Football returns to Gillette Stadium tonight when the Patriots host their first preseason game of the year against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here are five things you need to know about tonight’s game which is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
1. Parking Lot Information and Traffic
The stadium lots will open at 4 p.m. Parking at Gillette Stadium is $40 for cars and motorcycles and $150 for busses, RVs, and limos.
In addition, the following vehicles will not be allowed in the lots:
- Any vehicle towing a trailer (this includes fifth-wheel RV units).
- Professional catering trucks and or services without prior written approval from Stadium Management.
- Excessive tailgate setups that impede on customers parked around your vehicles, emergency access or deemed to be unsafe or inappropriate by Stadium Management.
- Any type of swimming pool, portable pool, hot tubs, water filled pickup trucks, or the like.
Allow Plenty of Time for Traffic Around the Stadium
Drivers are advised to allow themselves plenty of time when traveling near the stadium on game day. Traffic restrictions will be in place on local roads before and after the game. Fans must use I-95, I-495 or Route 140 to access Gillette Stadium.
2. Where to watch and listen to the game
FOX 25 and 98.5 The Sports Hub are places to go for coverage of tonight’s game. New Patriots play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis.
This week’s game will be broadcast to a national audience by FOX and can be seen in Boston on WFXT-TV Channel 25. Kenny Albert will handle play-by-play duties with Daryl Johnston providing color and Tony Siragusa as the sideline reporter. The game will be produced by Barry Landis and directed by Bryan Lilley
3. Series History
The Patriots and Buccaneers will meet in the preseason for the third straight season and for the 11th time in the preseason overall. The previous two preseason games in 2011 and 2012 were played in Tampa.
Last season, New England lost to Tampa Bay, 30-28, at Raymond James Stadium on Aug, 24, 2012, in the third preseason game of the season.
The Patriots are 2-8 all-time against the Buccaneers in preseason play. The only meeting between the two teams in the preseason that was not played at Tampa Bay was in 2000, when the Bucs beat the Patriots, 31-21, at Foxboro Stadium. In 1990, the two teams played at Jacksonville.
The Patriots are 5-2 against the Buccaneers all-time in the regular-season. The teams last played against each other in the regular season in 2009 when the Patriots won, 35-7, at London’s Wembley Stadium.
Head coach Bill Belichick’s first game as head coach of the Patriots came against Tampa Bay on Sept. 3, 2000. Tampa Bay claimed a 21-16 victory in that game, but the Patriots have won five of the seven total games in the regular season series, which dates back to 1976, the first year of existence for the
Buccaneers franchise. New England won the first three games in the series from 1976-88. Tampa Bay claimed the next two meetings, before a Patriots 28-0 shutout victory in a meeting between the two teams in 2005.
The Patriots beat the Buccaneers in 1988 and then went 17 years before their next win against the Buccaneers in 2005. The 17-year victory gap is the second longest for the Patriots, trailing only a 33-year win drought against the Washington Redskins, which lasted from 1973-2006.
4. The Dos and Don’ts at Gillette Stadium
No one wants to be "that fan" that doesn't know the stadium's security protocol. Be prepared on game day by reviewing the dos and don’ts at Gillette Stadium as well as other useful information about the facility:
- Ticket Policies
- Patron Screening
- Prohibited Items
- Acceptable Items
- Banner Policy
- Smoking Policy
- Medical Supplies or Dietary Considerations
- Fan Code of Conduct
- Security Assistance During an Event
- Lost & Found
- Letters of Disinvite
- Designated Driver Program
5. Allow Extra Time to get into the Stadium
Each person entering the stadium will be screened, and all bags will be searched and tagged before being allowed through the gates
To help speed up the process, fans are asked to review the list of prohibited items.
Gillette Stadium also asks you to do the following to help security:
- Leaving any unnecessary bags at home or in your vehicles. There will be express lanes for guests with no bags.
- Arriving early at the gates
- Having any bags you need to bring into the stadium open when approaching the gates
- Removing all metal from your pockets; i.e. cell phone, keys, loose change prior to being screened
- Follow signs and directions given by staff during the bag searches and individual screenings
New Bag Policy:
For every game this season, fans arriving for Patriots games at Gillette Stadium gates, plaza areas, or other areas where fans queue for entry into the stadium must have bags that are in compliance with the new policy. Bags that are not in compliance will not be stored and must be returned to the patron’s vehicle. A description of the style and size of the bags that will be allowed is described below
- Bags that are clear (see through) plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12.”
- One-gallon clear (see through) plastic freezer bag or similar.
- Small clutch bags, not to exceed 7” x 4” x 2” (approximately the size of a hand), with or without a handle or strap, may be carried into the stadium along with one of the clear bag options.
Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: non see-through purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage of any kind, seat cushions, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.
In addition, clear plastic freezer bags will be distributed to all vehicles that arrive at Gillette Stadium for the first couple of games. In the parking lots, there will be eight different locations where fans can purchase NFL compliant clear plastic bags as well.