1970 - NFL and AFL Merge
When the NFL and AFL merged in 1970, the Patriots were placed in the American Football Conference East (AFC East) division, where they still play today. The following year, the Patriots moved to a new stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, which would serve as their home for the next 30 years. As a result of the move, they announced they would change their name from the Boston Patriots to the Bay State Patriots. The name was rejected by the NFL and on March 22, 1971, the team officially announced they would change its geographic name to New England.