How Connecticut Came Close to Being Home to the Patriots Back in the Day
Some remember and some have forgotten, but there was a time when Robert Kraft was trying to move his team, the Patriots, out of Massachusetts. It was in the late 1990s. Sports Illustrated reminds us of what could have been, years ago here in the Nutmeg State.
The then Connecticut Governor, John Rowland, counted his chickens before they were to hatch so to speak. In a press conference he spoke with reporters, heralding that the Patriots were moving to Hartford. Robert Kraft did sign a memo allowing Hartford to negotiate the future home for the Patriots. The team desperately needed a new stadium. Suddenly, Roger Goodell, assisted in getting the new Foxborough stadium built.
Kraft, born in Brookline, Massachusetts was a dyed in the wool Patriots supporter, way before owning the team. When he first purchased the team back in the early 90’s, it was to keep them from moving to St. Louis. He was prone to wanting to stay in Massachusetts, but the team needed a new stadium.
Robert Kraft made the decision he’d pay for a new stadium with his own money on his own land in Foxborough, and just needed the state to kick in infrastructure money.
Hartford still wanted in especially just after losing the Wailers Connecticut’s only pro sports team. Governor Rowland even had plans that Hartford build a $1 billion downtown project which would have been centered around the team. Governor Rowland pitched a valiant effort, but it just wasn’t in the cards.