Gillette Stadium has just announced that they will be providing free parking to fans for Patriots home games this season. The move is an effort to alleviate traffic to and from all home games, an effort to ease traffic heading in and out of Foxborough.
Ticket holders will be allowed to register for the free parking in the Delayed Exit Lot. This space, located in Lot 55, will have very strict time frames in which fans can arrive and exit. Lot 55 is located across route one. It is about a 25 minute walk from the lot to the stadium.
Arrival in Lot 55 will not differ from other lots. The lot will open four hours before the beginning of the game and will promptly close 30 minutes after kickoff. Exiting the stadium and Gillette as a whole will be, as the lot is named, delayed. Cars will not be able to exit until 75 minutes following the end of the game.
After the night games only, Gillette is also offering free snacks and non-alcoholic beverages to ticket holders. They can wait out the 75 minutes in Cross Pavilion and watch the Patriots 5th Quarter and other football programming.
Reasoning and Controversy
Efforts to delay fans from exiting all at once is what Gillette hopes is the future solution to de-congest traffic on Route one and throughout the backroads of Foxborough and surrounding towns.
Other lots will still cost fans if they don’t want to take advantage of the free perk. The lots across route one southbound fall from $40 to $30. Prices in the northbound side, however, rise from $40 to $60.
There are mixed reviews about the new move. Some fans don’t see the 75 minute wait time to get out of Lot 55 as being sufficient enough. With the amount of traffic in the area because of the game, shopping center, bars and other attractions, many question if it will really make any impact at all.
Other fans are excited for this new option. With ticket costs, food and beverages, gas and other game-day expenses, this option makes going to the game a little lighter on the wallet. Plus, knowing that the lot is there takes away a last minute hunt for parking.
Staying behind 75 minutes, especially after a long game, does make a long day drawn out longer. The positive spin to that scenario is that Patriots Place is right there, lined with bars, restaurants and shops that make it pretty easy to waste that much time.
While the initial reviews remain mixed, the experiment, nevertheless, will be a great attempt at reducing game-day stress and problems, if all goes well. The hope for fans is that, moving forward, Gillette will continue to improve their parking policy. Successfully reducing congestion and make parking as smooth as possible will make the fan experience even more enjoyable.