27 years ago today, the fortunes of the New England Patriots franchise would be forever changed when Brookline, Massachusetts native and longtime season ticket holder Robert Kraft purchased the team from then-owner James Orthwein.
On January 21, 1994, Kraft bought the Patriots for an at-the-time NFL record $160 million dollars, ensuring the team would stay in New England and not relocate to St. Louis, which was Orthwein’s initial plans.
“The commitments I made was that I believe that if we do the right things and manage it right, we get the support from the fans and the corporate community, that will be an asset for the whole community and our family long-term,” Kraft said. “But we have five years of hard work ahead of us, and I hope this community views it as a partnership. And I think it can be great. And I hope we can bring a championship here.”
On Thursday, the Patriots shared throwback news coverage from Kraft’s introductory press conference on the day of the sale.
Prior to Kraft’s ownership, the Patriots had just six playoff appearances in 34 years and three division titles.
Under Kraft, the Patriots have become a modern dynasty, winning 19 AFC East division titles, 10 AFC conference titles, six Super Bowl championships and have qualified for the NFL playoffs 20 times in his 27 years as owner.
As of 2020, the Patriots have become the second most valuable franchise in the NFL, worth $4.4 billion, second only to the Dallas Cowboys.
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