By: Ian Logue
Twelve years later, Gillette Stadium is still among the best venues in the NFL. (USA TODAY Images)
Last season there was a report that surfaced regarding some upgrades that would be done at Gillette Stadium over this past offseason, and it appears the players got a chance to see them first hand during the first day of voluntary workouts on Monday.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, those who were on hand Monday had a chance to get a glimpse of the new improvements at Gillette, which reportedly includes a brand new training room for players. It’s all part of a massive expansion project that’s been going on that should help improve football operations at the Stadium.
A previous report pointed out that the idea behind the move was to upgrade the scouting and coaching offices, and also to try and get everything together and consolidate them. Previously the offices spanned a number of different sections of the stadium, but the 25,000 square-foot two-story complex that’s under construction on the east side of the stadium should help alleviate that problem.
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski answered questions from fans and signed autographs at the Patriots Hall of Fame after taking part in the Speaker Series on Monday, but told Reiss the improvements were a welcomed sight.
“The new training room is really nice,” Gostkowski said. “It’s all new stuff, bigger, more conducive for as many players as we always have [on the roster].”
Since opening in 2002, the latest additions join the long list of upgrades done at Gillette in recent years. The Stadium recently replaced their field turf, going with the latest technology after being the first NFL stadium in 2006 to install the original state-of-the-art turf that was put in.
They’ve also installed Wi-Fi for the fans, which ultimately led to the addition of an impressive “Game Day” app for fans to have exclusive access to video of the game live on their phone or tablet. For anyone who has attended a game in recently, you have the capability within moments of a play to view the replay right in the palm of your hand. They’ve also added brand new HD Screens in both endzones along with new upgraded concessions.
There are more on the way, as the organization also plans to erect a freestanding, permanent “pavilion” in front of the stadium. As for inside, they’re also reportedly planning on adding two elevators, as well as expanding the large suites on the west side of the stadium.
Twelve years later it’s still heads and shoulders above the old Foxboro Stadium, and for now it seems the upgrades are still making it one of the top facilities in the league for both the fans and players. Gostkowski praised the organization for doing their best to make sure it’s on par with other NFL stadiums.
“It’s like colleges that have the nicest stuff. It makes the players excited,” Gostkowski told Reiss. “They show up and it’s like, ‘This is awesome.’ We’re here every day for 8-10-12 hours a day during the season, so you want it to be a place you want to come to. They’re doing a job of keeping things new and keeping things up to date to be on par with other teams in the NFL; it’s state-of-the-art and top-of-the-line.”