Gillette Stadium in Foxboro Massachusetts is home to the New England Patriot’s Football team. It was built in 2002 replacing the old Foxboro Stadium and racetrack. Gillette Stadium is not only home to the Patriot’s but also the Revolution soccer team, hosts UMASS Amherst football, many concerts, high school football super bowls, and many other sports events. Gillette is also equipped to host corporate events, weddings, and birthday parties. Gillette Stadium has a capacity of 68,756.
The Kraft family, owners of the New England Patriots and Gillette Stadium, set out to create state of the art stadium that was dedicated to the football fan, and they succeeded. Robert Kraft’s vision, of not only building a stadium but creating a destination that could be enjoyed by all, came full circle with the opening of Patriot Place in 2007. Patriot Place offers everything from shopping, dining, a movie theater, and a four-star hotel. The Kraft’s are constantly making improvements to the stadium, which makes it fun to go year after year to see what’s new.
Inside the stadium
If you are lucky enough to obtain a ticket to a Patriot’s home game, rest assured that mostly every seat in the house is a good seat. Even if you are not in your seat, there are televisions along the concourse area, as well as open areas where you can see the field even if you are waiting in line for a hot dog.
Upon arriving at the stadium, be prepared to go through security checkpoints. Bags will be checked and you will be pat down (this includes children). You are not allowed to bring in any outside drinks or food into the stadium and parents should note that strollers are not allowed inside the stadium. You will be allowed to bring shopping bags from the Pro Shop into the stadium so feel free to shop before the game.
Concessions at the stadium offer a huge variety of food choices but be prepared to pay a pretty penny for it. Everything from Barbeque, pizzas, chicken wings, Italian sausages, burgers, hot dogs, to healthy wraps and salads can be purchased. One concession serves deli sandwiches, fruit, and veggies with hummus. There is a McDonald’s on site as well. There really is something for everyone. You will also find hot chocolate, beer, wine, and of course water and soda. Beers are not cheap, so if money is tight plan on tailgating a lot beforehand! If you are lucky enough to get into the club seats, you will find even more food choices such as sushi, French Dip sandwiches, and gourmet style steak and cheese sandwiches, and more.
The bathrooms at Gillette are large and clean but expect to wait in line. If you have children with you, the stadium offers family bathrooms as well.
Parking and Public Transportation
Parking at the stadium is plentiful but it will cost you around $40 for a car. If you plan on bringing an RV that will cost you $125 to park. Parking along Route 1 is available at private lots at varying rates but you will walk quite a ways to the stadium. Getting out of the parking lots after a game can take a while as traffic begins to cluster along Route 1, so parking in a lot along Route 1 may save you some time, however be prepared to wait in traffic at the end of the night. Tailgating is standard at the stadium no matter where you park. People arrive up to four hours prior to game time to set up. Grills are fine but fire pits are not allowed. Portable bathrooms are located everywhere even in the private lots.
If you want to take public transportation for a Patriot’s game, the MBTA offers service from South Station in Boston and from Providence Station in Rhode Island directly to Gillette Stadium. The train will drop you off right behind the stadium. If you are attending a concert or other event, you will need to take the train to the nearby town of Franklin and then get your own transportation to the stadium. For a trip to a Patriot’s game, the round trip fare is $15 and tickets remain available until they are sold out. All trains leave 30 minutes after the conclusion of the game.
If you are visiting Gillette Stadium for a game or concert, plan to visit Patriot Place before your event. Many restaurants take reservations and it is especially important to make a reservation prior to arriving on an event day at Gillette. Restaurants vary from fast food to upscale. However, don’t worry about wearing your Patriot’s gear to even the fanciest of restaurants there, they won’t mind!
There are two sections to Patriot Place: a north side and a south side. Both sections are within walking distance from the stadium. You will find just about anything you could need at the shop’s from Children’s apparel, electronics, accessories, and even a Trader Joe’s grocery store. A visit to Bass Pro Shop could take up an entire day! So, plan accordingly.
Be A HERO
One last thing to mention, Gillette Stadium participates in the Designated Driver Program. New England Patriots achieved the top status for the most fans pledging to be designated drivers in the 2011 and 2010 season.* (source: Gameday Be A HERO Designated Driver website). If you pledge to stay sober during an event you will be rewarded with a Be A HERO wristband, a free 24oz Soda, as well as 10% off at the Pro Shop. Everyone should take advantage of this great program.