Robert Kraft believes fans soon will return to the famous house he built.
The owner of both the New England Patriots and New England Revolution told WCVB on Thursday night he believes there’s a “real shot” fans will be able to attend games at Gillette Stadium in the upcoming Major League Soccer season and in the next NFL campaign.
Kraft believes the COVID-19 vaccinations that are taking place at Gillette Stadium and other sites around the region will allow fans to return for the first time since last March.
“In 2002, we privately built Gillette Stadium to provide a home to our sports franchises, and we have celebrated some great moments here over the past 19 years, but maybe none as important as what we are doing here today, right now,” Kraft said. “After the year we have had, these vaccinations provide a light and give hope for a brighter future.”
“As much as we love hosting these vaccinations, what we’re looking for most is to return to normal, and host our Patriot and Revolution fans in-person this coming season right out here,” he added. “We’ll keep our fingers crossed on that, but we believe we have a real shot at doing that.”
The Revolution probably will have the first shot at welcoming fans to Gillette, as the 2021 MLS season is expected to begin in March or April. The Patriots won’t stage any games until at least the NFL preseason, which could be in August, or they might have to wait until the start of the regular season in September.
Massachusetts officials will determine when fans will be able to return to Gillette Stadium and other sports venues. Their decision will depend on the rate of vaccinations in the state, region and beyond.
The date of fans’ return can’t come soon enough for Kraft and so many others.