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Advice on what fans making their first visit to Gillette can expect

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jmt57, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Every year hundreds of fans make their first visit to the Boston area, and their first visit to Foxboro to see the Patriots play live. Many come here in search of advice, and with questions about where to stay, what to do, how long will it take to get there, etcetera.

    Unfortunately many of those questions are often unanswered because they are in one of the less-often visited subforums such as the New Members Area or Patriot Nation, so after seeing one of these threads over there I thought I'd start a thread here where it will hopefully get more expert :D responses for those making their first pilgrimage to Gillette. In addition others that ask similar questions throughout the season can be pointed to this thread for answers.


    Here's a sampling of one of these threads; hopefully the forum can offer some good advice based on their experiences.

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  2. Joker

    Joker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As far as I know, we will be staying in Boston, and my gf said that Gillette Stadium is about an hour away from our hotel :s Can anyone offer any advice as to how early we should show up for the evening game?
    4 hours early is a good rule of thumb if you plan on tailgating...2 otherwise, just to be safe

    What about tailgating parties?
    Smerlas runs a Patsfan tailgate party..http://www.patriotstailgate.com/...otherwise, if you have any friends here, see about meeting them and tailgating.There are plenty of friendly Pats fans who regularly help out our out of town brethren

    I've heard so much about them but I've never been to one and I'm not quite sure how it works..
    it works like this....a group parks together,puts up a tent, takes out the grilles and...well whatever, you'll see just about everything you can imagine

    Finally.. since I bought the tickets online and I've never seen actual NFL tickets, how do I know these things are the real deal and I won't be turned away at the gates ala Homer Simpson (sorry sir, these aren't even tickets.. they're printed on crackers! DOH!)
    in Boston take them to ACE ticket...they'll verify them for you..free of charge
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2011
  3. Glorystomper

    Glorystomper Rookie

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    jmt - thanks for posting it onto the main section, i wasn't sure where to post it so i figured i'd stick it someplace where local people would see it. guess i shoulda checked the date when someone last posted!

    joker - awesome, thanks for the reply! gonna look into that smerlas link:)

    pats vs colts! woo! should be a great game!!!
  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Actually you wouldn't have been able to start a thread in this forum anyways; we had to implement a 50-post minimum before starting a thread here due to too many trolls signing up and posting tons of BS on game days several years ago.

    Besides, it's an often-asked question so it's not a bad idea to put something together in one place here for those with similar questions over the course of the season.

    I haven't been to Foxboro in several years so I'm hesitant to give my own opinions; I'd prefer folks that have been there often more recently to chime in. However, I will say that the consensus is that taking the train is not a preferred option. It's very slow; you miss the tailgating experience; and you may miss kickoff if it's delayed.

    - Parking: be prepared; it's probably the most expensive there is in the NFL. I'll leave it up to others for recommendations on which lots would be preferable.

    - Since you're from Canada I don't have to tell you about dressing in layers.

    - If you're planning on visiting the Patriots Hall of Fame you should do that the day before; if I recall correctly it's not open on game days. Perhaps somebody can either confirm or refute that statement for me.

    - Everybody is going to have their own opinions on what to do while you're here, but if you asked me I would narrow it down to (a) a visit to the North End, with at least one meal there; (b) at least one meal at just about any seafood restaurant in the city; (c) even though it is touristy, a visit to Faneuil Hall. It's walking distance to the North End so you can combine those two as well.


    Pats-Colts for your first game in Foxboro? Wow, anything after that may end up being a huge letdown!
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  5. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What jmt57 said!
  6. PatsDeb

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    Hey fans making first trip - congrats and have a ball! I am a long time season ticket holder who has actually given up tailgating and started spending my pre-games at Patriot Place, usually Skip Jacks, where I can enjoy several glasses of wine, a good meal and not freeze my butt off along with other merry Pats fans. Skip Jacks is a kind of pricy mostly seafood place, but I have never been shut out of a table there and you can wait around the crowded bar watching the early game or pregame coverage on their many t.v.'s before your table is ready. There is also Red Robin where I enjoyed the bar but didn't get a table in time the one time I tried it. CBS Scene is always a 2-3 hr. wait by the time I get there (2-3 hours before the game) so I have never tried that one. There are several other restaurants but I usually stick with Skip Jacks.

    I come from southern NH. Normally it takes me one hour and ten minutes to drive to Foxboro but I make sure I leave about 3 1/2 to 4 hours prior to kickoff on game day; maybe longer if it is a Monday night game and you have to deal with regular traffic on top of game traffic. I come down Rte. 1 South, where you will come too if you are driving from Boston or points north and I like to park in the lots just north of the stadium (between a liquor store and a Ford dealer) on the other side (from the stadium) of Rte. 1. The Stadium will be on your left, these two lots are on the right. You have to make a left to get out after the game but usually they have a cop there letting people out periodically so it goes relatively fast, most of the time (traffic and getting out after the game are often two of the biggest headaches of a trip to Foxboro. Try to relax and just enjoy the game itself). The lots, which are official stadium lots, cost $50.00 last year, and I expect it will be the same this year. There are similar lots on the other side of the stadium if you come in on Rte. 1 north. As long as you are not meeting someone for tailgating and don't mind a bit of a walk, I do not recommend parking right at the stadium. You can get trapped for hours after the game (which can also happen to you periodically in an outlying lot, despite your best efforts). Lots of tailgating occurs in every lot, so you can probably find a party, or you can do what I do and head for Patriot Place.

    You can also take the train from South Station in Boston, which I tried once to see if it saved me any time (it didn't). I believe it leaves 2 hours before kick-off and at the end of the game a half hour after the game ends. Check the schedule. The train does save you the stress of driving, but then you have the stress of "am I going to make it on time?" By the time my train got there we had to run for our seats to make opening kick-off. I knew where I was going and you won't, so keep that in mind. You probably won't have any time for tailgating or eating beforehand. Others on here have taken the train and missed opening kick-off. Still, if you are not familiar with the area and nervous about driving, it might be a good option to try.

    Bottom line - it can be stressful and expensive getting to a game. Once you make it there you will be bummed that you can't watch every game live. There is no substitute for it, IMO. If you can sit back and relax and ignore the dent in your wallet (something I always try to do if I am doing something special for myself), you will have a blast.
  7. RoughingthePasser

    RoughingthePasser Rookie

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    I like to get in and get out. I'm not a tailgater or drinker. I commute from an hr. + away so I want to get out of the stadium area after the game as soon as possible. The best way to do that is to park in one of the the parking lots about a mile from the stadium-have a nice walk to the game and split right after the 4th qtr....you'll make it to your car and beat the worst traffic....unless you want to stay and party.
  8. aztecafut

    aztecafut Rookie

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    Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    I have been a long time reader of this board and even though I don't post much I do enjoy reading everyone's opinion on things. Well almost everyone's. :D

    But today I need your help. My fiance and I are planning a trip to go to our first football game. She is a big Cowboys fan so naturally the only game she agreed to go to this year is the Patriots vs Cowboys on October 16th. We live in Salt Lake City and we have never been to Boston. I was hoping that the board could give a fellow pats fan(and cowboys fan) some advice on booking our trip. Where to stay, where not to stay, where to buy tickets, what section is the best for the price. You know, those kind of things. Is there any good bundle packages that you know of that include air fare hotel and everything?

    Keep in mind that we have never been to a football game or Gillette stadium before so any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help and Go Patriots! :rocker:
  9. PatsWickedPissah

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    Hopefully you're planning to use money that's not invested in the market now.
  10. captain insano

    captain insano Rookie

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    your better off flying into green airport in ri. its closer to foxboro than logan airport in boston. also try and get a place to stay close to foxboro. it will make it much easier for the both of you. unless you wanted to make seeing boston part of your trip. if thats the case just forget everything i just said lol.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  11. BigMike

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    Theres a Sheraton Four Points up the road about three miles in Norwood on Rte 1 southbound.....I would imagine the high priced hotel in front of Gillette will be sold out for that game.

    If you fly into PVD, you will have an hour drive up to Foxboro....fly into Boston and its probably 30 45 mins depending on rush hour traffic.
  12. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #95 Jersey

    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    Stubhub is a good site but expensive..look on ebay as well. Closer to the game the cheaper the tix will be unless they are 5-0 or doing really really well.

    If it's your first game..splooge and get lower level tix
  13. aztecafut

    aztecafut Rookie

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    Yeah I think we're going to try to stay in foxboro hoping to maybe watch a practice and maybe get some autographs. I don't know if the patriots have practices on Saturday open to the public but if they did that would definitely be something that I would want to do. If not then Boston might be the better option. How far is Gillette stadium from Boston anyway?
  14. aztecafut

    aztecafut Rookie

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    "High Priced" is not exactly what I'm looking for so that Sheraton might be something to look into. :D

    Would you guys suggest renting a car or is it fairly easy to get around from Boston to Foxboro and about in a taxi?
  15. zoostation

    zoostation Rookie

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    Not to mention you will have a much easier time getting non-stop flight flying into Boston.

    If I were you I'd plan a day in Boston. Staying at the Four Points will allow you to get back and forth to downtown Boston easy enough and also make for an easy commute to the Stadium for the 4:15 game.

    Best of luck. :rocker:
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  16. Joker

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    Go to Google maps...you can see the entire area from RI to Boston...gives you perspective.

    There are no open practices during the regular season.

    you may want to talk to a travel agent...do you have AAA?...Liberty Travel books locally...you should be able to buy a package that includes hotel, tickets and transportation to and from...IF you have the disposable income...if not...stay in Beantown, get your tickets from ACE and take the train to Foxboro
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  17. captain insano

    captain insano Rookie

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    its about 30 miles south west of boston give or take a mile. i live a town away from foxboro myself in norton. you might try getting a place to stay in mansfield. a taxi wouldnt be bad from mansfield unless you run into traffic. and there are back rd options from mansfield that can get there without to much pain if you get a good cab driver.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  18. Dufflebagz

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    The Pats don't have practices open to the public during the season (only training camp. So, unless you want to hang around Patriot Place (Pats HOF, shops, dining) all day I would suggest staying in Boston.

    If you stay in Boston taking a taxi isn't an option and the gameday train is terrible and cuts it really close to gametime....I'd go with renting a car.

    Oh, don't forget to be loud at the game....REALLY LOUD!!!!
  19. Patriot 37

    Patriot 37 Rookie

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    As a Pat fans who has been to a lot of roads games (going to Pittsburgh this year) you want to stay in Boston. If your spending the time and $ to come in from SLC you should do more than just see the game. Enjoy the city it's pretty unique, Foxboro is a nice little suburban town, but there is nothing to do there. Patriot Place is beautiful but it has all the character of a shopping mall.

    If you can afford it stay downtown or in Cambridge otherwise stay in a suburb inside of 128. One thing I look for when I pick a game to go to is if the stadium, bars and casino (if they have one) are all in walking distance. Unfortunately that's not the case here.

    Rent a car ! That's one thing that sucks as an out of state fan, the stadium is in the suburbs. When the game ends go to Patriot Place and have a drink (you're from SLC so maybe just grab a bite to eat). Traffic sucks leaving the stadium.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  20. NEPatriot

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    I think one question to ask is if you're coming in only to see the game and thus you're just flying in and out or if you'd like to do some other things as well. If you want some non football activity, I'd stay in Boston. While hotels are going to be a lot more expensive, it's a fun city with a lot to do and a lot of history. While the city has a very good subway system, I'd rent a car to get to the game. Getting to the Foxboro takes time, as traffic is bad. The parking at Gillette is limited. You'll probably have to park in an offsite lot and walk a long way to the stadium. My brother refers to it as the Bataan Death March. Providence is a nice city, but smaller with less activities. Hotels will be cheaper and it has a nice night life scene. If you're staying close to Foxboro, it's probably going to be a lot cheaper. That said, there's not a lot to do outside of Patriots Place. Most of the hotels are going to be limited service. Feel free to PM me if you have a specific question.
  21. patsboy44

    patsboy44 Rookie

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    gonna be the best experience of your life!
  22. JaxPats

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    I would deffinatley fly into PVD. Hotels are right across the street from the airport and CHEAP! There are alot of places to eat also within walking distance. The train is also not far, but a taxi is advised. Good luck on your trip whatever you decide. Glad to have you visit. BTW, they seem to have alot of problems with Stubhub. Don't know why. Make sure the tickets you get are legit and will be honored. Very Important!! Ive seen too many folks get screwed from some of these agencys. See what sections are avaliable and check them out on the teams website before you buy. As for sections, I think there all good. Have fun. :D Oh, one more thing, if you plan on tailgating as a walk-in, most fans will adopt you should you need to hang out. just byob. Were a big family here :rocker:
  23. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    I hope you don't mind that I merged your thread with an earlier one on the subject; my idea was that as these questions come up over the course of the season that there would be one place for suggestions and answers for (and from) everyone with questions like yours.

    In addition here is a link for those that may consider the pros and cons of taking the train into the game; be advised most of these responses are in regards to taking the train from Boston, not from the south should you decide to stay in Providence: http://www.patsfans.com/new-england...278128-decided-try-train-game-any-advice.html

    Enjoy the game!
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  24. PatsWickedPissah

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    You can also fly into Providence, or even Manchester NH, both the same driving distance away from Boston or Rt 128 assuming you rent a car. Less expensive hotels (google them) are along Rt 128 and by googling MBTA maps you can stay near enough to take the Green line into Boston for touring. Driving in Boston is not for the timid. Many one way streets, poorly labled.

    Drive to the stadium planning to arrive 2 1/2 hrs before the game. Parking will be $40 inside and $50 outside but with faster egress. If you're feeling sociable talk your way into a tailgate as an out of town 1st timer, otherwise walk around the Patriot Place shops.
  25. blackglass3

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    After a very sucessful and fun trip to Foxboro in 09 with my older son for the snow game vs. the Titans; I am hoping to make a trip for Patriots/Jets in October. Provided I get home from Afghanistan in time, the idea is for my wife and sons to fly up from Tampa on October 6th, stay somewhere in between Boston and Foxboro, and spend two days checking out the city before the game on the 9th.

    Is there anything worth checking out at Patriot Place besides the Hall? And is the Pro Shop open on Saturdays?
  26. PatsWickedPissah

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    Not a sportsman but I love walking thru the huge Bass Pro Shop at the far end of the complex. Safe journey home.
  27. blackglass3

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    While we're at it, and I am sure I will get different replies, but what is the best seafood place in the area? Anywhere between Boston and Foxboro, I'll have a rental car. My only request is it is a local type of place...I hate chain restaurants (like Red Lobster or Chili's).
  28. olschool

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    That's like asking what's the best Mexican place in LA. I suppose it really depends on where your hotel is. Just ask at the hotel, they'll direct you to a good place. ( there is no Red Lobster in Boston, they could never compete.)

    By the way, if you've never driven in Boston, you may want to splurge and get a package deal that includes transportation to the game. One bad day in Boston traffic could ruin your whole trip.

    Also, while there are no really bad seats at the stadium, you want to get as close to the field as you can afford, or you'll end up watching the game on the big screen.
  29. PatsWickedPissah

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    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    If you do get seats in the 300s bring binoculars, seriously. On 2nd thought lightweight binoculars are great for live sports. If not as others said the new TV screens are fantastic.

    Use Trip Advisor or somesuch to scope out restaurants within your driving radius.
  30. Tunescribe

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    #61 Jersey

    Re: Booking trip to my first Patriots game... Help!

    I know taking the train has been mentioned here. Take it from a season ticket holder of 18 years: DO NOT TAKE THE DAMN FREAKIN' TRAIN! You will be rolling the dice as to whether it gets you to the game on time. And the ride back afterward takes an eternity. I gave the train three tries. Once missed about half the first quarter, another time had to literally run to the stadium to catch the kickoff. Never again.

    Park your car at any private lot about a mile from the stadium. You can tailgate at most of them. It's only a 10-minute walk and you'll avoid a long wait to leave after the game. It costs $30-$40 to park at a private lot; parking in a stadium lot is $40. Stadium lots take MUCH longer to empty out after the game is over.

    Aim to be parked two hours before kickoff. Cutting it closer than that is a gamble on getting stuck in traffic. If you want to tailgate, parking three to four hours before kickoff is recommended.

    If it's raining and you want to eat in a restaurant, Patriot Place has some nice options right next to the stadium. Again, the key is getting there early -- at least two hours before kickoff. They tend to fill up fast on game day.

    If you are a New Jersey Green Beans fan (a/k/a Green Puke), please do not come. Adults with an emotional IQ below that of a 3-year-old child or who like to play fireman are considered a nuisance and unnecessary disruption. Stay home in your mom's basement and watch the game with playmates. She might serve you milk and cookies at halftime.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011

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