Ever since it was built over ten years ago, Gillette Stadium has brought pride and controversy to the town of Foxborough. We took a look back in the Globe archives and compiled a timeline of some of the major stories revolving around the Krafts, owners of Gillette Stadium and the New England Patriots football team, Gillette Stadium and Foxborough.
The latest: The Kraft group presented the Foxborough Planning Board with expansion plans for Patriot Place in mid-March. Next
March 2013: Patriot Place expansion
The Kraft Group offered informal details of a three-building plan to expand Patriot Place at a Foxborough Planning Board meeting in mid-March.
The plans include a hotel, large retail store, and “quick-serve” restaurant.
A formal site plan will be presented before the board for review in 30 to 60 days. Next
Kraft requests the town to supply eight new liquor licenses to Patriot Place, the upscale mall next to the stadium, and zoning changes that would allow development of 300 housing units in four-story building clusters near the stadium.
Talks moved behind closed doors in September to negotiate the requests for Patriot Place and Route 1 that include eight new liquor licenses, zoning changes for housing units, and another hotel, as well as a potential gas station and a car wash.
—From articles by Michelle Morgan Bolton
The real test of a new Foxborough bylaw that bans parking cars in residential areas for pay will come at the New England Patriots’ season home opener this Sunday, when thousands of people converge for the game and police patrol against scofflaws.
Passed by Town Meeting in May and certified in August by the state attorney general’s office, the ordinance forces property owners near Gillette Stadium who allowed ticketholders to park on their lawns and driveways for a fee to stop immediately, or face a $100 per car fine.
A marked disagreement among Foxborough selectmen over whether the Kraft Group owes the town millions of dollars could blow the company’s hopes of opening a string of new restaurants, a bowling alley, and a hotel to expand its holdings at Patriot Place.
Members of the five-person elected board said they prefer to halt negotiations with Kraft until his representatives can lay out an official plan for improvements to the high-profile Route 1 property.
People driving to New England Country Music Festival clog streets in Walpole and Foxborough because Gillette Stadium parking lots were closed until three hours before the festival started.
The event illustrates how Gillette Stadium can transform the character of Foxborough.
“We are a small suburban police agency that 99 percent of the time is dealing with small suburban issues,’’ said Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary. “But 15 to 20 days a year, we have to function differently.”
– From article by Michelle Morgan Bolton Next
Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn, left, proposes a Foxborough casino for land near Gillette stadium.
A representative of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, right, said the casino envisioned would generate at least $10 million annually in municipal taxes for Foxborough, a sum that would equal nearly one-third of the current local tax levy.
In 2009, the Krafts proposed an $8 million pedestrian footbridge to Gillette Stadium over the busy Route 1 highway. The proposal was rejected.
The town of Foxborough itself submitted the same proposal in 2011 and the MassWorks Infrastructure Program rejected it again. The town said the bridge would have been key to opening up economic development on land across the highway from the stadium, which will later be proposed to be used for a casino.
In 2007, Foxborough signed agreements with Kraft to ask the Legislature for a dozen liquor licenses as part of the approval process for Patriot Place, the retail mall next to Gillette Stadium.
The Kraft organization agreed to dedicate millions to sewer improvements for the town, and both sides agreed to share revenue on two new billboards, which the Kraft Group built. After the agreements were signed in 2007, residents voted against the sewage improvements, eliminated Kraft’s pricey obligation.
Since then, who owes who what has been a point of contention that crops up periodically, most recently in March 2012.
The New England Patriots finally ended their decade- long stadium saga when more than 93 percent of Foxborough voters approved the team's $275 million stadium plan.
A record 2,243 Foxborough voters turned out for the Town Meeting on the stadium proposal at Foxboro High School. The local vote, required by the bill passed by the Legislature May 18, ended a 10-year stadium drama that led the Patriots through three states and four owners.
Connecticut or Foxborough for stadium?
Patriots owner Robert Kraft almost decided to build the team's stadium in Hartford, Conn. instead of staying in Foxborough. Connecticut offered to build, with taxpayer money, a 68,000-seat stadium in Hartford, but the deal was dogged by environmental and logistical problems.
Massachusetts said it would provide $70 million for infrastructure improvements if Kraft agreed to build a new stadium in Foxborough.
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