Learn How to be a Gillette Stadium MVP
Ten Insider Tips for New England Sports Fans and Concertgoers
What do the New England Patriots, professional soccer’s New England Revolution, the Rolling Stones and Taylor Swift have in common?
They’ve all felt the love of the Gillette Stadium crowd, nearly 70,000 strong when the house is full.
Most of us will never know what that’s like, but even if we can’t play like the pros or carry a decent tune, there are a few tricks for enjoying the VIP treatment while watching those who can.
Just across Lot 22, the Renaissance Hotel & Spa at Patriot Place sits in the shadow of the stadium. This advantageous spot has given the hotel Concierge plenty of useful insights on how to get the most out of your Gillette Stadium gameday or concert experience:
- Do Your Homework. Frequent the Gillette Stadium website to hear about upcoming events. Follow the stadium on Twitter (@GilletteStadium) as faithfully as you do your favorite team or music act. It’s the first place to hear about new announcements and ticket promotions.
- Act Fast. The stadium website’s ticketing information page is the best line of attack, but keep in mind that concerts typically sell out in hours, so make sure to be online the instant tickets go on sale. You can also score seats on reseller sites, but keep in mind you’ll pay more. Nearby hotels usually offer room and ticket packages for stadium events.
- Think Like an Early Bird. Be one of the first to arrive and you can start soaking up the experience instead of staring at taillights. While the stadium lots’ “official” opening time is 4 hours prior to the event, you can usually expect the State Troopers to start admitting cars 4 ½ hours beforehand.
- Park Strategically. You probably can’t avoid ponying up the 40-dollar parking fee, but parking near an exit will get you the most for your money. You’ll have a longer walk to the stadium, but you’ll also be one of the first cars out of the lot when everyone heads home. This could save an hour or more.
- Tailgate Intelligently. There’s great energy in the parking spaces right outside the stadium, but the satellite lots on the property outskirts offer the best exit strategy. No matter where you plant your flag, remember that everyone’s here to enjoy the event and to be respectful of your fellow ‘Gaters.
- Sit Smart. The Patriots’ side of the field gets the most sun, while the visitor sideline is mostly shaded. This comes into play on colder New England days or during late afternoon games. Another thought: if your seats are too close to the field, the players on the sideline may block your view; the best seats in the lowest section (the 100’s) are about 10-15 rows up.
- Don’t Go Hungry. Make an end-run around concession stand crowds and prices by grabbing something at one of the many restaurants in Patriot Place, the vibrant entertainment center encircling the stadium. Once inside, look for the “Craft Beers of New England” carts, which offer local micro-brews for only a dollar or two above the big brand beers.
- Grab a Souvenir. A team jersey, a poster, a concert-T… take home something to remember. Browse the official Pro Shop next to the Hall of Fame. You can find less expensive goods from the “private entrepreneurs” out in the lots, but quality tends to wane as the price declines.
- Stick Around. Traffic is the heaviest right after the game/event. Now might be a great time to stroll over to Patriot Place. There are over a dozen restaurants and bars, not to mention shopping, movie theaters and live music venues.
- Make a Night of It. During Gillette Stadium games, the Renaissance Hotel & Spa only admits overnight guests back into the hotel, offering a relaxing, less crowded alternative to Patriot Place, which can get a little busy.