|Address||1 Patriot Place|
|Broke ground||March 24, 2000|
|Opened||September 9, 2002|
|US $325 million|
|New England Patriots (NFL) (2002-present)|
Massachusetts Minutemen (NCAA)
Gillette Stadium is the current home stadium for the New England Patriots of the National Football League and the Massachusetts Minutemen of the NCAA FBS Mid-American Conference. Located in Foxborough, Massachusetts, the facility opened in 2002, replacing Foxboro Stadium. The seating capacity is 68,756, including 6,000 club seats and 87 luxury suites. The stadium is owned and operated by Massachusetts businessman Robert Kraft, who also owns the Patriots and Revolution. The stadium was originally known as CMGI Field before the naming rights were bought by Gillette. Although Gillette has since merged with Procter & Gamble, the stadium retains the Gillette name because P&G has continued to use the Gillette brand name.
By the 1990s, the Patriots needed the increased revenue that would come with a new stadium to remain competitive in the NFL, as Foxboro Stadium had become obsolete and was no longer economically viable. Robert Kraft, who had owned the stadium since 1988, purchased the Patriots in 1994 and began a quest to build a more financially lucrative home for his team. After failing to reach an agreement with the City of Boston or the State of Rhode Island, Kraft and the Patriots reached an agreement with the State of Connecticut to build a new stadium in Hartford in 1998. However, issues with the site selected and external pressures from the NFL and other sources caused Kraft to exercise his right to void the agreement reached with Connecticut.
The Town of Foxborough approved plans for the stadium's construction on December 6, 1999, and work on the stadium began on March 24, 2000. The first official event was a New England Revolution game on May 11, 2002. Grand opening ceremonies were held on September 9 when the Patriots unveiled their Super Bowl XXXVI championship banner before a Monday Night Football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Home field advantage
The Patriots have achieved remarkable success at the stadium entering the 2009 NFL Season. Every Patriots game played at Gillette Stadium, including preseason games, has been sold out. Through the end of the 2009 regular season, the Patriots held a 49-12 (.803) record in regular-season and playoff games, including a franchise-record 21 straight home wins from December 29, 2002 to October 2, 2005; they enter the 2008 season with a streak of 14 home wins. The team has also won its first six playoff games played at Gillette Stadium.
The venue has hosted the NFL's nationally-televised prime time season-opening games in 2004 and 2005 (when the Patriots unveiled their championship banners from Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX). The stadium also played host to the 2003 AFC Championship Game, in which the Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts 24-14. Eight days earlier it played host to the coldest game in New England Patriots history when in the AFC Divisional Playoff game when the Patriots defeated the Tennessee Titans 17-14. Further, Gillette Stadium also hosted the 2007 AFC Championship Game, with the Patriots defeating the San Diego Chargers, 21-12.
On November 14, 2006, team management decided to replace the natural grass surface with FieldTurf. The Patriots' first game on the surface was a victory over the Chicago Bears on November 26. At the conclusion of the 2007 NFL season, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had a career record of 31-3 on artificial turf. The Patriots themselves have yet to be defeated on the new turf during a regular season or playoff game, though they did lose a 2007 preseason game to the Tennessee Titans.
Two gray logos appear on the 50 yard line of the playing field. They are the stadium logo, representing the bridge and tower at the east entrance to the stadium.
Patriot Place is built around the stadium and owned by the Patriots. Phase 1 opened in the Fall of 2007. It is described as a "super regional lifestyle and entertainment center". It includes Circuit City, Bed Bath & Beyond, Christmas Tree Shops, Staples, Off Broadway Shoes,and New England's first Bass Pro Shops. Phase 2 will include a 4-star hotel, and many other retail and dining outlets. In December 2007, it was announced that CBS would build a themed restaurant and nightclub at the site. CBS owned WBZ-TV, and their sibling stations, independent television station WSBK-TV and five local stations owned by CBS Radio will operate remote broadcasting locations from an on-site restaurant, which will be called CBS Scene. Also included will be a Hall at Patriot Place, honoring the Patriots accomplishments and Super Bowl championships.