Remember This? Robert Kraft Bought the New England Patriots 19 Years Ago
Share your favorite New England Patriots memories here.
Robert Kraft became Foxborough’s biggest business partner 19 years ago this past week when he officially purchased the New England Patriots from James Orthwein.
The deal, made official on Feb. 25, 1994, marked the beginning of one of the most historic turnarounds in sports history for a team once destined to leave Foxborough.
Since Kraft purchased the team in 1994, the Patriots have transformed from one of the league’s least successful clubs into what many observers view as a model NFL franchise.
In the five seasons immediately preceding his purchase (1989-93), the Patriots were a moribund team, winning just 19 of 80 games (.238 pct.) and recording the worst record in the NFL over that span, according to New England Patriots Media Relations.
When Kraft bought the franchise on Jan. 21, 1994, he announced his intention to bring a championship to New England, a tall order considering the team’s previous success rate.
But under Kraft’s leadership, the Patriots have won more division titles (12), conference crowns (6) and Super Bowl championships (3) than any other NFL team. The Patriots have made six Super Bowl appearances since Kraft purchased the team, a period during which no other NFL franchise has earned more than four berths.
In Kraft’s 19 seasons, the Patriots qualified for the playoffs 14 times, more than doubling the franchise’s accomplishments during its first 34 seasons.
In 1991, the season ticket base was just 17,635, barely enough to support the club. Now, the season tickets are capped and more than 50,000 fans are on a season ticket waiting list. The Patriots have sold out 205 consecutive home games, including playoff and preseason games (dating back to the 1994 season opener).
TELL US: What do you remember about the New England Patriots before Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994? What is your favorite New England Patriots memory since Kraft took over? Let us know in the comments section below.