Patriots Ready to Go Camping

The wait is almost over. After a long and eventful offseason, the Patriots open their much-anticipated training camp – the 50th in franchise history — on Thursday.

Camp practices are open to the public through Aug. 18 and will be held on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. Double sessions will be held through Aug. 5, with practices running at 9:30-11:15 a.m. and 3:45-5:30 p.m. Fans are encouraged to make the trip to Foxborough to watch the three-time Super Bowl champs prepare for ring No. 4. Parking and admission are free, but video cameras, beach balls and noisemakers are prohibited.

There will be concessions and apparel to purchase, as well as the Patriots Experience interactive football-themed playground. And yes, Tom Brady will be there, too.

The Patriots’ preseason schedule is just around the corner, with their opener in Philadelphia against the Eagles coming on Aug. 13. The Pats then play host to the Bengals on Aug. 20, before wrapping up the exhibition season against the Redskins and Giants.

The regular season begins Sept. 14., when New England hosts Terrell Owens and the new-look Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football.

But most importantly, football officially begins Thursday. And that means the Patriots – with Brady back at the helm – are back, too. And you can be a part of the kickoff to the 2009 season.

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