Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Foxborough, Massachusetts, The Hall at Patriot Place

Speaking as someone who attended the second game in the history of Schaefer Stadium in Foxboro in 1971 (also remembered as the day the toilets backed up), the area sure has grown up since then.

There's no better illustration of that when visiting Patriot Place.

Not only is Gillette Stadium a huge, magnificent structure, but it comes with bonuses. Adjoining the stadium is a Hall of Fame, containing three flights of memorabilia, exhibits and interactive devices.

There is a movie theater with a film about the New England Patriots, a space to honor Hall of Famers, and a tribute to fans. You can see the team's three Super Bowl trophies, and try on a championship ring (note: it will be big).Above, you can see a display about some of the team's early history. I believe that's Gino Cappelletti's uniform on the left. The bottom floor is a large souvenir stand, with every sort of possible item available. In other words, this is the place for a Patriots' pool table.

I'd still rank this a notch below the Packers' Hall of Fame, as Green Bay has a little more history on display. But it's a first-class effort, and worth a stop for football fans in the area ... even for those from Buffalo.

By the way, Patriot Place refers to the entire complex, which includes many stores, a movie theater and a health care facility. It's huge, it's upscale, and it's very well done. Somebody did some good thinking in the Patriots' organization.

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