Before the establishment of Gillette Stadium, the Patriots played at Foxboro Stadium that stood from 1971 NFL season to 2001 NFL season. A private entity funded the stadium with a very small budget, and it featured very few amenities (Munsey and Suppes, n.d). During winter games, the aluminum benches froze, and the parking lot was unorganized and dirty. The stadium did not bring in profit to keep the NFL team in New England, because it was one of the smallest stadiums, with over 60,000 seats (Boston.com Staff, n.d). After Chuck Sullivan funded the Jackson Victory tour, the team went into debt as they tried to make a profit. The ticket sales failed, and its debt increased to over $126 million. Two unsuccessful owners bought the stadium, and it was time for a new stadium to be built altogether for the team to remain in New England. Following the announcement of the construction of a $325 million stadium, suggestions to move the stadium from Foxborough to South Boston was made, other locations suggested was state of Providence, Rhode Island. The sellout streak of New England Patriots did not stop even with a change of stadiums since 1994 (Munsey and Suppes, n.d). In 1999, the team made it public that they would remain in Foxborough, and lead to the construction of Gillet Stadium, which was fully financed by Robert Kraft, an NFL owner (Boston.com Staff, n.d).
Gillette Stadium is located in Foxborough, a town in Massachusetts which is 45 kilometers South West of Boston, and 32 kilometers northeast of Providence, Rhode Island. It is the home stadium of New England Patriots team, the administrative office of New England Patriots football franchise of NFL, and the New England Revolution soccer team of MLS (Mobile, Adept, n.d). The facility opened its doors in 2002 and replaced Foxborough Stadium. It has a seating capacity of over 68,700 fans, and its seats are designed such that one can have an optimum view regardless where they are seated because seats are focused towards the midfield. It also has 6000 club seats and 87 luxury suites. Unlike the old stadium, Gillette Stadium has twice as many parking spaces that all parking meters in Boston City (Boston.com Staff, n.d). It also has over 500 concessional locations that include 138 permanent stands. The current owner of the stadium is Robert Kraft, who privately funded 100% of the initial construction costs, and he also in charge of management together with New England Patriots (Boston.com Staff, n.d).
Teams and events
Gillette stadium hosts some events annually. First, it hosts home games for Patriots for its preseason, regular seasons and playoff.
It hosted NFL season-opening games in 2004, 2005, 2015 and 2017.
It hosted the 2003 AFC championship Games which the Patriots won 24-14 against the Indianapolis Colts.
In 2003, it hosted AFC Division playoff, the coldest game in New England Patriots history and won 17-14 against the Tennessee Titans.
The 2007 AFC Champions game was also held in the stadium and Patriots won against San Diego Chargers 21-12.
In 2010, they hosted playoffs, and it was their first loss at home. The Patriots played against Baltimore Ravens which they were beaten 33-14.
The second loss was in 2011, which New York Jets won 28-21. In 2012, NFL playoffs, they won against Denver Broncos, 45-10.
In 2012 they hosted NFL playoffs, and they defeated Denver Broncos 45-10.
In 2010 again, they hosted AFC championships and won 23-20 against the Baltimore Ravens.
In 2013, they hosted AFC Championship game. They lost 28-13 to Baltimore Ravens
In 2015, Patriots hosted NFL playoffs, and they defeated Baltimore Ravens 35-31 to revenge their previous defeat. The same year, they won against Indianapolis Colts 45-7 during the AFC championships.
In 2016, they hosted the sixth AFC championships, and they defeated Pittsburg Steelers 36-17.
Other notable events
In 2012 and 2013 seasons, Gillette Stadium hosted UMass football.
In January 2016, it hosted the Eighth Edition of NHL Winter Classic, which Montreal Canadiens played against Boston Bruins.
The in 2005 the stadium hosted MLS playoff games which the Patriots won against Chicago Fire
In 2007, they won the Eastern Conference Final, and Revs were sent to MLS Cup.
In 2003, it hosted the 2003 FIFA Womens World Cup which featured teams from Norway, Canada, United States, Sweden, South Korea, Japan, and Brazil.
In 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2017, it hosted the NCAA Mens Lacrosse Championships.
Since 2016, the AMA Supercross Championships have been taking place in the stadium.
The ticket holders for the Patriots originate from all the 42 states in the US, four provinces from Canada, Eight foreign States, and three U.S. territories. Ticket prices vary per game, and also per seat. In our case, we shall use the upcoming game, New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on November 26th, 2017. The ticker list is as shown below:
Upper Seats range from $229 to $299.
The lower sideline seats range from $289 to $450
The lower midfield seats range from $489 to $650
A majority of luxury seats are the club seats. Club 9 seats are considered the best for luxury sitting. The club seat and suite ticket holders have their own private entrance on each sideline. They have access to escalators that transport the fans to the dining and entertainment areas, with a beautiful scenic view. They are also provided with premium parking with designated ingress and egress to the US 1.
The club seats range from $775.35 to $999.00 at its best value
The best club seats range from $999.99 to $1230.50
Regarding concessions, the stadium has an arena, which is a complex comprised of restaurants and ships. The vendors are from the Bass Pro Shops in New England, Federal Hill, Freeport Fryer, Nantucket Sound, Granite State Grill to Toby Keiths Bar and Grille. These food courts offer a variety of meals that fans can choose from. There is an open mall, a movie theater, a health center and a four-star hotel (Mobile, Adept, n.d). There are over 500 concessions during an event, and during a typical match day, fans consume over a ton of Italian sausages and 280 gallons of clam chowder. Other featured restaurants are the MacDonalds restaurant in the end zone. Satellite souvenir stands are also in abundance.
Some of the New England Patriots sponsors include Gillette which is a brand for shaving and personal care products, the other is Putnam Investments an investment entity; Dell Technologies that provides infrastructure for in organizations, NRG Energy, an energy company, Bank of America, Verizon Communications, Optum, a healthcare company; Cross Insurance, Empower, CarMax, AND Union Point (Mobile, Adept, n.d).
When Gillette Stadium was opened in 2002, Gillette bought its naming rights from 2003 for an undisclosed amount of money. The previous sponsor, CMGI now called MLNK who had paid $105 million for 15 years was forced to revise its Patriots sponsorship after the dot-com bubble busted. Gillette was purchased by Proctor & Gamble which have extended the naming rights deal from 2017 to 2031 at a price of $105 million (Munsey and Suppes, n.d).
Despite some of the disappointing losses in the NFL Season, New England Patriots have become one of the most successful teams in NFL over the past decade. They have won 5 Superbowls, and attended 5 in totals, and have never fallen below top 2 of the AFC East. The following is a SWOT analysis of the stadium which hosts such successful team according to McKinnerney.
The stadium utilizes a start of the art technology as their top priority. The infrastructure in the stadium allows fans to connect easily with their portable devices, hence improving the quality of life in the stadium
The state of the art infrastructure utilized in stadium seats, playing field and other amenities, ensures that the stadium is accessible even during winter
The stadium also has a large parking area which is crucial for ensuring order and easy access for the fans.
The availability of an arena that features shopping malls, food courts among other facilities allows fans to be entertained fully throughout the matches
The availability of VIP suits attracts high profile celebrities who can host their concerts in the stadium
The stadium is located in North Eastern United States which experiences harsh temperatures during winter. These temperatures make the games unpleasant for fans, because it is an outdoor stadium
Due to harsh winter temperatures, it is challenging to get fans to attend the games; hence the stadium collects low revenues during winter seasons
The stadium is also located outside Boston City, in the Suburbs Foxborough, hence there is a challenge when fans drive from Boston to Foxborough
To curb the extreme weather conditions, utilization of social media can allow Patriots to attract fans by posting their snow photos, and that way, they convince the fans to relive great game moments in the snow. Through social media, they can market the emotions of the fans.
To manage inaccessibility, Patriots utilized additional land that was not available in the city to create Patriots Palace which keep people coming to the stadium all year round
The Patriots matches have had very high ticketing prices and hence could reduce the number of fans attending live matches with time.
There are threats from other rivals, for instance, the New York Jets (McKinnerney, n.d).
There are also threats from top franchise buying the Cowboys better players.
The stadium has a lighthouse that shoots light 2 miles, and it has a large LED scoreboard and a smaller one (Mobile, Adept, n.d). It also features two high definitions Daktronics video displays. It also has a large screen that measures 41.5 feet tall and 164 feet wide, and it has been the second largest video monitor in any NFL stadium. Also, the stadium has high-speed internet that allows fans to share their experiences in the stadium (Mobile, Adept, n.d).
To manage the winter frost temperatures, the management can install an overhead roof in future to enhance the experiences of the fans. Also, it can liaise with the state government to construct an electric train that can transport people from Boston to the stadium to ensure that that ease traffic during match days. The Patriots can also reduce their ticket pricing, to allow increased access to fans, from all works of life.
Interesting Features of the Stadium
The stadium is home to one of the most successful NFL teams who had 7 Superbowl appearances according to USP ranks. It is also a stadium that has had disputes, especially over its location (Boston.com Staff). The owner, Robert Kraft financed the building of the stadium on his own. HOK Sport that is now populous presented 200 designs to Kraft before he settled for the one he liked. The stadium also has a front door with a Disneyland-like entrance. The parking space in the stadium is twice the size of all parking lots in Boston (Boston.com Staff, n.d).
Boston.com Staff. "Gillette Stadium: Did You Know?." Boston.com. N.p., 2013. Web. 30 Oct. 2017.
McKinnerney, Matt. "Marketing The New England Patriots." mattsportmarketerney. N.p., 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2017.
Mobile, Adept. "Gillette Stadium - Venue Information." Gillettestadium.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 30 Oct. 2017.
Munsey, and Suppes. "Gillette Stadium." Football.ballparks.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 30 Oct. 2017.
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