Fans sitting in the top level of Gillette Stadium can expect to see some changes for the 2017 NFL season, and the Patriots think they will like what they see.
Upgrades have begun on the upper level concourse aimed at improving the game-day experience for fans, according to Jen Ferron, the senior vice president for marketing and brand development for the Patriots.
The upgrades are an extension of the work started after the 2014 season, when the Patriots demolished 1,500 seats in one of the end zones to build the Optum Field Lounge. In 2010, new video displays were installed in the stadium that first opened in 2001.
“We really started to look at it 10 years in,” said Ferron. “How do you keep a stadium viable? What else can we be doing?”
To find out, offseason focus groups were organized, and fans were surveyed after games. What they learned, according to Ferron, was that fans wanted spaces where they could gather with other fans.
Adjacent to the Super Bowl banners will be a full-service bar with a roof canopy which, according to a brochure sent to season ticket holders, “will be a welcome amenity for fans on those quintessential New England game days.”
Covered space will also be available at the landing for each of the four corners of the stadium. Large garage-style doors will be open or closed depending on the weather, to either let sunlight in or protect fans from the elements.
A 10-inch wide rail for food and drinks will encircle the concourse, “providing infinite locations to gather overlook the playing field.”
The work began shortly after the Patriots defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game in January, with the idea of being back up and running for the start of the Patriots season in September. Concessions for the 300 section will still be available in the meantime, so if you’re heading to see Coldplay or Kenny Chesney this summer, you’ll still be able to enjoy a beverage at the show.
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