One of the most iconic stadiums for NFL in the US, the Gillette Stadium is located in Foxborough, Massachusetts. It is the home to the New England Patriots Football franchise of the National Football League and Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution team.
With a total capacity of 65,878, the stadium records one of the largest footfall during the NFL season. The stadium is owned and operated by the Kraft Sports Group. There are approximately 5,000 people who work at Gillette during a Patriots game.
An iconic venue for the super bowl, the stadium has also hosted a number of international soccer matches. It has also served as the venue for many noteworthy concerts as well. The first concert was that of The Rolling Stones and it was a huge hit among the fans.
The Patriots used to play all their home games at the Foxboro Stadium right through the 1971 NFL season until the 2001 NFL season. The stadium was one of the smallest stadiums in the country with the smallest seating capacity and rather few amenities.
The Foxborough stadium did not bring in the profit which was required to run an NFL team. Tickets sales started falling with time, the debt started to mount on the team executive Chuck Sullivan.
After two failed attempts at rejuvenating the stadium and boosting sales, it became clear that they have to shift out of Foxborough to keep the team up and running. The team had to build a new stadium, in order to stay in New England. At this point, this was the time when other cities including Boston, Hartford, and Providence became in building the new stadium to lure the Patriots away from Foxborough.
During a news conference in September 1998, the team revealed their plans to construct a stadium in Foxborough itself, to preserve the heritage of the team.
Finally, in 1999, the team formally announced that they would construct a stadium in Foxborough Stadium which laid rest to all rumors citing where the stadium would be constructed.
The construction of the stadium began in 2000, with Robert Kraft paying the 100% construction costs for the stadium.
The stadium was formally opened in 2002; the stadium was named Gillette after Gillette bought the naming rights.
The venue has hosted the NFL’s nationally televised prime-time season-opening games in 2004, 2005,2015 and 2017. The stadium also hosted the AFC Championship game, where Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts 24-14.
The stadium has also hosted the coldest game in the Patriot’s history in which the Patriots defeated the Tennessee Titans 17-14.
On January 10, 2010, Baltimore Ravens beat the Patriots 33-14, which was the first playoff loss for the Patriots in their home.
Additionally, the stadium has played host to four games of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup and some Copa America Centenario matches in 2016.
The biggest controversy aroused during the location discussions for the stadium. Kraft began to draft a plan for the stadium in South Boston.
After the plan was leaked to the press, the local residents objected to the stadium being built in that location. This caused Menino and Weld to get angry at Kraft. Kraft abandoned all plans for a construction in South Boston after that affair.