Gillette Stadium officials have presented a fresh look at the venue’s largest redevelopment project since opening, pledging that work will be complete in time for the New England Patriots’ 2023 NFL regular season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 10.
First unveiled in December 2021, the $250m (£193.2m/€226.7m) north end construction project brings the total investment in upgrades for Gillette Stadium, which also houses Major League Soccer (MLS) team New England Revolution, to over $500m since the facility opened its doors in 2002.
Built for $325m by the Kraft family, Gillette Stadium is the only stadium in the NFL that was privately financed and did not require personal seat licenses. Over the first two decades of the stadium, the Krafts invested more than $300m in stadium improvements to continue to enhance the facility.
Yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) latest project update included the unveiling of several previously unreleased renderings of new features and spaces throughout the stadium. The key elements of the project break down as follows:
Enel Plaza and grand staircase
The Enel Plaza and grand staircase leading into Gillette Stadium have been expanded and reimagined to welcome fans as they enter the stadium on event day. When the original stadium was constructed, it was intentionally designed with open spaces and areas in which the stadium could grow and transform to fit the future needs of fans.
In recent years, those free, enclosed spaces for all fans were created on the main concourse including the DraftKings Sports Zone and the Cross Insurance Pavilion and the Encore Boston Harbor Terrace and JetBlue Landing on the upper concourse.
In 2002, Gillette Stadium was designed with a bridge and lighthouse in the north end of the stadium, iconic to the New England coastline.
The new signature lighthouse, standing 22 stories high and 218 feet tall, aims to serve as a regional beacon for the community and includes a 360-degree observation deck with views extending to Foxborough Center and the Boston and Providence skylines.
In contrast to the past lighthouse, this one will be operational and will allow visitors and fans new vantage points and access to the stadium as a year-round, tourist attraction on non-game days where they can experience views of Boston and Providence, two of New England’s largest cities.
Upper concourse and 360-connection
The north end zone project conjoins the west and the east sides of the stadium to complete a 360-degree connection on all levels of the stadium – only previously available on the main concourse.
The new videoboard will become the largest outdoor stadium video board in the US and measures 22,200 square feet (370 feet by 60 feet). It features a curved radius, is almost half an acre in size and over five times the size of the board it replaces.
Together with the south end videoboard, which measures 11,660 square feet (220 by 53 feet), the boards provide over three times the square footage of the previous offerings.
Bud Light Celebration Beer Hall
Last month, Gillette Stadium and Anheuser Busch announced Celebration Beer Hall, a premium space that boasts a 2,000-square-foot outdoor patio and 4,000-square-foot interior. This new location seeks to provide unprecedented access to view Patriots and Revolution players as they walk through the tunnel and out onto the field on game days.
The G-P Atrium features 50,000 square feet of a glass-enclosed, year-round hospitality and function space that bridges the gap between the East and West Putnam Clubs and the Dell Technologies Suite levels.
It sits above the new and improved Enel Plaza at the north end of the stadium and features three HD media walls and a two-tiered outdoor balcony located underneath the new videoboard.
Lower concourse amenities
To further enhance the guest experience, the lower concourse has undertaken some of the most dramatic changes in the stadium. Unoccupied space has been replaced with three glass-enclosed markets, including the Pepsi Grab and Go, Takeaway Tavern, and the Beacon. Each market features Zippin technology.
Additional features including self-pouring beer kiosks, added food offerings, a walk-in Guest Services centre, a refurbished merchandise location, two walk-up bars – the Bridge Bar and the Landing, men’s, women’s and family restrooms and a covered concourse.
Speaking as the project nears its conclusion, Jim Nolan, chief operating officer of Kraft Sports + Entertainment, said: “Throughout the planning of this project, we worked hard to positively impact every guest that comes to Gillette Stadium.
“From arrival to departure and through 360-degree access around the building, new food and beverage locations and menu offerings, premium spaces, the curved-radius video board and more, the fan journey has been enhanced.
“We are eager for guests at Patriots and Revolution games and concerts and special events to experience and enjoy these transformational upgrades as we continue with our next 20 years in the stadium.”