FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Gillette Stadium celebrated the completion of more than a year’s worth of renovations Thursday night, just days before the New England Patriots’ season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Kraft Sports + Entertainment described the $250 million facelift as “the largest and most transformative since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002.”
Gillette Stadium unveiled its new curved-radius video board earlier this year, which measures 22,200 square feet. The massive high-definition display, located on the north end of Gillette, is the largest outdoor stadium video board in the country and is five times the size of the one it replaced.
“When we built Gillette Stadium in 2002, we were intentional in making sure the space would be able to grow and evolve to meet the needs of our fans,” said Robert Kraft, Patriots owner and CEO of the Kraft Group. “I am proud, that over the last 20 years, our first priority has been to provide the best guest experience possible for all visitors to the stadium.”
The new display, in combination with the south-end video board, allows fans to view more than three times the square footage of the previous ones.
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The renovations also include the installation of a new signature lighthouse, which features a 360-degree observation deck with views of the entire stadium and Patriot Place, as well as the Boston and Providence skylines.
The lighthouse will serve as “a beacon for the region and a symbol of our proud coastal and maritime history,” according to Kraft Sports + Entertainment.
“The previous lighthouse served as an iconic architectural element of our stadium for 20 years, so it was important to incorporate a functional component into our renovation,” Kraft Sports + Entertainment’s Jen Ferron said. “We are excited to share this experiential feature with guests who visit us year-round.”
The fully operational 22-story Lighthouse will officially open to the public on Oct. 1.
There will be a $5 admission fee for adults, though it will be free for children under the age of 10, active military, veterans, first responders and season ticket holders to access. The proceeds will be donated to charities across New England.
In addition to the lighthouse, Gillette Stadium’s main entrance has moved to Enel Plaza, which was expanded and reimagined to welcome fans and provide them with direct access to the main concourse.
The west and east sides of Gillette Stadium have also been connected to give fans 360-degree access on all three levels, as opposed to just the main concourse.
The main concourse itself has undertaken some of the most dramatic renovations inside the stadium, according to Kraft Sports + Entertainment. In addition to three glass-enclosed markets, the main concourse now boasts two walk-up bars, a self-pouring beer kiosk, additional restrooms and a variety of new food offerings.
The Row of Honor has also been expanded and remodeled as a way for Gillette Stadium to continue honoring those who serve.
The enhancements come amid a historic concert season for Gillette Stadium, which has so far hosted record-breaking performances by Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. The annual Army-Navy game will also take place at Gillette Stadium in December.