If You Want To Save Money At Gillette Stadium,
Here’s What You Shouldn’t Do

That it costs megabucks to see the New England Patriots play at Gillette Stadium…

Is a fact that should surprise absolutely no one.

In an era in which a 9-7 regular season record is considered a success for most teams…

The Patriots’ nine-win season in 2002 was their worst finish since the dawn of the New Millennium.

The only surprise is that average cost of a Patriots ticket was not the highest on the secondary market, at least not prior to the start of the season.

No, that distinction belonged to the Seattle Seahawks…

Most expensive resale ticket prices as of Aug.1, 2016
Seahawks $338
Patriots $336
Packers $295
Broncos $288
Steelers $265

For most teams, these prices go down toward the latter part of the season due to weather and other factors. The Patriots however, are not like most teams:

Most expensive resale ticket prices as of Dec.15, 2016
Patriots $336
Broncos $310
Seahawks $259
Cowboys $237
Raiders $227
Data source: SeatGeek

Throw in $100 (conservatively) for a Gillette Stadium parking pass and we’re talking $436 before you even consider tailgating and all that other good stuff. Yikes.

Such is the price of success…

So what is the average fan supposed to do in this case? Instead of looking for bargains that don’t exist, your best bet may be to steer clear of “options” that simply aren’t worth your money.

3 Gillette Stadium options you should avoid

1. Ace Ticket (aceticket.com).   Is this ticket broker Boston based. Yes. Are they the “Official Fan Travel Partner of the New England Patriots”? Yes. Will they save you money? Nope.

Cheap Seat Resale Ticket Prices for Patriots vs. Jets Dec. 24
Coast to
$157 $243 $171 $152 $174 $167 $178 $162 $148 $183 $147 $155
Prices are per ticket based upon a purchase of 2 as of Dec. 24 820 AM EST

At one point, Ace Ticket may have been the local broker where you could get Patriots tickets relatively cheap, but that doesn’t appear to be the case now. You’d think that a company that once billed itself as “your local source for last minute Patriots tickets” would offer competitive pricing 5 hours before kickoff, but the $183 it was charging was $36 more than the lowest price.

2. Patriot Place/Stadium parking.   Yes, a negative two-fer. If you don’t know any better you’ll be tempted to take advantage of the free parking at Patriot Place, but it’s not for game goers. They’re quite strict on that, so if you think that you can simply make a purchase at one of the shops and stick the receipt on the dashboard, you’re liable to end up with a fine and/or a towed vehicle.

There is a dearth of privately-owned parking lots around Gillette Stadium, and perhaps as a result, parking passes can easily go for $100, even 2 or 3 times that, on ticket broker sites. Instead, you should consider these offsite parking alternatives that are way cheaper.

3. Patriots Tailgate (patriotstailgate.com)/CBS Scene.  For fans that love tailgating but hate organizing or hosting, fan-organized tailgate parties are a godsend, and more often than not, exceptional values. Big Blue BBQ (NY Giants, $40) and Hail BBQ Crew (Redskins, free) provide two such examples. What do the Patriots offer? The “Executive Special” for $149, which is the cheapest package, and does not include the $50 parking fee. Hmmm… instead, why not share a slice with Peter Carbone, Richie Caturano, & Mark Allara? They’re three guys that haul a wood-fired pizza oven to the Gillette Stadium parking lot before every home game and serve up gourmet pizzas.

Then again, if your idea of a pregame tailgate party is getting together with friends at a nearby sports bar, there’s nothing wrong with that. The only problem is - you guessed it - the lack of such places near Gillette Stadium. Fenway Park, with its plethora of top notch jock joints, this is not.

How to save money at Gillette Stadium
Photo credit: murphman61 [+]
CBS Scene is one such place. It provides decent value, is super convenient (it’s located at Patriot Place), and of course there’s the humongous TV screens, so I’m not exactly suggesting that this is a place to avoid. It’s just that, as far as sports bars go, you can do so much better. And speaking of Fenway Park, it may be 50 miles away, but that’s why there’s a rail service.

So if you want to visit some of the nation’s best sports bars, there are several several - Bleacher Bar, Game On!, & Cask’n Flagon - to name a few, within 4 miles of MBTA’s South Station in Boston, where for less than the price of a stadium parking pass, you can park ($25) and ride ($20), and as an added bonus, you get to avoid driving in some truly ridiculous traffic.

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