ESNA raises some questions on White Stadium redevelopment

By Adam Swift

The members of the Egleston Square Neighborhood Association had an informal discussion on the White Stadium renovation plans at their monthly meeting last week.

During the meeting, members agreed to send a list of questions and concerns to the project team, as well as to invite a member of the White Stadium Impact Advisory Group (IAG) to their July meeting to get more information and details on the latest changes to the plans.

“Overall, I am very supportive of the project,” said ESNA member Dasha Mikic.

However, Mikic said she was concerned that the latest iteration of the plans no longer show tennis courts near the stadium. She said the original plans called for replacing the basketball and tennis courts behind the stadium, but that the latest renderings showed only the basketball courts.

“I think the White Stadium team has done a really great job advocating for everyone’s enjoyment of the park and that (activities) will be increased and better and things won’t be lost,” said Mikic. “I’m feeling personally that (the removal of the tennis courts) will be a loss for me.”

The redevelopment of White Stadium is a public-private partnership between the city and Boston Unity Soccer Partners. The private group is aiming to bring a women’s professional soccer team to the revamped stadium in 2026. The city has touted that the redeveloped stadium will be a greater asset for Boston Public Schools athletics as well as the public that uses Franklin Park.

ESNA Chair Carolyn Royce said she has been pleasantly surprised by how much response to concerns there has been from the project team and the city.

“They have responded to a lot of things over time and actually made changes,” she said.

Other members of the ESNA said they would like to see cleared documents showing how the renovated stadium will compare in size to the current stadium. There were also concerns raised that there would be a huge impact on parking for people who want to visit Franklin Park to take part in passive recreation.

ESNA member Susan Pranger said she was also curious to see if there has been any input from Egleston Square business owners about the impact the stadium renovation will have on their businesses.

“I think it is really critical that the merchants give this some thought and provide feedback,” she said.

Royce summarized that some of the concerns and questions raised by the ESNA about the project included the size of the stadium proposal compared to the current stadium, information on the number of trees that will be removed, community benefits, and any possible tree signage and infrastructure work for the business district.

“I hope it all gets worked out, because I want to see that stadium get rebuilt,” said Royce.

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