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Gillette Stadium

Aerial View
Copyright 2002 by Aerial Views Publishing

  Venue Resources  
Address One Patriot Place
Foxboro, MA 02035
Phone (800) 543-1776
Official Website
Seating Weather
Newspaper
Satellite View
Patriots Gear
  Calendar / Tickets  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Boston

  The Facility  
Date Opened September 9, 2002
Ownership
(Management)
Robert Kraft
(New England Patriots)
Surface Grass
Cost of Construction $325 million
Stadium Financing Robert Kraft
Former Names CMGI Field
(2002)
Naming Rights CMGI Investments originally paid $120 million for 15 years.
No information on the amount of the Gillette (Proter & Gamble) amount.
Stadium Architect John Bolles
  Other Facts  
Tenants New England Patriots
(NFL) (2002-Present)
New England Revolution
(MLS) (2002-Present)
Population Base 4,600,000
On Site Parking 14,000
Nearest Airport Logan International Airport
Retired Numbers #20 Gino Cappelletti
#57 Steve Nelson
#73 John Hannah
#78 Bruce Armstrong
#79 Jim Lee Hunt
#89 Bob Dee

Championships 1st

XXXVI
2001
2nd

XXXVIII
2004
3rd

XXXIX
2005

  Seating  
Capacity 68,756
Average Ticket $90.89
(2005)
$117.84
(2008)
Fan Cost Index (FCI) $477.47
(2005)
$596.25
(2008)
The Team Marketing Report FCI includes: four average-price tickets; four small soft drinks; two small beers; four hot dogs; two game programs; parking; and two adult-size caps.
Luxury Suites 2,000 8-36 seaters, 8-30 seaters, 50-24 seaters, 6-16 seaters and 8-16 seaters range in price from $85,000 to $325,000 per year.
Club Seats 6,000
  Attendance History  
Season  Total  Capacity Change
1993 362,964 75% 17.7%
1994 472,718 98% 30.2%
1995 466,743 97% -1.3%
1996 468,301 97% 0.3%
1997 477,431 99% 1.9%
1998 475,828 99% 0%
1999 461,624 96% -2.99%
2000 463,722 96.1% 0.5%

2001 2002 2003 2004
482,336 547,488 524,430 550,048

2005 2006 2007 2008
550,048 550,048 550,048 550,048

2009 2010 2011 2012
550,048 550,048 550,048 550,044
1993-2001 - Attendance for Foxboro Stadium, Foxboro, MA.

Sources: Mediaventures

PATS STADIUM MIGHT BE DELAYED UNTIL 2002
June 24, 1999
Copyright 1999 Mediaventures

The New England Patriots might not be able to move into a new 68,000-seat stadium until 2002 because of the time it will take to relocate a mobile home park, win zoning approvals and build an access road for the private use of suite and club seat holders. Team officials said a 2001 open is still possible, but they aren't trying to be overly optimistic.

The Patriots walked away from a deal in Connecticut because of delays in getting the project underway. The team wanted to be in a new building by 2001, but when Connecticut suggested it might be delayed until 2003, the Patriots accepted a Massachusetts plan to remain there.

CANCEL THE MOVERS DEAR, WE'RE STAYING IN FOXBORO
May 6, 1999
Copyright 1999 Mediaventures

First it was Foxboro, then it was Rhode Island, then it was Foxboro, then it was Hartford and now it's Foxboro again. The New England Patriots have decided to walk away from a controversial stadium deal in Connecticut and accept a proposal from Massachusetts that will lead to a new stadium.

Team officials said they decided to stay for the good of the fans and not because many NFL owners opposed the move. Observers believed the NFL would have rejected the move, not wanting to give up a large media market like Boston for the much smaller Hartford population.

With the announcement, Massachusetts legislators agreed to get right to work on implementing their proposal. The plan has the endorsement of the Senate and the House, which had been the voice of opposition in previous attempts to keep the team. House Speaker Thomas Finneran, who block earlier proposals, added his name to those in favor and says he wants to move the bill along, but wants public hearings as part of the process. Gov. Paul Cellucci wants to sign the legislation by May 25.

The plan calls for Owner Robert Kraft to privately finance a $250 million stadium next to Foxboro Stadium. The NFL, under a new financing plan, will finance up to half of Kraft's cost. The state will pay for $70 million in infrastructure improvements around the stadium. Kraft will also pay nearly $1 million a year in easement fees.

While public officials in Connecticut were working to make the Patriots' new stadium a reality, they still faced many hurdles. They had made progress on a plan to move a steam plant from the stadium site, but had not yet signed a final agreement. Early negotiations were fractious until public pressure forced the sides to give up hard-line positions. There were also environmental concerns about the site and whether the state would encounter budget-breaking clean-up issues if pollutants were found.

Timing was also a factor. It was clear the new stadium could not open before 2002, but if new problems arose, that could extend to 2003 or beyond. The Patriots had originally hoped to be in a new stadium in 2001. The delays would cost the team $100 million annually in revenue it would need to remain competitive. It could also expect to lose money in Foxboro as fans abandoned the lame-duck team.

And there was the NFL, which led the move in Boston to create a new stadium plan. With the NFL working actively against the move, it was clear Kraft would need convincing arguments to sway owners to his way of thinking. Many suggested that in the end, it was the risks associated with playing out the Connecticut deal versus the known obstacles in Massachusetts that led Kraft to abandon the move.

The Patriots' decision came after its own consultant said the odds of having a stadium ready to occupy in 2002 were highly unlikely. Kraft faced a Saturday deadline to withdraw from the deal without penalty and with Connecticut Gov. John Rowland unwilling to extend that deadline, Kraft was forced to pick a deal.

In Connecticut, the mood was expectedly grim and sometimes angry. There were suggestions the state might sue the NFL for interfering in the process, but no action has yet been taken. Connecticut officials have even suggested that Kraft might sell the team to Houston, but team officials say it's not for sale.

The stadium was a key element to a downtown revitalization project and a convention center. The stadium would also have been home to the University of Connecticut's football team. While the stadium design may be scaled back, officials say they still plan to build the venue. Those pushing the convention center and other projects say they too will move forward, but they are expected to have a much tougher time winning state and private dollars after the Patriots' disappearing act.

The NFL is also poised to go to work selling luxury suites for the new Patriots stadium. The new venue is expected to have up to 125 suites costing $75,000 to $325,000 a year. Preliminary plans also call for 6,000 club seats. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue will be in Boston late this week to speak before the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce to ask support for the new stadium. So far BankBoston, Citizens Bank, John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co., Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos, the Boston Herald and the Boston Red Sox have agreed to invest.

The Patriots are expected to have little involvement in sales in the short term. The combination of NFL officials and local business leaders has been a winning combination in building support for the Patriots and team officials seem willing to stay with a plan that works. The NFL will be pitching suites from a model built by the Patriots in the BankBoston building several years ago.

NFL ISSUES FIRST STADIUM LOANS
May 27, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

The NFL has approved stadium loans to the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos under a new program designed to help owners fund the cost of new venues. For the Patriots, the loan means the league will pay up to half the cost of the stadium now expected to cost $285 million. The league's maximum investment will be $150 million. The loan will be repaid over 15 years from club seat revenue that would have gone to the visiting team. If Robert Kraft, team owner, sells the team before the loan is repaid, he is responsible for repaying the full amount himself.

The league is expected to loan up to $44 million to the Broncos and up to $55 million for the Eagles.

MASSACHUSETTS COMES THROUGH, BUT BUSINESSES SLOW TO BUY SUITES
May 27, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

Massachusetts made good on its promise to the New England Patriots and approved $70 million to help build a new stadium for the NFL team in Foxborough. The money will be used for infrastructure work around the new stadium. Owner Robert Kraft will fund the $285 million stadium itself.

NFL officials, who were handling the sale of luxury suites and getting commitments from companies for support, say they have pledges for $6 million to $7.5 million, about half of what they expected to have by this week. Project supporters were working to put a good face on the situation, saying earlier projections were overly aggressive. The sales were made in less than one month of hard selling.

Scoreboard
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Suites were priced at $75,000 to $325,000. Pricing for club seats has not been disclosed. The NFL had anticipated building up to 125 luxury suites at the stadium, but has now trimmed that number to 80. Although fewer in number, the new suites will be larger than most, ranging from 900 square feet to 1,800 square feet.

Meanwhile, Connecticut officials, the spurned suitor in the deal, are considering a lawsuit over the team's decision to abandon a deal there and remain in Massachusetts. The agreements are being reviewed for a possible suit against the team or the NFL, which led the effort to keep the team in Boston. Connecticut is also holding the team's $2 million deposit and refusing to pay more than $100,000 in legal costs the state had promised to pay.

PATRIOTS TO BEGIN PHASE TWO OF SUITE SALES
June 3, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

The New England Patriots next week begin phase two of their suite sales campaign to raise money for a new stadium. Potential buyers will be invited to a private meeting with team owner Robert Kraft to talk about investing up to $325,000 in one of the stadium's 80 luxury suites. Phase one of the campaign was shy of its $15 million goal and team officials want to make one more push to seal up the financing of the venue. The team also wants to get commitments for the stadium before the Red Sox begin marketing suites for their new ballpark.

PATS SEE SUCCESS WITH SUITE SALES
June 10, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

A new sales push has paid off for the New England Patriots who now have more than half of the 80 available luxury suites leased and $80 million in revenue promised for the new venue's first 10 years. The team's quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, was among the suite buyers. The stadium is expected to cost $285 million, all of which will be funded by team owner Robert Kraft when it hopes in 2002. Kraft recently agreed to reject a deal in Connecticut when Massachusetts agreed to invest in infrastructure improvements around Foxoboro Stadium.

The sales team, armed with a sketch of the new 68,000-seat stadium, was able to close 43 sales, in part by showing potential buyers the location of the suites that range in price from $85,000 to $325,000. Suite holders will also be treated to a private parking area and stadium exits that speed them on their way out of the area. The price does not include tickets to MLS Revolution matches or other stadium events. All leases are for 10 years.

The stadium is also designed to give other fans prime views. Nearly 80% of the venue's seats will be located along the sidelines, including the 6,000 club seats. Club seat holders will have access to a lounge running the length of the stadium with windows and televisions that allow them to stay in touch with the game.

PATS STADIUM MIGHT BE DELAYED UNTIL 2002
June 24, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

The New England Patriots might not be able to move into a new 68,000-seat stadium until 2002 because of the time it will take to relocate a mobile home park, win zoning approvals and build an access road for the private use of suite and club seat holders. Team officials said a 2001 open is still possible, but they aren't trying to be overly optimistic.

The Patriots walked away from a deal in Connecticut because of delays in getting the project underway. The team wanted to be in a new building by 2001, but when Connecticut suggested it might be delayed until 2003, the Patriots accepted a Massachusetts plan to remain there.

CONNECTICUT STILL CONSIDERING LAWSUIT AGAINST PATRIOTS
September 30, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

Still smarting from a decision by the New England Patriots to break a deal with Hartford and remain in Foxborough, Connecticut officials are still considering the possibility of suing the NFL team. Under the agreement with Hartford and the state, the Patriots were prohibited from negotiating with anyone else while the agreement was in force, but state officials believe the team may have requested that a consultant provide information to Massachusetts officials that led to new deal.

While the state's attorney general investigates, Connecticut is holding $2 million in bond money posted by the Patriots when the agreement was set. The state is also refusing to pay more than $166,000 in legal bills owed to the team.

ACCESS ROAD THREATENS PATRIOTS STADIUM DEAL
October 7, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

Citizens living near the site of a proposed Patriots stadium in Foxborough, MA are opposing plans for a new access road and their opposition could scuttle the entire stadium plan. While the residents are not opposed to the stadium, they do not believe the access road, which brings the traffic into their neighborhood, should be built. The NFL believes the road is necessary to deal with other concerns about traffic getting into and out of the stadium. The road will be used to serve premium seat holders in the stadium. (See story below)

The land must be rezoned for the road to be built and citizens are ready to block that move during a town meeting scheduled for November. A two-thirds vote of those present is needed for approval. An estimated 1,000 could turn out for that meeting.

If the town votes against the plan, it could jeopardize the deal made to bring the Patriots back from Hartford, CT where they were promised a new venue. To make the deal work, Massachusetts made good on its promise to the Patriots and approved $70 million to help build a new stadium after years of rejecting proposals. The money will be used for infrastructure work around the new stadium. Owner Robert Kraft will fund the $285 million stadium itself. The venue is scheduled to open in 2002.

NFL officials, who were handling the sale of luxury suites and getting commitments from companies for support, won the money they needed to help finance the stadium. The NFL also agreed to loan money to Kraft to make it possible for him to build the stadium.

PATRIOTS AGGRESSIVELY PRICING NEW CLUB SEATS

The New England Patriots have begun selling 6,000 club seats in their new stadium at prices of up to $6,000. Only the Buffalo Bills have higher priced premium seats in a new sideline section that offers heated seats.

The 2,000 seats between the 20 and 30 yard lines are priced at $3,750 with the seats between the 30 and 40 yard lines at $4,750 each and those between the 40-yard lines at $6,000. A club behind the seats will "run from goal line to goal line directly behind the outside club seating area providing for unlimited in-and-out access during the game," according to the sales brochure. One parking pass will be given for every four seats purchased in the lower-priced levels. A pass comes with every two seats purchased at the $6,000 level. A private access road will lead club seat holders to a premium parking area.

Suites in the stadium range in price from $85,000 to $325,000. Suite holders will also be treated to the private parking area and stadium exits that speed them on their way out of the area. The price does not include tickets to MLS Revolution matches or other stadium events. All leases are for 10 years. The team is approaching a sell-out on its inventory of 80 suites.

ACCESS ROAD VITAL TO NEW PATRIOTS STADIUM
October 21, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

The New England Patriots and the NFL say if a new access road is not approved by Foxborough residents, a new football stadium cannot be built. The road will provide parking access for fans using luxury suites and club seats and is intended to take pressure off other roadways. The private road is also important to those buying the luxury seating and their support is required to pay for the $250 million privately-funded venue.

The Patriots had planned to move to Connecticut, but the NFL worked out a financing program in Massachusetts that allowed the team to stay and build its own stadium. Public money totaling $70 million will be used for infrastructure improvements around the venue. Part of the program calls for the NFL to loan the Patriots money for the construction. The NFL says it cannot loan the team the money without the access road because of commitments it made to premium seat buyers. The state funding legislation also includes a provision calling for the access road.

The 80 suite holders will pay $150,000 to $300,000 for suites holding 12 to 36 seats.

Foxborough residents will vote on rezoning of land for the road during a public meeting in November. Some living near the proposed stadium site oppose the road. The stadium is scheduled to open in 2001.

Gillette Stadium

THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Gillette Stadium Ranking by USRT
Architecture 8
Concessions 9
Scoreboard 7
Ushers 7
Fan Support 8
Location 2
Banners/History 8
Entertainment 7
Concourses/Fan Comfort 7.5
Bonus: Tailgate Scene 3
Bonus: Bridge/Lighthouse 1
Bonus: Minutemen 2
Bonus: USRT Assist 2
Total Score 71.5
September 22, 2002 - For over 30 years the Patriots played at Foxboro Stadium, a spartan $7 million venue which arguably could have been called the worst venue in the NFL. When Robert Kraft assumed ownership of the franchise in 1994, building a new stadium became a high priority. Fans supported the new owner by buying season tickets in droves and the team has enjoyed a string of consecutive sellouts going back to shortly after Kraft purchased the team.

In 2000, the fans were rewarded when plans for a new venue were unveiled, and the stadium was to be built with private financing, while public funds would be committed for infrastructure improvements. This past May, the doors opened to Gillette Stadium, the spectacular new home of the New England Patriots and the MLS New England Revolution. Located on the same grounds as the old Foxboro Stadium, since demolished, Gillette Stadium takes its place as one of the elite new venues in the National Football League.

Getting to the Venue
Located in Foxboro, about 35 miles south of downtown Boston, there is but one way in and one way out, and that is U.S. Highway 1. Interstate highways bisect US 1 from the north and south, but the on ramps to the interstates are miles away. Once on US 1, there are six lanes open, with traffic cones moved about to provide as much auto capacity as possible. But basically the advice is to leave ample time to get here, since traffic really gets snarled up and there are no road alternatives. The other option is to take the MBTA Commuter Train from the South Station in downtown Boston... the Attleboro/Providence line has a special stop at Gillette Stadium for events only.

Parking at the stadium costs $25.... that's right $25, the highest fee we have encountered so far. OK... perhaps one can park at a satellite lot and save a few bucks in exchange for a longer walk? Well, the private lots we saw charge $30, and some $35. Why more expensive? Read on...

Outside the Venue
The topography of the stadium property here is one of rolling hills, trees and meadows, not unlike our own venue in Orchard Park, New York. With freshly striped and paved lots holding over 14,000 cars, tailgating is a big ritual here at Pats games, and these New England fans can tailgate with the best of them. We encountered decorated cars and motor homes, music blaring and colorful canopies all over the place. Ford dealerships are the "sponsors" of the parking lots, and lots are named after various Ford automobiles (we were parked in the "Windstar" section). Another interesting amenity was the presence of vending machines selling soda, juice and bottled water at a reasonable price. Upon our entry was a sign reading "no open flames" but this prohibition was universally ignored as the grills were in abundance.

Getting out of the lot is a real chore --- every car in the building spilling out onto US 1. What a mess! Interestingly, the club and suite lot which is located closest to the stadium has its own dedicated ramps and overpasses to whisk them over the masses and right onto the main road. Must be nice!! Now we understood why satellite lots farther away from the stadium cost more to park... one gets out of here and home much more quickly!

The Concourses
Let's start with the main entrance, which is at the north end zone of the stadium. The stadium is built into the side of a hill, and the main walkway serves as an avenue of flags, of sorts, bearing the flags of all the NFL teams. The main gates spill into a massive public plaza, with beautiful landscape formations and a granite sculpture of a map of New England, making for a great photo opp. Look to the left and you'll find the Patriots Pro Shop, their main team store. Massive concourse ramps taking you to  the upper levels are on either side, and they are adorned with huge canvas banners of former Patriots greats (These banners adorn the entire building and look quite striking). Walk straight ahead and you will see the signature architectural element of Gillette Stadium - a tall replica of a lighthouse, symbolizing this region's long heritage as an ocean community. The base of the lighthouse is at field level, and here are rock formations and landscaping designed to give the feel of a true ocean breakwall. A replica arched bridge traverses right next to the lighthouse, and here also where you get your first glimpse of the impressive seating bowl. Go to the rail just steps from the playing surface and you can watch the Patriots players emerge from the locker room and run onto the field, up close and personal!

Both upper and lower concourses are wide and spacious, brightly lit, and the attractive neon canopies of the many varied concession and souvenir stands add to a festive look. The only way to get up and down is via stairs and ramps... no escalator towers. One of the unique things about both the 100 and 300 level concourses is that at both levels one can get a view of the seating bowl.

The Seating Bowl
68,000 seats are broken into three levels. The 6000 club seats are located on the 200 level, and run between the 20 yard lines. The 200 seats in the corners are regular seats, and are accessed via the 100 level concourse. The seats are team colors - mostly blue with the club seats colored red. Above the club level are two levels of suites spanning the sidelines. In each end zone are massive HDTV video boards offering a clarity and crispness that we have not seen anywhere else. And our favorite - digital LED effects boards, run across the sidelines directly above the club seats. And the lighthouse and bridge in the north end zone. Oh, and lots of bridges and ramps offering fans the chance to view the game from different vantage points. This stadium easily offers one of the most attractive seating bowls in the NFL!

Premium Seating
Club seat and suite ticket holders have their own private entrance on each sideline. Escalators take you up to a beautifully appointed dining and entertainment area located in a multi storied glass atrium, with dramatic views of the scenery outside. And of course... premium parking with designated ingress and egress to US 1.

Concessions
The food selection here is amazing - neon canopied concessions named Boston Common, Berkshire Grill, Federal Hill, Freeport Fryer, Nantucket Sound and Granite State Grill offer everything from meatball subs to pulled pork barbecue to chicken wings to New England clam chowder to garlic fries. Unbelievable menu selection. And let's not forget the big McDonalds restaurants in each end zone. If all the tailgate food hasn't filled you up then you will not be disappointed in the selection here. Satellite souvenir stands are also in abundance.

Retired Numbers and Banners
Just ONE banner in the seating bowl - celebrating the Patriots stunning 2001 season Super Bowl championship. The Patriots have retired seven players - Cappelletti, Haynes, Nelson, Hannah, Armstrong, Hunt and Dee. Their murals hang amongst other Patriots greats and adorn the outside walls and ramps around the venue.

Touchdowns, extra points, fumbles

Touchdown to the great Patriots fans who have sold out their venue six years running and have snapped up every available season ticket. The waiting list for season tickets is at 50,000 and growing. Great to see such dedicated fans rewarded with a World Championship.

Extra Point and speaking of tickets, prices for non-premium seats run from $49-$99. Add the 25 beans to park and refreshments, and this all adds up to one expensive day at the stadium. The Patriots price structure ranks at the top of the list from what we have seen.

Extra Point the Patriots have bucked the trend in two different ways - instead of raking the public with the bill for a stadium, they financed all this privately. Also there was no personal seat license requirement to buy season tickets. Of course, this means higher ticket prices overall. Nobody who we talked to seems to be complaining, however.

Fumble to CMGI Information Services. CMGI is a Boston area based internet capital company whose best attribute was burning cash and piling up losses while driving their stock price down to pennies. CMGI grabbed the naming rights to the venue, but when the bill came due for their commitment they took a hike. Gillette came in and saved the day, but all the directional signage in the parking lot, the concourses, and even the staff uniforms and beer cups still bear the "CMGI Field" name and logo. Looks like CMGI will have to burn yet some more cash to correct the signage before they take their place on the NASDAQ scrap heap. (Disclosure - Andrew has 500 shares of CMGI)

Fumble with all the great scoreboards and HDTV technology, simple out of town scores were presented sparingly. This is not rocket science folks, but a scrolling ticker is a must in today's NFL venue.

Touchdown to the Patriots superior event presentation. Minutemen in the north end zone fired their muskets after each Patriots score. Also, continuing a tradition going back to the Super Bowl, the players took the field AS A TEAM, with no individual introductions. Lastly, a flyover by the actual first two fighter jets which arrived to defend New York City on 9-11 provided an emotional moment.

Extra Point in these days of heightened security, each fan is searched while going through the turnstiles. Interestingly, there were "women only" lines where female security guards were assigned to do the same gender search. That is called being sensitive and thinking of the fans as valued customers.

Touchdown One of the wildest games witnessed on our tour, with a see saw battle going into overtime, and won by the Pats on an Adam Vinatieri field goal on the OT's first possession.

Special Thanks!
To the newest members of the Ultimate Sports Road Trip Hall of Fame - Pete's Aunt Fran and Uncle Rick Cowan live in nearby Franklin and graciously put us up in their home for our two night stay here. Thanks for the hospitality! Also thanks to the New England Patriots. As we mentioned, tickets are a scarce and precious commodity, and after we were shut out of tickets through the ticketmaster process, we took a chance and wrote to Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Lo and behold, a week goes by, and we get a call from VP/Community Relations Meg Vaillancourt, who told us that Mr. Kraft got our letter and directed to help us out. The Patriots got us into their  building and fixed us up with great seats to boot. THANK YOU Mr. Kraft and Mrs. Vaillancourt and you are also enshrined in the USRT Hall of Fame!

Summary
Great fans, great tailgating, wonderful architecture, beautiful seating bowl, awesome concessions, and a superb game day experience. Make no mistake - go to Gillette Stadium and see the Patriots and you will be treated to an outstanding time. As we stepped through the turnstile, we were in awe of the overwhelming ambience of the place which really dazzled the senses. Deductions are small but important - the lack of escalator towers to the upper levels, and the horrific traffic pattern outside the venue which is badly in need of further fine tuning are probably the only things we can find fault with.

November 20, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures

Dozens of people working at Gillette Stadium will be losing their jobs, a spokesman for the New England Patriots said. The cuts involve five percent of the full-time event staffing for Gillette Stadium, a holding of the Kraft Group, according to the New England Patriots' executive director of media relations, Stacey James. The employees staff football games, soccer games, concerts, trade shows and all other events, James said. The layoffs affect people who work at the facility all year, not temporary workers who are brought in to work during special events. The staffs of the Patriots and New England Revolution soccer team were not affected. (WCVB)

MORE PRIVATE PARKING APPROVED NEAR PATRIOTS' STADIUM
October 22, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Foxborough, Mass. - After hearing pleas from families who have lost income or suffer from illnesses, town officials have backed away from plans to shut down private parking lots the families were operating on their land near Gillette Stadium.

Foxborough will continue to look the other way as long as residents don't have more than nine vehicles parked for a fee on their property on days when there's an event at Gillette Stadium.

A public hearing on the issue, which drew several dozen residents from the North Street area, followed reports that local police and building officials were concerned about safety and increased traffic as drivers search side streets near the Route 1 stadium for parking deals. Foxborough, the officials said, was ready to take serious action.

Confusing the issue is a disconnect between a four-year-old zoning amendment that prohibits commercial parking in the area's residential district, and a town regulation that allows parking operations without a license for fewer than 10 vehicles.

On days when games or concerts are held at the 68,000-capacity stadium, as many as 30 vehicles have been crammed onto some yards, officials say.

A few dozen residents in area side streets have seized on the opportunity for years, offering cheaper alternatives to the fees - $40 and $50 this season - charged by the stadium and authorized satellite parking lots, and a way to avoid the nightmarish Route 1 logjam before and after popular events at the complex.

But an uptick of side-street traffic and numbers of cars parked all over driveways and lawns this year prompted a closer look as officials sought to rein in hazards including, they said, young children walking into the roadway with signs to lure customers for their family's lot.

September 23, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Gillette has agreed to a 20-year extension of its naming rights deal with the New England Patriots for the team's stadium in Foxborough, according to the Boston Globe. The deal was to expire in 2017. Terms were not disclosed.

October 7, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

The Boston Globe says Massachusetts is studying the feasibility of extending full-time commuter rail service to Gillette Stadium, an expansion that could jump-start economic development in Foxborough and ease traffic woes along the Route 1 corridor, officials there believe. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority spokesman Joe Pesaturo told the newspaper there is no firm plan to extend the commuter rail service, and that the state study just looks at the possibilities.

MASSACHUSETTS TO PLAY IN GILLETTE STADIUM
April 28, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Boston, Mass. - Gillette Stadium will be the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's new home field in a five-year deal beginning in 2012 - but the Boston Herald says the school won't be paying rent and instead will share a portion of ticket revenues and concessions.

The move is expected to decrease the school's dependence on fees and tax dollars, John McCutcheon, athletic director at the University of Massachusetts, told the newspaper.

"Under our current classification, and without the opportunity of new income, we would have increased the amount of needed institutional aid, said McCutcheon, who noted that more than 120,000 UMass alums live within 30 minutes of Foxboro.

The news comes as Gov. Deval Patrick and House Speaker Robert DeLeo cut higher education funding in their versions of the state budget by tens of millions of dollars and the state university system is wrestling with a $54 million shortfall.

Much of the $2.5 million will pay for new scholarships that will jump from 63 to 85. Other funds will be used to pay for two more coaches and upgrades to the Amherst sports facilities, as well as free rides for women athletes.

PATRIOTS EXPLORED CASINO NEAR STADIUM
October 20, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Foxboro, Mass. - A lawyer for the Kraft Group drafted zoning changes for the town of Foxborough this summer that would have allowed construction of casinos on property the company owns across from Gillette Stadium, which the Boston Globe says raises the prospect that one of the state's most powerful families could have a role in the Commonwealth's plans for expanded gambling.

The Kraft Group said the changes were submitted at the town manager's request. The manager, Kevin Paicos, also told the Globe he asked the Kraft lawyer to draft the proposal and that he brought the issue to selectmen at the request of several developers, whom he declined to name.

Those developers, he said, were testing the viability of potential sites across the state in anticipation of the Legislature approving casinos and a slot-machine parlor.

But the zoning plans were met with hostility by both the town Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen, which shelved the plans.

The Krafts, who own the New England Patriots, would face a number of significant hurdles if they choose to pursue a casino or sell property to a developer, the Globe reported. NFL rules bar franchises from owning casinos. And the pending casino bill requires that any casino developer win approval in a local ballot initiative before winning a license, something that could prove a very tough sell in Foxborough.

While the Krafts said they "have absolutely no interest" in giving up control of their property across from the stadium that is needed for parking, they did not specifically rule out interest in a casino.

"To date, that has not been an option," Stacey James, a Kraft spokesman, told the Globe in response to e-mailed questions about the team's interest in a casino. "We have spent considerable time, energy, and financial resources trying to pursue a major commercial development. . . . The site has been shovel-ready for development for several years, and we will continue to seek large-scale development options that will generate thousands of jobs for this region."

James said the company does not believe a slot facility "is the right fit for our site." But beyond that, "we are not going to limit ourselves to speculative comments on specific developments."

The Senate approved a bill that would authorize three casinos and one slot-machine parlor. The House approved a similar measure, and Governor Deval Patrick has indicated his support, as well. The proposed zoning change would have allowed a conference center, hotel, and casino on lots of at least 50 acres along Route 1, a description that would fit only the Krafts' property.

CONVENTION CENTER, CASINO UNDER DISCUSSION IN FOXBORO
December 8, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Foxboro, Mass. - Steve Wynn, one of the most powerful movers in the Las Vegas resort casino industry has visited Foxboro to talk a little football as a guest of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and, according to the Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, to gauge support for a casino paired with a hotel and convention center.

Wynn, head of Wynn Resorts, planned to open a dialogue with local officials and residents, and get a read on Foxboro's level of interest in hosting a major resort project, a Kraft Group spokesman said. Even if officials support the plan, a public vote is anticipated.

"We believe that Wynn Resorts is best in class in the resort destination industry, and we've invited Steve Wynn to visit Foxboro to meet with residents and decide if there is mutual interest in exploring a resort destination here," Kraft Group spokesman Jeff Cournoyer said.

Selectmen Chairman Larry Harrington, while noting he's seen no specific plans, said a casino would be part of the development action on Route 1 - if the town agrees in a formal approval process required under the new gambling legislation. And if Wynn wants in.

"I will personally be looking for a facility that is totally first class in every way, and a destination in itself, with hotels, convention center, restaurants - and one that will generate substantial property taxes, meals taxes and hotel taxes," Harrington said. "One that does not take away from the quality of life in Foxboro, but actually improves the quality of life for all our citizens."

Cournoyer said Wynn planned to talk to some residents and officials "about what a project of the caliber of Wynn Resorts would mean for economic development in Foxboro."

"We have not reached an agreement to lease our land," he said. "We would only agree to proceed if there was mutual interest between Wynn Resorts and the town of Foxboro." Wynn's visit to Foxboro came a week after Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill allowing three resort casinos and a slots parlor in Massachusetts.

The Kraft Group for years has been seeking a tenant to develop the property across from Patriot Place, possibly as high-tech office park, and to this point has not announced a potential tenant.

Among other features, Harrington said he would expect "the casino to be a small portion of the total project."

Harrington noted that the new legislation requires a vote by the town.

The Kraft Group has already put a set of bylaw changes in motion to make way for a vast project.

Kraft attorney John Twohig in August drafted a bylaw that would modify "entertainment facilities" to include resort, conference and hotel uses, including expanded gambling, such as a casino.

STRONG PUBLIC OBJECTION TO CASINO IN FOXBORO
January 5, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Boston, Mass. - Foxboro Selectmen delivered what the Boston Herald called a devastating blow to a plan by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Vegas mogul Steve Wynn to build a gambling complex on Route 1, voting to send a letter to Gov. Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission saying the town doesn't want a casino.

The non-binding vote - capping an hours-long, highly emotional meeting - doesn't sink the proposed Kraft-Wynn resort, but sent a message that the town's highest board believes Foxboro should be off-limits to casino gambling.

Hundreds of Foxboro residents packed a selectmen's meeting that offered the public its first chance to speak out on a proposed casino in a high-profile forum.

The Boston Globe said the meeting came hours after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft circulated a letter demanding the right to be heard.

"All Foxborough residents should have the opportunity to see a proposal and provide feedback," Kraft wrote in a letter published online and in the local media. "If it's not right for Foxborough, they will vote it down, but the proposal should be heard and the democratic process should be followed."

Opponents decried the $1 billion hotel resort and casino pitch from Wynn, proposed for land owned by Kraft near Gillette Stadium.

Legislation to legalize casino gambling, which Gov. Deval L. Patrick signed last year, authorizes up to three resort-style casinos in Massachusetts and one slots-only gambling parlor. One casino would be built in each of three regions established by the legislation. Foxboro is in the Greater Boston/Worcester region, and would compete for development rights with a proposal at Suffolk Downs in East Boston, and potentially a second proposal for Milford.

KRAFT'S RELATIONSHIP WITH COMMUNITY BECOMING STRAINED
March 29, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Foxborough, Mass. - Disputes over an advertising billboard, a proposed new casino and tax concessions are straining the relationship between the Kraft family, owner of the Patriots and Gillette Stadium, and the community.

The issue spilled over this week as The Kraft Group took Foxborough into federal court to demand the right to speak at public hearings. The Boston Globe reported that the court sided with Kraft, the town's largest taxpayer.

In a brief but forceful statement, Ted Fire, director of project administration for The Kraft Group, insisted the town is wrong to say it controls two billboards on Kraft land, and he referred to the town's proposal to settle the dispute by eminent domain as "an ill-conceived solution to a fatally flawed process."

Several hours after Fire spoke, the board decided not to pursue a plan to take the billboards by eminent domain.

The disagreement over who controls billboards near Gillette Stadium is part of a bitter dispute that some say has damaged the 27-year relationship between the town's government and The Kraft Group.

The breakdown in relations comes as Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, is asking Foxborough to consider the most controversial and far-reaching economic development proposal in its history, a $1 billion resort casino.

The Kraft Group insists the billboards are on its land. Foxborough officials say an easement gives the town control.

"Unfortunately, what I see is the relationship with the Krafts getting worse and worse," said Larry Harrington, chairman of the Board of Selectmen before the court hearing. "It's like the Hatfields and McCoys right now."

The dispute has affected town politics, setting town officials against each other at a moment when Foxborough is most in need of leadership, as the town considers a proposal from Wynn Resorts to build a gambling resort on land Kraft owns near the stadium.

"That casino is the elephant in the room, without a doubt," said Town Manager Kevin Paicos.

The Krafts presented their side of the billboard dispute recently in a mailing sent to thousands of households. It accused "some town leaders" of damaging the relationship with the threat of land takings, an "extraordinary and unprecedented action" the company warns would hurt the taxpayers.

"We hope, for the sake of the relationship and for all taxpayers, that the town leaders who are driving this agenda choose a different path," The Kraft Group wrote.

On another front, The Kraft Group sought numerous concessions from the town - a selectwoman called them "onerous" - during negotiations over a water and sewer deal involving Patriot Place, the Sun Chronicle in Attleboro reported.

The closed-door dealings came to light in newly released minutes of executive session meetings by the board of selectmen.

The demands, which reportedly changed as the negotiations progressed, included six additional liquor licenses for businesses at Patriot Place, committing the town to support a pedestrian bridge over Route 1 and for the town to advocate for a commuter rail station at Gillette Stadium.

Under the proposal, the Kraft Group would pay the town up to $400,000 a year over 30 years.

The negotiations are closely intertwined with an ongoing dispute over a town-owned water tank on Kraft property that is currently controlled by the town's water and sewer commission. The minutes, released after a request by former Selectman Paul Mortenson, covered several closed door meetings during 2010 and 2011 between members of the board of selectmen, Kraft representatives and other town officials, including members of the board of water and sewer commissioners.

The negotiations stemmed from $7.5 million in town water and sewer improvements pledged in 2007 as part of mitigation for the construction of Patriot Place. The water and sewer portion featured an expanded wastewater treatment plant at Gillette stadium to handle town as well as Gillette sewage, but the town never agreed to extend sewer mains to make use of the treatment facility.

The negotiations centered on whether Kraft would make cash payments to the town as a substitute for the expanded sewage treatment plant that would allow the town to purchase treatment capacity elsewhere.

Kraft officials say the company is not obligated for anything more than it agreed to provide in 2007, but that the company agreed to try to negotiate a compromise.

"I thought some of the requests were onerous," Selectwoman Lorraine Brue said. One list labeled "Kraft Group Proposals" included in the minutes of a Feb. 22, 2011, executive session contained a provision that would require the town to exempt the stadium and Patriot Place businesses from a local meals tax. Another said that any additional town sewage capacity financed by Kraft group payments would not be used to "facilitate development" of businesses competing with those in Patriot Place.

Both those provisions and a stipulation that revisions to the zoning bylaw proposed by the Kraft Group be supported by the planning board and the board of selectmen were no longer present in a "Term Sheet" between the Foxboro Board of Water and Sewer and the Kraft Group dated April 5, 2011.

Individuals on both sides of the negotiations said they had been near an agreement, but that nothing has been finalized.

WYNN, KRAFT ABANDON PLANS FOR MASSACHUSETTS CASINO
May 10, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Foxborough, Mass. - Wynn Resorts Ltd. announced it is suspending plans to build a $1 billion resort and casino adjacent to Gillette Stadium in the wake of the election of two anti-gaming candidates to the town council, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.

"For the past six month, Wynn Resorts has sought to communicate the benefits of a proposed destination resort in Foxborough," the Las Vegas-based gaming company said in a statement. "Yesterday's election demonstrates the community's will and Wynn Resorts respects the outcome." Wynn Resorts also thanked residents "who supported the proposed resort."

"We also would like to extend our gratitude to Robert Kraft and The Kraft Group for the introduction to the Town of Foxborough and support in this project," Wynn Resorts said.

Wynn Resorts decision to pull out paves the way for the Suffolk Downs casino-resort proposal, which is being proposed by Caesars Entertainment Corp., as the leading contender for the one license to be granted to a developer in eastern Massachusetts.

The two candidates - Virginia Coppola and Lorraine Brue - won in an election that drew nearly 60 percent voter turnout.

Coppola and Brue's win increased the anti-casino forces among the Foxborough selectmen board from 3-2 to 4-1. Bill Lerner, an analyst with Union Gaming Research in Las Vegas, said there were four candidates, who were evenly split on the issue, running for two seats.

Under the state's gaming laws, a majority of selectmen would have had to vote in favor of entering negotiations with Wynn Resorts and Bob Kraft's The Kraft Group.

"When the Commonwealth of Massachusetts pass gaming legislation, we brought forth an opportunity with the unquestioned premier developer and operator in the industry," The Kraft Group said in a statement. "We have great respect for Steve Wynn, his team and his business model, and believe this unique opportunity was worthy of a chance to be heard."

The Kraft Group acknowledged the election was a vote against the project.

"With that democratic statement, as opposed to the voices of five individuals, we will be suspending our efforts regarding a destination resort development," The Kraft Group said.

Boston Patriots / New England Patriots

Nickerson Field
Nickerson Field

1960-1962
Fenway Park
Fenway Park

1963-1968
Alumni Stadium
Alumni Stadium

1969
Harvard Stadium
Harvard Stadium

1970
Foxboro Stadium
Foxboro Stadium

1971-2001
Gillette Stadium
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2002-Present


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