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Gillette Stadium getting 'big' upgrades

Posted by Albert Breer  May 25, 2010 07:59 AM

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft addressed each of the big league issues here in Dallas (the New York Super Bowl, the overtime format, and the 18-game schedule) during a wide-ranging sit-down yesterday, and we had that all covered in today's paper.

But he also tucked a nugget in that will affect those of you who make the trek down to Gillette Stadium on fall and winter Sundays, revealing that the Patriots are set to announce they'll be installing brand new videoboards in each end zone in Foxborough.

"I think excluding Dallas, they’ll be the largest,"’ Kraft said of the boards. "They’ll be HD, they’ll give us the opportunity to show a lot more replays, we’ll be showing the Red Zone Channel in-stadium, with great plays at other stadiums, and it’ll continue to improve the in-game stadium experience.

"Everything where we’re touching our customers, we’re trying to customize it. And everything’s not perfect, but I believe our in-stadium experience is among the best you can have in the country."

An announcement is forthcoming and the construction will likely start next week at the stadium. Kraft said that the plan is to have the new Daktronics boards ready for the Sept. 12 opener against Cincinnati.

And another piece of enhancement to the in-game experience could be the adaptation of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross' Kangaroo TV idea (We covered that back at the March owners meetings). Kraft said the team is looking at developing its own handheld product that would allow customers to check out-of-town scores, fantasy rosters and replays while sitting in the stands -- Not unlike the sets that Ross is marketing to his fellow owners.

"We will have things in-stadium that will be unique," Kraft said, when asked about making the stadium experience in the face of an ever-improving at-home product to "compete" with it. "I went for decades with my kids, and there’s something about sitting in the stadium, being with the community you sit with, it’s a full day experience.

"But you’re right, we’re gonna continue to improve the in-game experience. It’s an exciting place to be, and I think even in these economic times, people are looking for a sense of community, being part of something, and since our family has bought the team, I think the community has rallied around it."
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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