Open since 2002, Gillette Stadium holds almost 69,000 fans not including Club and Suite seats, and sports a unique entrance including a bridge modeled after Boston's Longfellow Bridge as well as a 12-story high lighthouse.
Surrounded by the massive Patriots Place shopping and dining area, there's also the Pro Shop merchandise store which is 72,000 square feet. The Patriots Hall of Fame is also pretty cool and worth checking out on a non-game day, as they use it for private functions when there is a game.
Overall, the seats are comfortable, the aisles are fairly wide, it's clean, and it's pretty well-designed. It's definitely a huge improvement from the old Foxboro Stadium.
Food and Drink:
There are over 500 concessions inside the stadium, and the local selections are okay, although not fantastic. Luckily, the tailgating scene is great, and there's always Patriots Place for a pre game meal.
You'll find Nantucket Sound stands on each level serving up local faves like fish and chips and clam chowder, and BBQ Blitz stands offer up BBQ ribs, beef brisket, and a pulled pork sandwich that we loved.
There are also a few McDonalds' around the stadium, which is slightly disappointing to see, with a $9 "value" meal - although that doesn't seem like much of a deal.
For vegetarian fans, stop by any Granite State Grill for Veggie Burgers and Dogs. They aren't super great, but we've had worse. For other healthy options, there's a Wraps portable stand selling Salads and healthy wraps at section 110, and you can find Grilled Chicken Sandwiches at any Granite State Grill.
As for the beer selection, we're big fans of this stadium, as you can easily find Sam Adams varieties on draft, along with other local brews like Harpoon and Wachusett Country Ale at several Beers of New England stands. Also keep an eye out for Irish Pub portable stands selling Guiness, Harp, and Smithwick. There are also a couple of Margarita and Ketel One Lemonade stands on the Main and Upper Concourses. Check our stadium maps for exact locations of these and other suggestions.
Insider Tip: We found that for a 16 oz beer, it's the exact same price ($8) for a macrobrew like Coors Light as it is for premium brews.
If alcohol doesn't interest you, Sections 225 and 238 are designated Alcohol-Free sections.
Did Tom Brady really tell the Patriot Fans to come early and drink often? Classic!!! I love it. Nice touch Tom!
Awesome stadium! Great tailgating!
Getting There and Parking:
If you plan on driving, leave several hours early. The Patriots open the stadium 4 hours before kickoff, and if you plan on parking in a Patriots lot, you'll want to get your money's worth to park there and tailgate. Tailgating is definitely welcome, but there are no open fires allowed and no food can be brought inside the stadium. There are more than 16,500 parking spaces, and it's usually $40. (Yikes.)We cannot stress this enough: GET THERE EARLY. Traffic will be horrendous.
There are a few other parking options outside the stadium that are within a half mile to mile away at privately owned lots and businesses along Route 1, and while they don't tend to be much cheaper than parking at the stadium, it will be much easier to get out once the game ends. Check out Christina's Fireside Grill, (found on our "Before & After the Game" map). They usually charge around $30 and it's only a 15 minute walk away.
Directions to stadium:
From Boston: Take 93 south to 95 south, take exit 9 (Wrentham) to Route 1 South, and Gillette will be 3 miles ahead on the left.
From Western Mass, Vermont, upstate NY: Take 1-90 (Mass Turnpike) to 495 south, exit 14A onto Route 1 north, and Gillette is about 4 miles ahead on your right.
From the Cape: 495 north to exit 14A onto Route 1 north, and the stadium is about 4 miles ahead on your right.
There is public transportation for all Patriots games and it’s much less expensive than paying to park. It's a special train service from South Station in Boston as well as Providence Station in Rhode Island. Round trip fare is $15. The train will leave Gillette a half-hour after the end of the game. Visit http://mbta.com for general information on the train or http://www.mbta.com/riding_the_t/patriots/ for more detailed game day info. Due to increasing popularity of these trains, we recommended reserving your tickets ahead of time. We couldn't find a way to purchase online so you'll have to go to South Station, Back Bay Station, or North Station in Boston to purchase and tickets are available 2 weeks in advance. The downside: there's not much flexibility as there is only one train. So if you want to leave the game early...too bad.
Food and Drink :
Adjacent to Gillette Stadium, Patriot Place features many shopping and dining options, from casual to upscale. There’s also a four-star hotel there if you’re from out of town. Some of our favorite restaurants there:
Bar Louie - (508) 623-1195
Skipjack's - (508) 543-2200
Five Guys Burgers - (508) 203-9441
Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro - (508) 203-9463
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill -(508) 543-8629
If you don’t plan on tailgating, try to hit up one of these or any of the other dozen or so spots here.There aren’t a ton of places in the surrounding Foxborough area to hit up before or after a game, but check our exterior map for a few suggestions if you want to head outside the stadium, and specifically check out Waxy O'Connor's (found on our map)- they offer a shuttle service to Pats games.
Be sure to also read our Fanzooloo Faves in the "During the Game" section for some recommendations inside the stadium!