NFL Wall

Nov. 20, 1998

Patriots fans of certain vintage would have no trouble recalling all – or at least most – of the various schemes proposed by state and local governments, and even private investors, to give the team a permanent home.

This one was proffered by the state of Connecticut. And it was considered too good a deal to refuse.

Gov. John Rowland and Pats owner Robert Kraft signed a tentative agreement that would give the Patriots a 66,000-seat stadium in Hartford at terms that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts political leaders considered insanely lopsided in Kraft’s favor.

Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci expressed disappointment, saying that the state and the Pats should have been able to work out a deal, but that he never would have supported the generous terms Rowland offered. It was estimated that, over time, getting the Pats would cost Connecticut $1 billion.

Old Foxboro Stadium would continue operating, hosting the New England Revolution and concerts after the Patriots moved out in 2001.

By early 1999, Connecticut’s efforts to lure the Patriots to Hartford evaporated. Krafts worked out a deal with Beacon Hill that ultimately led to the construction of Gillette Stadium.