Sunday, August 14, 2022

Bill Belichick believes Patriots’ Gillette Stadium renovations will ‘definitely affect the game’

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The in-stadium experience at Gillette Stadium is going to be completely different in 2023. Next year, the Patriots are set to finish up a $225 million renovation to the stadium, that’ll include what the team says is “the largest outdoor stadium high-definition video board in the country.” Behind the video board will be 75,000 square feet of enclosed glass space that will connect the upper concourse for full 360 accessibility.

While that’s certainly an exciting facelift for Gillette Stadium, it will have an impact on the game as it’ll close the open-aired section of the stadium where the lighthouse once stood (a new lighthouse is also being installed). 

Over the years, that section of Gillette Stadium has provided an interesting wrinkle to the game as the wind does tunnel through the gaping area and sometimes impacts the trajectory of the football, whether it be in the kicking or passing game. Bill Belichick once even noted that this section of the stadium has a “little bit of a swirling effect.”

That added quirk did give the Patriots a bit of home-field advantage, but that’ll soon be going away. While the renovations won’t be complete until 2023, construction is well underway and Patriots coaches have taken notice for it may alter things in 2022. 

“Yeah we’ve definitely talked about it,” Belichick said Tuesday prior to New England’s sixth training camp practice when asked about the renovations and the closing of that gap. “Absolutely, I think that will definitely affect the game, certainly affect the kicking everywhere, but especially in the open — whatever end that is, the far end, the lighthouse end. Absolutely, for sure, that’ll be a factor.” 

The Patriots will hold their first in-stadium practice on Friday, which will present one of the first opportunities to see how the construction and eventual renovation could impact their overall strategy going forward. 

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