Coming to Gillette Stadium this offseason: A swanky members-only lounge behind the south end zone.
Details and images mailed to fans in the last week shed new light on the Patriots’ plan to demolish more than 1,500 seats and build the so-called Optum Field Lounge, named for the healthcare technology and services subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, Inc. that signed up to sponsor it.
According to a glossy brochure mailed out to fans, the lounge consists of a climate-controlled open space with large glass windows facing the field. After being whisked inside through a private entrance, members can enjoy premium food, an upscale bar, private restrooms, state-of-the-art HD televisions, and “media walls.”
Outside, members can mingle on a terrace just steps from the uprights — if they’re willing to risk having their pricey cocktails spilled by an errant Gronk spike, that is.
“This is intended to be an exclusive amenity for season ticket members,” said Jennifer Ferron, the Patriots’ senior vice president of marketing and brand development. “We have an outdoor stadium, so we thought we would afford them a way to enjoy the game in all types of weather.”
Access to the lounge is limited to existing season ticket holders in good standing. A one-year membership costs $1,500 — on top of the price of season tickets — and you must buy at least two memberships. A three-year membership will set you back $1,250 per year, per membership, also with a minimum of two memberships, or $7,500 altogether.
Earlier this year, the planned project stirred up discontent among season ticket holders whose seats are being demolished. To placate them, Ferron said displaced ticket-holders were given the first crack at Optum Field Lounge memberships.
“Most of those seats were season ticket-holder seats, so we’re not taking away low-priced inventory and replacing it with high priced inventory,” Ferron said. “Anyone who was impacted by this move was offered the opportunity to upgrade their tickets or move to a different section of stadium at a lower price point.”
Membership also includes early access before games, the option to reserve the lounge for private events at a discount, and appearances by cheerleaders and retired Patriots players. Members can also shuttle back and forth between the lounge and their regular season-ticket seats at their leisure.
Construction the lounge will begin immediately after the end of the Patriots season and finish in July. The Patriots declined to say how much the project would cost.
Other NFL teams, such as the The Miami Dolphins, have built field-level clubs for season-ticket holders. The Dolphins’ “Ford Sideline Club” at Sun Life Stadium provides access to the Dolphins’ sideline before and during the game, as well as a view into the Miami Dolphins’ Cheerleaders’ Studio.