White Stadium is an integral part of Franklin Park and the surrounding communities.

On Tuesday, April 23, 2024, a group of community advocates known as the Franklin Park Defenders and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy held a press conference at Franklin Park’s White Stadium, announcing the next steps of their ongoing legal complaint regarding the City of Boston and Boston Unity Soccer Partners, LLC.’s proposal and plan. The complaint, filed in February, is in response to the unconstitutional privatization of a historic public stadium, its grounds and several acres of surrounding parkland, as well as impacts to the park as a whole and many of the communities around it.

In March, a judge denied the request for a preliminary injunction while the complaint was in review. In the weeks since the judge’s ruling, the City has moved forward expeditiously, holding several meetings on the project where residents’ concerns have continued to go unaddressed. Instead, City officials have dismissed these concerns as “frivolous.”

The Franklin Park Defenders have announced that they will be continuing the lawsuit, including next steps of legal discovery to provide key facts of the proposed lease and stadium redevelopment plan that are important to the public. The group continues to advocate for a community-first renovation of White Stadium for all who use it—Boston Public Schools athletes, neighbors and parkgoers from all over the city.

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s mission is to restore and improve the Emerald Necklace for all, and we are deeply committed to supporting the residents of all the Necklace’s neighborhoods. Our neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan ARE Franklin Park, and for decades they stewarded Franklin Park when the City of Boston did not. Today— together— we are standing up against the privatization of White Stadium and surrounding greenspace. This will not only impact those immediate areas but also existing park users and needs including the Franklin Park Zoo, golf course, cultural festivals, sporting events and many more. The environmental justice communities served by Franklin Park, and future generations of Boston student-athletes, deserve a restored public stadium and improved park.

Learn more about the Franklin Park Defenders at their website, and visit the Conservancy’s website for information on their advocacy for White Stadium.

This story was originally published by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy (April 24, 2024) and is reproduced here with their permission. To see the Olmsted Network’s advocacy efforts in Franklin Park, visit the Olmsted Action page.