FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Revolution head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena has seen everything when it comes to training facilities during his long MLS coaching career at four different clubs.
As New England officially unveiled its $35 million Revolution Training Center on Monday, Arena wasted little time lauding it.
“This is the best training facility I've ever been in my career,” Arena said.
Front of the new Revolution Training Center | Courtesy of New England Revolution
Arena was not just looking to say something nice about the multi-million dollar investment in front of club owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft. Arena spoke plainly about how impressive the training facility compared to his previous coaching stops.
“You know that things weren't great at the LA Galaxy like you'd like to believe, we didn't have great training facilities for [an everyday] environment like this,” Arena said. “This is special. When I was at New York Red Bulls, we used to drive in our cars looking for practice fields. So this is as good as it gets.”
Arena added the Revolution “needed to be in an environment where the players had everything available to make them successful, so there’s no excuse.”
The 68-acre complex includes three full-size, natural grass fields, including one with heating coils underneath it, locker room and training facilities for MLS, USL League One and academy players and staff, and amenities like a player lounge and dining area, gym and training spaces plus office space for the front office and technical staff. There is even a barbershop chair in the first-team locker room and an adjacent interview room.
New England’s USL League One team, Revolution II, which starts play in 2020, and the Revolution academy have their coaching offices and locker rooms on the first floor by aspirational design, according to Arena.
“Well, clearly our young academy players see this facility and they want to come upstairs — they're going to be downstairs,” Arena said. “The goal of every player should be to try to get upstairs, so it's a motivating force for players below the first team and I think that's all part of trying to develop a culture of success.”
The first team locker room at the new training center. | Courtesy of New England Revolution
Revolution president Brian Bilello added that in terms of a recruitment tool, a number of player agents have toured the facility and rated it “better than most facilities in Europe.”
Both Robert and Jonathan Kraft acknowledged that building a soccer-specific stadium in Boston is still a goal for the club, but Jonathan Kraft said that project “is going to be a longer plan” and it could not be at the expense of finishing the training facility.
“A big part now across the league is world-class training facilities,” Jonathan Kraft said. “Brian and his staff really put a lot of thought into what you see here … and hopefully sometime, while we're all still walking this Earth, we will be at a similar event, announcing a stadium too.”