Patriots

Here's how Pats games will be different as fans return to Gillette

Patriots

Fans will have their first opportunity to attend Gillette Stadium for a New England Patriots game this Thursday since Jan. 4, 2020.

Patrons will notice many changes from the last time they attended a game in Foxboro -- New England's quarterback who lost to the Tennessee Titans that day now plays elsewhere, for example -- with safety modifications amid the COVID-19 pandemic in mind.

For starters, Gillette Stadium has moved to exclusively mobile ticketing in 2021, the team announced Monday. There's no need to bring cash to the game, either, as the venue now only accepts electronic payments (credit or debit card, etc.)

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Tickets can be accessed via the Gillette Stadium app and will allow for touchless entry to the venue. Fans will also be able to transfer their digital tickets via the app.

The stadium has also installed cash-to-card machines for patrons. Fans who bring cash can convert it into a VISA card, which can be used both inside Gillette Stadium and elsewhere.

Bathroom fixtures have also become touchless inside the stadium.

COVID-19 vaccinations won't be required for fans, however, those who are unvaccinated will be asked to wear a mask inside the facility. Fans who have tested positive or been exposed to someone who's had COVID-19 14 days prior to an event will be asked not to attend Gillette Stadium.

New features unrelated to the pandemic include a new video display in the south end zone, as well as a new concession area on the same side of the stadium.