Home to the New England Patriots and other major Massachusetts sports teams, Gillette Stadium was first opened on May 11th, 2002 in Foxborough, which is about 22 miles away from Boston. This facility is the replacement for the now defunct Foxboro Stadium. This is a Mecca of football that attracts some of the most diehard fans in the United States. There has never been an unsold seat at Gillette Stadium for a single New England Patriots game, including preseason bouts.
Considering the debate about the cost of building new sports facilities being passed on to taxpayers, it’s notable that Gillette Stadium was privately funded, making Boston the only city in the United States with privately owned professional sports stadiums. In terms of food safety, Gillette Stadium ranks first in NFL stadiums with a zero percent critical violation rate in terms of health infractions.
Now nicknamed The Razor, this stadium was first called CMGI Field, but Gillette bought the naming rights when dot-com stocks took a dive. Gillette Stadium was built when successive owners persistently lost money operating the Patriots at old Foxboro. The previous field was one of the smallest and worst equipped in the league. Saving the team from moving out of New England required an entirely new stadium to be built.
New England Patriots Stadium
The artificial surface of Gillette Stadium was ranked seventh-best by the NFLPA in their most recent survey on the quality of various fields around the NFL. Over the past five years, the New England Patriots have been nearly unbeatable at home, losing only four games and enjoying two perfect home seasons of 8-0 in 2010 and 2013. This has resulted in a ridiculous .900 home winning percentage.
In addition to the completely rabid sports fans of Massachusetts and the surrounding area, teams from warm climates exposed to the cold have even more of an issue trying to beat the formidable Patriots. Of course, considering deflategate and other cheating scandals tied to the Patriots, visiting teams are likely also wary of any underhanded manipulation of the match – which is made easier on one’s home turf.
A lighthouse welcomes fans to the stadium, inspired by the one at Boston’s Longfellow Bridge, both of which have made their way onto the logo of the Patriots jersey.
Date Opened: May 11th, 2002
Construction Cost: $325 million
Capacity Attendance: 65,000
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Previous New England Patriots Stadiums
Foxboro Stadium; Harvard Stadium; Alumni Stadium; Fenway Park; Nickerson Field
Other Major Events
Since 2012, the UMass Minutemen have used Gillette Stadium as their home field, making the venue one of the largest and most sophisticated in college football. The New England Revolution MLS soccer team also calls this stadium home.
2016 NHL Winter Classic
Set to take place on New Year’s Day, the Boston Bruins are set to take on their bitter rivals, the Montreal Canadians, in what should be one of the best Winter Classic match-ups yet.
Gillette Stadium has been home to a variety of CONCACAF Gold Cup matches in which the USMNT have remained undefeated. In 2011, the New England Revolution played against Manchester United and in 2009 AC Milan played against FC Internazionale; both events were part of the World Football Challenge.