Thursday is a day Patriots fans have been waiting for since that heart-breaking February night in Indianapolis – the official start of a new season.
Fans will officially turn the page on a memorable 2011-2012 season that fell a hail mary short of a fourth Super Bowl championship in 10 years when the Patriots open their 53rd annual training camp Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.
In advance of the start of the 2012-2013 NFL season, Foxborough Patch has put together a guide of information for fans planning to attend the public practice sessions.
The first four training camp practices of the 2012-2013 season will take place from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. Fans planning to attend public practices are encouraged to check Patriots.com, Foxborough Patch or call the training camp hotline at (508) 549-0001 for updates and last-minute schedule changes.
Parking, admission to practices, admission to Patriots Fan Zone and rosters are all free.
The schedule for the first four practices is listed below. Additional dates and times to be announced.
- July 26: 1:30-4 p.m.
- July 27: 1:30-4 p.m.
- July 28: 1:30-4 p.m.
- July 29: 1:30-4 p.m.
Patriots Fan Zone Schedule
Besides watching practice, fans attending training camp can enjoy other types of family entertainment, including The Patriots Fan Zone, an interactive, football-themed area open to fans of all ages. Located adjacent to the practice fields, Patriots Fan Zone features fun-filled activities, games and prizes, appearances by Patriots Alumni and Cheerleaders, concessions, and much more.
The Schedule for the Patriots Fan Zone is listed below:
- July 26-29: Noon to 6 p.m.
- Aug. 1: 4 to 7 p.m.
- Aug. 2-3: Noon to 6 p.m.
- Aug. 5-8: Noon to 6 p.m.
2012 Training Camp Map
Gillette Stadium offers ample parking for the thousands of fans who attend training camp practices and enjoy the family-oriented entertainment. Bleacher seating, located on the west sideline and in the north end zone of the practice fields, will provide seating for thousands of fans with overflow seating for thousands more on a hillside in the north end zone. View the 2012 training camp map in the photo gallery above for more information.
Concessions at Training Camp
The concession stands at training camp offer fans a variety of food and drink options.
Getting Autographs at Training Camp
On days when practice is open to the public, selected players will be available for autographs following practice. On-site personnel are always available to answer questions about autograph procedures.
No Tailgating at Training Camp
Tailgating is not permitted in the parking lots during training camp.
Prohibited Items at Training Camp
To ensure that all fans have a safe and enjoyable visit to Gillette Stadium during training camp, the following items are prohibited:
- Animals, except service animals assisting those with disabilities.
- Any alcoholic beverages
- Beach balls
- Bullhorns and air horns
- Fireworks or pyrotechnics
- Flags will be allowed, however flag poles over two feet in length will not be allowed.
- Helium balloons
- Illegal drugs or any other illegal substance
- Laser pens
- Noise makers
- Video Cameras
- Weapons of any kind (including knives)
- Any other item deemed inappropriate by stadium management
No prohibited items will be accepted at training camp for safekeeping. Fans are reminded to leave all such items secured in their vehicles.
Individuals with possession of a prohibited item(s) may be denied admission to training camp, ejected, arrested and prosecuted. Prohibited items that are discovered at training camp will be confiscated.
Joint practices with Saints and Buccaneers
The Patriots will host a combined practice session with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, Aug. 7 and Wednesday, Aug. 8, prior to the preseason opener at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m. It will mark the second time in the last three years the Patriots have conducted joint practices with New Orleans. Prior to the 2010 preseason-opener, the Patriots hosted the defending Super Bowl champions for two days of joint practices.
Following their Monday Night matchup with the Eagles on Aug. 20, the Patriots will head to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ headquarters for joint practices on Wednesday, Aug. 22 and Thursday, Aug. 23 before the teams battle in a preseason game on Friday, Aug. 24.
UnitedHealthcare’s Training Camp for Health
In support of this year’s training camp, UnitedHealthcare has created a “Training Camp for Health” experience focused on helping people make better choices for themselves, their families and their communities. From July 26 through 29, fans can visit this area, located within the Fan Zone and identified by the travelling UnitedHealthcare wellness truck.
The camp is made up of several stations, including the Nutrition Station with kid-friendly games and fun facts about food, the Fitness Station, where fans can race against a professional cyclist and the Health Screenings Station, which gives fans the chance to check their blood pressure, blood glucose, total cholesterol and height and weight. Also, Patriots alumni players will be signing autographs and talking with Patriots fans from noon to 2 p.m. each day.
Fans can make an impact on the health of their neighbors in need by donating nutritious food items to the Healthy Food Drive, in support of the Greater Boston Food Bank. Donation drop-off points will be located near the practice fields throughout camp and can also be found at the UnitedHealthcare experience until July 29 and the Fan Zone through Aug. 8. Fans attending the in-stadium practice on Aug. 1 can bring their donations to the stadium.
2012 PATRIOTS PRESEASON SCHEDULE
|Thurs., Aug. 9||vs. New Orleans||7:30 p.m.||Patriots Preseason Network|
|Mon., Aug. 20||vs. Philadelphia||8 p.m.||ESPN|
|Fri., Aug. 24||@ Tampa Bay||7:30 p.m.||Patriots Preseason Network|
|Wed., Aug. 29||@ New York Giants||7:30 p.m.||Patriots Preseason Network|
2012 PATRIOTS REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE
|Sun., Sept. 9||@ Tennessee||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Sun., Sept. 16||vs. Arizona||1 p.m.||FOX|
|Sun., Sept. 23||@ Baltimore||8:20 p.m.||NBC|
|Sun., Sept. 30||@ Buffalo||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Sun., Oct. 7||vs. Denver||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|Sun., Oct. 14||@ Seattle||4:05 p.m.||CBS|
|Sun., Oct. 21||vs. New York Jets||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|Sun., Oct. 28||@ St. Louis Rams (London)||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Sun., Nov. 4||BYE WEEK||N/A||N/A|
|Sun., Nov. 11||vs. Buffalo||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Sun., Nov. 18||vs. Indianapolis||1 p.m.||CBS*|
|Thurs., Nov. 22||@ New York Jets||8:20 p.m.||NBC|
|Sun., Dec. 2||@ Miami||1 p.m.||CBS*|
|Mon., Dec. 10||vs. Houston||8:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Sun., Dec. 16||vs. San Francisco||8:20 p.m.||NBC*|
Sun., Dec. 23
Sun., Dec. 30
*-Game time and network subject to possible flexible scheduling adjustment.
Bold indicates nationally televised games
2012-2013 NFL CALENDAR
- Aug. 27: Roster cut-down to maximum of 75 players
- Aug. 31: Roster cut-down to maximum of 53 players
- Jan. 5-6: Wild Card Playoffs
- Jan. 12-13: Divisional Playoffs
- Jan. 20: Conference Championships
- Jan. 27: AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Feb. 3 Super Bowl XLVII, New Orleans, Louisiana
- April NFL Draft, New York City