FOXBORO (CBS) -- It has been a while since Patriots fans have been able to attend a game at Gillette Stadium. So if you're heading to Foxboro for Thursday night's preseason game against the Washington Football Team, there are some modifications that have been made to the stadium that the team wants you to know about.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday night will mark the first since the 2019 postseason that Patriots fans will pack Gillette Stadium. It will mostly look and feel the same, but there are still some changes that were made due to the ongoing pandemic.
There were also some other changes made to enhance the fan experience, including a new "food hub" in the south end zone and the massive new video board that debuted back in July.
The Patriots announced those changes on Monday:
Tickets for all Gillette Stadium events have gone fully mobile in 2021. Fans can access their tickets by downloading the official Gillette Stadium App, which is available for free via the App Store for iPhone users and the Google Play Store for Android users. This new feature allows for touchless interaction at the entry gates, more flexibility in distributing tickets to fans and is easier for fans to transfer their tickets to others. Instructions on how to access, transfer and scan mobile tickets to Gillette Stadium events, along with full mobile ticketing tutorials, can be found HERE.
CASHLESS & TOUCHLESS
Gillette Stadium has gone completely cashless. All fan points of sale now accept electronic payment only including debit and credit cards, wallet or watch. The venue has deployed cash to card machines throughout the stadium for guests who bring cash, which is converted to a VISA card that can be used at any point of sale inside the stadium and anywhere VISA is accepted.
Under the guidance of the CDC, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as the NFL, Gillette Stadium has implemented a series of health and sanitization policies and procedures to keep fans safe and comfortable while visiting this season. Gillette Stadium bathroom fixtures are now touchless and all point-of-sale transactions are made by swiping your own electronic payment. Additionally, an added emphasis has been placed on more frequent and diligent cleaning and sanitization practices, especially at high-frequency touch points.
NEW SOUTH END ZONE CONCESSIONS
Gillette Stadium has implemented several venue upgrades in 2021, including the transformation of the South End Zone concourse into a walk-in food and beverage hub and ProShop for every fan's team gear needs.
The Commons concessions includes two walk-up beverage locations offering a full bar with easy access to food choices using kiosks for ordering and pick up when ready. A third Marketplace Express has been added to the stadium footprint in the south end zone featuring the same favorites fans last enjoyed in 2019. The ProShop is the only walk-in style retail location on the concourse and carries exclusive team merchandise.
NEW SOUTH END ZONE VIDEO DISPLAY
Patriots fans looking up from their seats to watch a replay will notice a brand new, 70 percent larger video display in the south end of the stadium. The new video display measures just under 53 feet high by 220 feet wide, officially providing 11,660 square feet of digital space to engage and entertain fans at Gillette Stadium. The video display ranks as the seventh largest in professional football.
The display is capable of the latest in LED technology features including variable content zoning. This allows it to show one large image or to be divided into multiple zones to show any combination of live video, instant replays, up-to-the-minute statistics, graphics and animations, and messages.
While vaccinations will not be required for fans' stadium entry, all ticketholders must agree that neither they nor their guests will attend an event if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or experienced symptoms of COVID-19 within 48 hours prior to the event. Unvaccinated fans are asked to wear a mask to Gillette Stadium events.
Thursday's New England-Washington game will air on WBZ-TV and stream on CBSBoston.com! Pregame coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m., and stay tuned after the game for postgame reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!
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