New England Patriots Team History
After bouncing around between four different Boston-area stadiums in their first 11 seasons, in 1971 the Patriots moved into a new stadium in suburban Foxborough (also known as Foxboro), on land granted by the Bay State Raceway.
Prior to 2002, the Patriots played in Foxboro Stadium dating back to 1971, the team’s second year in the NFL after the AFL-NFL merger. During the team’s days in the American Football League, the Boston Patriots were hosted by a number of fields in or around Boston they played at Braves Field, Harvard Stadium, Fenway Park, and Alumni Stadium.
When the NFL and AFL merged in 1970, the Patriots were placed in the AFC East division, where they still play today. The following year, the team changed their name to the New England Patriots to reflect the location change, as well as its following throughout the region as its only NFL team though both New York City teams have substantial followings in parts of Connecticut as well.
A Patriots fan since their American Football League days, Kraft has been a season ticket holder since 1971, when the team moved to the then-Schaefer Stadium. In 1985, Kraft bought a 10-year option on Foxboro Raceway, a horse track adjacent to the stadium. The option would allow Kraft to prevent the financially struggling Patriots’ owners from holding non-Patriot events at Sullivan Stadium while races were being held. In 1988, Kraft outbid several competitors to buy the stadium out of bankruptcy court from Billy Sullivan for $22 million. The stadium was considered to be outdated and nearly worthless, but the purchase included the stadium’s lease to the Patriots, which ran through 2001.
In 1994, new Patriots owner James Orthwein offered Kraft $75 million to buy out the remainder of the team’s lease at the Foxboro Stadium, which, if Kraft agreed, would free Orthwein to move the Patriots to St. Louis. However, Kraft rejected the offer and made a counter-bid a then NFL-record $172 million for the outright purchase of the Patriots, an offer Orthwein accepted. No other sports team had ever sold for a price this high in any league at that time. The Patriots sold out their season for the first time, and have sold out each season since.
Super Bowl XXXVI was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion St. Louis Rams and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2001 season. The Patriots defeated the Rams 20–17. It was New England’s first Super Bowl victory.
The stadium would open in the spring of 2002 with a “soft opening”, including games of the New England Revolution and concerts. In the months leading up to the grand opening of the stadium in September 2002, CMGi Corporation fell upon difficult financial times and sold the naming rights to the Gillette Company prior to the grand opening. The stadium was renamed Gillette Stadium, and is sometimes referred to by fans as “The Razor.”
Super Bowl XXXVIII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Carolina Panthers and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2003 season. The Patriots defeated the Panthers by the score of 32-29, winning their second Super Bowl in three years. The game was played at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on February 1, 2004. At the time, this was the most watched Super Bowl ever with 144.4 million viewers.
Super Bowl XXXIX was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Philadelphia Eagles to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2004 season. The Patriots defeated the Eagles by the score of 24–21. The game was played on February 6, 2005, at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, the first time the Super Bowl was played in that city.
Super Bowl XLIX was an American football game played to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2014 season. The American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots defeated the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Seattle Seahawks, 28–24, to earn their fourth Super Bowl title. The game was played on February 1, 2015, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. It was the second time the stadium has hosted a Super Bowl, and the third one held in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston region. The Patriots compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays its home games at Gillette Stadium in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts, which is located 21 miles (34 km) southwest of downtown Boston and 20 miles (32 km) northeast of downtown Providence, Rhode Island. The Patriots are also headquartered at Gillette Stadium.
1970 – Present / National Football League
1960 – 1970 / American Football League
1971 – Present / New England Patriots
1960 – 1970 / Boston Patriots
Patriots – Seventy-four fans suggested Patriots in the name-the-team contest that was conducted by the management group of Boston’s original AFL franchise in 1960. Originally located in Boston, was named the Patriots because of the area’s heritage as the birthplace of the American Revolution.
Super Bowl 5
2016, 2014, 2004, 2003, 2001
AFL Championship 0
2003 – Present / Gillette Stadium
2002 / CMGI Field
1990 – 2001 / Foxboro Stadium
1983 – 1989 / Sullivan Stadium
1971 – 1982 / Schaefer Stadium
1970 / Harvard Stadium
1969 / Alumni Stadium
1963 – 1968 / Fenway Park
1960 – 1962 / Nickerson Field
1994 – Present / Robert Kraft
1992 – 1994 / James Orthwein
1987 – 1992 / Victor Kiam
1960 – 1987 / Billy Sullivan
20 Gino Cappelletti
40 Mike Haynes
57 Steve Nelson
73 John Hannah
78 Bruce Armstrong
79 Jim Lee Hunt
89 Bob Dee
1993 – Present / Pat Patriot
*Blue is this team’s history