that there is no legal basis for this lawsuit and that this public, private, and community partnership can be realized. Heartened by the positive feedback and support we’ve heard in numerous meetings with neighbors, civic leaders, community groups, and elected officials, we will continue to engage with all constituencies to solicit ideas, understand perspectives, and address concerns. We invite the Emerald Necklace Conservancy to participate with us and welcome the opportunity to collaborate. We are proud to be part of a project that honors the legacy of White Stadium so that it will continue to serve as a point of pride for generations to come.

As for the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, they are less than pleased with Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Sarah W. Ellis’ decision.

“Residents of the neighborhoods around Franklin Park have significant concerns about the plan to turn control of White Stadium over to a professional sports team rather than renovating it as a public stadium for the sole benefit of BPS students and the local community,” said Melissa Hamel, plaintiff and resident of Jamaica Plain. “We urge the City to abandon its attempt to fast-track the privatization of public trust land over the deep-seated objections of community members, and instead engage in a neighborhood process focused on environmental justice for the Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan and Dorchester neighborhoods.”

Judge Ellis ruled that the public would gain more access with the plan, and that the use was consistent with what George Robert White – who left money to the city for the benefit of its residents — including purchasing the land and building White Stadium in the 1940s with the ultimate goal to benefit Boston’s schoolchildren.

You can get the full details of the City’s plan here. 


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