Monday, October 31, 2016

Nearly 40,000 attend Revolution season finale

By Zachary Baru

Generally speaking, if it's a Sunday afternoon in late October, and tens of thousands of cars are pulling up, you are typically speaking about a Patriots game.

But in 2016, football is not the only option for this sort of crowd.  Sunday, October 22 was all about soccer at Gillette Stadium.  From the thousands who poured in early at Patriot Place, to the thousands of others tailgating in the parking lot, it was a celebration of soccer at Gillette, with 39,587 of the beautiful game's fans their to watch the Revolution close out the 2016 season with a 3-0 win over the Montreal Impact.

This was a dramatic difference from the season-ending match in 2005, when the Revolution played the Chicago Fire before 11,182 fans.  But the Revs have come a long way since then, becoming a major part of the sports landscape throughout New England.

Not a believer?  Kids, teens, young professionals and adults can be seen year-round throughout New England wearing Revs gear. And no, it is not just the soccer fields anymore, although those are even more filled with Revolution merchandise.

The popularity of MLS is very much on the rise, steady with the growth of soccer in the U.S.  As the MLS and its teams focus on marketing the game more than cheesy promotions, the fans have bought in, and many are jumping on board.

Some of the biggest growth can be seen with young professionals in urban areas.  They love soccer, love partying with the supporter's clubs, and naturally love MLS.  And you wonder why a soccer-specific stadium within the city limits of Boston is so important?

The popularity of the Revolution and all of MLS is heading in the right direction.  So where will this take us?  Higher television and radio ratings?  Higher ticket sales?  A new stadium?  2017 looks to be an interesting year for soccer in New England. Soccer fans, you've waited long enough for this.  Just sit back and enjoy.

Zach Baru can be followed @zbaru and reached at

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Big lineup ahead for concerts at Fenway

By Zachary Baru

This year will be one to remember at Fenway Park for more than just baseball.  The concert lineup for 2016 is, to say the least, impressive.

This summer, Fenway Park will welcome seven different acts with eleven dates total.  It all begins with Dead & Company playing two nights in Boston on July 15 and 16.  Price levels for Dead & Company will be $55, $80 and $104.

Just one day later, Paul McCartney will make it three consecutive days of concerts at Fenway with a performance on July 17.  From a marketing standpoint, this is a tremendous way for Live Nation and the Boston Red Sox to kick off the concert season.

The season at Fenway continues on August 3 with James Taylor, coming off his stop at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook on August 1, and of course his traditional appearance at Tanglewood on July 3 and 4 at the famous Koussevitzky Music Shed.

Just two days later, Pearl Jam will invade Fenway with two nights on August 5 and 7.

As if that wasn't enough, Billy Joel comes to the ballpark on August 18, followed by the Zac Brown Band on August 20 and 21.

The concert season comes to an end with Jason Aldean and Kid Rock on September 9 and 10.

Fenway Park has certainly come a long way building up a reputation as one of the premier concert locations in all of New England.  While the Boston Red Sox, Live Nation and all of the artists will be the parties to profit from this, the local economy in the city will reap the benefits as well. These eleven dates are eleven additional opportunities for all businesses in the area - hospitality, retail, etc, - to benefit from the influx of people in and around Fenway.

With the current lineup, 2016 certainly looks to be a concert season at Fenway that will be remembered for many years to come.

Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Just how big is the World Figure Skating Championships for Boston?

By Zachary Baru

This week, all eyes are on Boston in the world of figure skating, as TD Garden hosts a valuable, international event not just for the venue, but for the city as a whole.  The 2016 World Figure Skating Championships came to TD Garden Wednesday, and will continue through Sunday as Boston finds itself on the world's stage for this prestigious event.

The true value lies far beyond the traditional economic benefit from the influx of fans, as this week will be a commercial for the city to an international audience.  Additionally, after renovations completed within the last two years, the TD Garden will have a chance to show its capability of hosting large events, yet another reason to open the discussion of possible events in the venue's future.

One such event that is both due for an appearance in Boston, as well as a perfect match for the city, would be the NBA All-Star Game.  Back in 2013, the Boston Globe reported that Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck told the paper the Celtics were considering filing an application to host a future All-Star Game.  Hosting the event, of course, never became reality, yet the opportunity and potential is still there.  An event with the international appeal and magnitude of the World Figure Skating Championships is a perfect chance to showcase the venue's potential to host on the international stage.

As the World Figure Skating Championships bring worldwide attention to Boston, one of the most notable effects is economic impact within the city.  Between the estimated 90,000 spectators in Boston from all parts of the globe, to the international media presence, the economic impact of the event will benefit hotels, restaurants and retail shops throughout the city.  According to the Boston Globe, the estimated economic impact in Boston will be between $38 million and $41 million.

Boston's selection as host to the championships will be the first time the city is hosting the event, and it marks the first time the championships have been held in the United States since 2009, when the Staples Center in Los Angeles served as the host venue.  Boston, however, is no stranger to competitive skating, as the city hosted the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 2014.

So for anyone thinking that this week's World Figure Skating Championships is just another event for the city of Boston, think again.  The TD Garden finds itself front and center to the world's figure skating audience, in a truly special event for the entire city.

Source: The Boston Globe

Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at