September 20, 2017

Today In Patriots History – Schaefer Stadium Debut

Today in Patriots History – August 15th, 1971 – First game ever at the brand new Schaefer Stadium. From

The Patriots make their debut at Schaefer Stadium in Foxboro. Gino Cappelletti kicked a 36-yard FG for the first points scored in the stadium as the Patriots topped the N.Y. Giants 20-14 before 60,423 fans.

Constructed for a mere $6 million, Schaefer Stadium (Later, Sullivan, and then Foxboro, Stadium) would be home to the Patriots until that snowy night in 2002 when Adam Vinatieru closed it with his overtime field goal against the Raiders. Some nice synergy there, Cappelletti with the first points in a preseason game, Vinatieri with the last points in a playoff game.


  1. According to Chris Price’s The Blueprint (page 28), Schaefer Stadium was one of the first examples of stadium naming rights (Busch Stadium, initially Busch Memorial Stadium, was the first in 1968). The value of such a revenue stream was not lost on Patriots owner William Sullivan, one of the least affluent NFL owners, so he signed a $1,000,000 deal with New York-based Schaefer Brewing Company, thereby introducing stadium naming rights to the NFL.

  2. Paul Mandeville says:

    I happen to have a program from that night….

  3. I attended that game. What I most remember about that night was was trying to exit the stadium parking lot after the game. It was almost impossible. I think we sat in the car for about 3 hours before we were able to get onto Route 1. I lived in Brockton at time (maybe a 30-40 minute drive) and I believe I arrived home more than 4 hours after the game ended.

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