Soccer, football, boxing and concerts, oh my!
The is readying for a busy August featuring several major events at that are expected to draw large crowds to the area, beginning Saturday, Aug. 4 with a soccer doubleheader.
“August 4th was just going to be a Revolution game but they’ve turned it into an international game with AC Milan and another major competitor, which has a big draw,” said Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary.
That other major competitor is C.D. Olimpia of Honduras and the two international clubs will take the field at Gillette Stadium at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by the New England Revolution’s game against Sporting Kansas City at 7:30 p.m.
As a result of the doubleheader, O’Leary said he is expecting a crowd greater than 30,000, which is much larger than attendance for a typical Revolution game.
“So many people in the area maybe aren’t fans of [Major League Soccer] but because of their backgrounds really enjoy European soccer,” O’Leary said.
Following the Aug. 4 soccer doubleheader will be the New England Patriots preseason home opener against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Four days later, another doubleheader will be held at Gillette Stadium for sports fans – the New England Revolution host the Montreal Impact at 7 p.m., followed by the .
O’Leary said his department will get a six-day break following the July 12th soccer game and boxing match before the first of two major concerts come in to town with a Monday Night Football preseason game sandwiched in the middle of it all.
“We have a little respite and then we are going to do the Bruce Springsteen concert on Saturday [Aug. 18],” O’Leary said.
Following Bruce Springteen’s stop in Foxborough, the Patriots will host the Philadelphia Eagles for Monday Night Football on Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. before Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw’s “Brothers of the Sun” Tour – this summer’s Country Fest – takes the stage on Friday, Aug. 24 and Saturday, Aug. 25.
The busy month at Gillette Stadium obviously makes for a busier month for the Foxborough Police Department, something O'Leary is prepared for.
“When we have multiple events jammed together [we have] to maintain adequate shift strength to protect the community,” O’Leary said. “[We also] have to provide crucial leadership because we use so many outside agencies and outside officers. It is really critical that I have my key people running the elements so that they know the policies we have to follow and know the job we have to do.”
Gillette Stadium spokesperson Jeff Cournoyer said the stadium’s personnel works with the Foxborough Police Department when planning major events to address potential issues in town.
“We work closely with Chief O'Leary and his team on every large event to continue to improve traffic management as well as to identify and address any public safety issues,” Cournoyer said. “It has been a very successful partnership.”
O’Leary added the department takes a proactive approach during stadium events due to the large crowds.
“People that get so wrapped up and excited about the [events] sometimes make bad decisions,” O’Leary said. “Which requires my staff to be a little more proactive.”
As a result, O’Leary said he and his department are preparing themselves for long shifts during these August events.
“It does make for a lot of 12 to 15 hour days in that time period, especially if we are going to go Springsteen, Monday Night Football and [Kenny Chesney] Friday and Saturday,” O’Leary said. “[I] have to make sure [the officers] take adequate time off so that they make good decisions when they’re on duty. … We’ve got a very busy August.”
August Events at Gillette Stadium
- Saturday, Aug. 4 - Soccer Doubleheader: International powerhouses AC Milan and Olimpia face off Saturday at 4:30 p.m. before the Revolution battle Eastern Conference rival Sporting Kansas City at 7:30 p.m.
- Thursday, Aug. 9 - Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints (Preseason): The Patriots take on the New Orleans Saints in a preseason game on Thursday, Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, Aug. 12 - Revolution vs. Montreal Impact: The Revolution take on the Montreal Impact on Sunday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m.
- Sunday, Aug. 12 - Boxing Match at Gillette Stadium: Following the Revolution’s 7 p.m. game against Montreal, “Irish” Danny O’Connor will headline a live professional boxing card at the stadium. The match will commence after the Revolution game at approximately 9 p.m.
- Saturday, Aug. 18 - Bruce Springsteen Concert: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's 2012 'Wrecking Ball' World Tour will continue in the U.S. and Canada with new dates in late summer beginning Aug. 18th at Gillette Stadium.
- Monday, Aug. 20 - Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Preseason): The Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles in a preseason game on Monday, August 20 at 8 p.m.
- Friday, Aug. 24 - Chesney, McGraw 'Brothers of the Sun' Tour: Kenny Chesney returns to Gillette Stadium this summer to headline the New England Country Music Festival for the seventh time.
- Saturday, Aug. 25 - Chesney, McGraw 'Brothers of the Sun' Tour: Kenny Chesney returns to Gillette Stadium this summer to headline the New England Country Music Festival for the seventh time.