· When's Camp:
Things began right after the NFL owners and players kissed and made up, and it looks like practices will continue through the end of August or until the team is firing on all cylinders. These times are open to the public on Wednesdays beginning at 1pm and on Saturdays beginning at 1:30pm. Things are obviously subject to change depending on Coach Bill Belichick’s mood, so it might be a good idea to call the training camp hotline at (508) 549-0001 to make sure the Pats are on the field before heading out.
· Where's Camp:
Just like during the regular season, all the Patriots fun takes place at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Gates open well before the practices kickoff, so it’s probably a good idea to get there a little early. The Patriots Pro Shop will also be open during the offseason, so bring a little extra cash—or a few credit cards—to stock up on souvenirs and foam fingers for the 2011 season.
· What's it Cost:
The New England Patriots could probably charge big bucks for admission and still get a wicked amount of fans into the stadium, but all the training camp and other practice preparations remain free to one and all. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for the regular season, so consider this a little bit of an opportunity for those forced to watch from the comfort of the sofa during the regular season.
· What Else: [Photo of training camp past: Brian J. McDermott]
Following each practice fans—and little fans—are invited to attend Patriots Experience. Things usually start an hour before the on the field action, and it carries on into the afternoon a couple hours after the players leave the field. Here there are chances to mingle with fellow fans, practice your armchair quarterback skills, and get your face painted red, white, silver, and blue. The team’s cheerleaders will even be in attendance, so be sure to be on your best behavior. Just like the more traditional training camp activities, this extra fun is also complimentary to everybody.
[Photo of training camp past: Brian J. McDermott]