An industry source tells us that the Patriots could be joining the new “it’s a bad economy, so let’s trim some fat” trend on Friday by laying off some employees.
We’re told that at least one employee working for the team’s in-house publications has been advised that Friday will be his last day; it’s possible that there will be others.
Of course, it won’t be the first round of layoffs in Foxborough.  In November 2008, the Patriots quietly laid off 60 employees.  Though it was announced as a reduction of five percent of the Gillette Stadium work force, we’re told that the number actually was closer to 20 percent.
Part of the problem, we’re told, is the unexpected underperformance of Patriot Place, the small city that the franchise built around the stadium that wasn’t built near one.
“[I]t’s basically an outdoor mall,” said the source.  “In New England.  Where for the past week it has barely cracked 25 degrees.  And there’s more than a foot of snow on the ground. . . .  I guess they could not have forseen the financial issues that were coming when they started the project, but I still think there’s something fundamentally flawed about building an outdoor mall in such a cold climate.”
UPDATE:  We contacted the Patriots on Friday, and we were told that there would be no further layoffs at this time.


  1. There’s also a better outdoor mall a few miles away from Patriot Place that routinely struggles in the first quarter of the calendar year.
    Probably because it has a Cracker Barrel.

  2. Outdoor mall aspect really isn’t that bad here. However, there is another one about 10 minutes, and it’s cheaper (outlet mall)

  3. Mike, no offense, but your “source” is an idiot. An outdoor mall? In freezing winter conditions? Big deal. I live in Rhode Island, half an hour from Gillette, and grew up 10 mins. from Foxboro; the entire region is loaded with outdoor “strip malls”, which always do a steady business in the winter. New Englanders are used to it, as I’m sure people from Buffalo and Minnesota probably are.
    Outdoor malls are nothing new to us, and are commonplace around the area.

  4. The outside mall idea isn’t that bad of an idea, however there is another one just 10 minutes away. The other mall is an outlet mall and is thus cheaper.

  5. I’m not a fan of Gillette Stadium’s layout. See at the old Pats stadium you could tailgait and cook out before games and then go right in. Now the Joe Lunchpale crowd is relegated to these distant lots that are a good half-hour walk almost away from the stadium, so you can’t even enjoy a good tailgate anymore. Not good times.

  6. The source doesn’t know the New England economy.
    Two of the most popular locations in New England when it comes to shopping? Yup, the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets and the Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets, both outdoor malls.
    Patriot Place may be under performing, but in my opinion (I do live close to PP after all…), it’s not because it is an outdoor shopping center, but because the stores are freaking terrible. Outside of the Bass Pro Shop and the CBS Scene, there’s nothing that draws people directly to Patriot Place.

  7. so it was orignally reported at 5 percent… and now its 20 percent? by Wilson’s arithmetic skills, thats a difference in about, what? 16 percent?
    How about a few pepsi points for busting the balls of an underling, Florio?

  8. This is sad. My business needs people to have jobs. If no one works, no one dry cleans. A couple lower level people making normal wages losing their jobs means I lose sales. The people making millions will never know I exist.
    I am the last one to cry about player salaries, or anyone’s salary for that matter, because I love living in a capitalist society.
    I’m just saying that the $2-300k of every team’s 10 man cut takes money put of my pocket. The surely $150 million+ salary of everyone else in an organization will never touch me anyways.
    Every company is cutting the lower level guys in all aspects of business. You know, the guys willing to bust butt because they don’t know better. In the mean time, the fat cats who created their company’s problems get bailouts and slight pay cuts.
    Bottom line, my business and my future rely on the middle class. I will be 25 on March 1, and March 1 will be 4 years straight I have worked 12-15 hours per day 6 days a week with Sundays off only which I spend doing nothing but drinking beer and watching football. 4 years of the prime of my life sacrificed to have a great life in my future and now this economy tanks and customers lose jobs and…
    Let’s wake up America. We all need to fix this together.

  9. Like I read somewhere, pats can cheat kharma bitches. But I guess it could be worse, you could be a Cowboys fan. Nothing more embarrassing than that these days. Not even being a Lions fan. Man, why am I a Cowboys fan?? I am so gay I guess. Just love to get made sweet rear end love to I guess. Damn you Cowboys!

  10. Stupid thing to say. Outdoor mall are common and successful in New England. The problem isn’t the type of mall but the fact our economy sucks.

  11. In New England, people are used to dealing with the cold. An outdoor mall isn’t necessarily fundamentally flawed. Not too far away in Wrentham there is an outdoor premium outlet mall. In the other direction, Route 1 in North Attleboro is one big outdoor mall with every big chain there. While there is an indoor mall there, it’s not as popular as it once was.
    I’m guessing Patriot Place’s problems are more economically based as all retailers are feeling the crunch. Their timing sucked as it opened just before the stock market crashed and people started loosing jobs, but who saw that coming?
    Another problem is that like the stadium, it’s out of the way, which means you wouldn’t go there for normal shopping. It’s a trip, just like some places go into the city every now and then for certain supplies they can get in their home town,

  12. Outdoor malls in New England are not fundamentally flawed, as New Englanders are used to dealing with cold temperatures and snow. That would be like saying that outdoor malls wouldn’t work in Florida because it’s too hot in the summer. Besides, there are other cases where they they have done fine, Wrentham, Concord, NH, Kittery, ME.
    Patriot Place’s bigger problem is the economy. They won the unlucky lottery in that they opened the project just before the financial market collapse. People are not going to travel out of their way to shop for products they can’t afford.

  13. Patriot Place is only part of the problem. The larger problem is that the Krafts are allienating its hard core fan base at an alarming pace. I have been a season ticket holder for 14 years and I can’t believe how far they have gone to make your “average Joe” kind of a fan feel (a) unwanted and (b) like they can’t afford the day. I can only assume that the Patriots think they can replace the hard-care average Joe fan with the affluent upper-class. It isn’t going to work. Attending a Pats game is a 10-12 hour time commitment. The traffic situation is terrible, parking lots take hours to let out after the game and all the while, most fans are many miles from home even once they get out of the choked off mess of traffic. In recent years, with the development of Patriots Place, they have pushed the tailgating areas further from the stadium into parking lots that are at least a 15 or 20 minute walk from the stadium. This has cut down significantly on the vibe or energy that Pats fans used to get on the way into the game that made you say to yourself – “man, you can’t get this on television.” I commend the Patriot organization for a terrific on the field product, but I am here to predict that the bottom is going to fall out of the season ticket holder base and that many games will end up not sold out in seasons soon. I am not only basing this on observations and speculation. Rumor has it that after the Partiots incredible 2007 season, when they increased ticket prices nearly 30%, they lost season ticket holder accounts for 9,000 tickets. They had a long waiting list and were able to sell almost as many, but many of those new season ticket holders were disappointed with the 12 hour game day experience (not to mention the lack of Tom Brady) and may not re-up. Further, sources in the ticket re-sale business tell me that the demand for Patriots tickets this year was so bad that they stopped buying them all together. Finally, the rumor has it that the percentage of season ticket holders who opted to buy the play-off ticket package was lower than ever and that the Patriots are VERY concerned that a huge percentage of the season ticket holder base will not re-up their accounts for 2009. The combination of Patriots Place, sky-rocketing ticket prices and a game day experience that isn’t what it once was, may leave the Kraft family and the Pariots organization hurting in the years to come. As a big fan and supporter of the team, this is disappointing to say the least. In New England the Krafts are untouchable by the mainstream media so you never hear a word of this dynamic, but it is coming. . .

  14. They have the worst parking and traffic of any facility I have ever seen. 70,000 people all come in on one road. If you’re lucky you only walk a half hour and park for 30 bucks. I’ve been there twice and will never do it again. Of course that was before my hatred developed to the point it’s at today. And, before the bandwagon filled up and tickets were practically free.

  15. I agree with accipator. I love going to Patriot games but unless you are lucky enough to pay $40-50 in the main lot, you have to walk from miles away to get into the stadium, and I’d just rather watch it on my 60 inch hi def TV instead. Plus, what is normally a one hour drive from Worcester turns into a 2+ hour affair because quite frankly, 495 and route 1 can’t handle that many people at once. So you really are investing an entire day to go to a Patriots game.
    As far as Patriots Place goes… like has already been said, it’s a cool idea and everything, but they got the wrong mix of stores. Plus their big box electronics store Circuit City is going out of business.
    It’s an awesome feature, but other than Bass Pro Shop and maybe Christmas Tree Shop and the movie theater, why go other than the novelty?

  16. Patriots169,
    I’m guessing that you are reasonably young. The game day experience is not what it once was??? It once was that we had to park way down on Rte. 1 in grass fields, down by The EndZone Pub or Luciano’s and walk a half hour or more down the road. The team hadn’t won anything for 40 years…..but the experience was still great. Now, you park on asphalt a LOT closer to the stadium, the amenities are GREATLY improved, and the team has been fantastic. There are still thousands on the season ticket waiting list (I’m 8574)… fear of not selling the place out anytime soon. With the economy, we all have to make concessions somewhere, but going to Pat’s games is the one luxury I will continue to afford myself.

  17. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Kraft build the entire project without government funding? If so, I would have to give him props (are you listening in Mpls, Ziggy?) but his timing couldn’t be worse.
    Can I suggest a special promotion to draw people in? They could offer clandestine taping services to catch cheating spouses, drug use in the work place or home monitoring. You have got to get creative in a down economy, find new ways to leverage your particular area of expertise. Maybe Bellicheat could give a seminar on ethics and morals although I don’t know how much money you could charge for a 2 minute seminar.

  18. Everything Patriots169 says is correct.
    there are 2-3 better malls within 15 minutes and another one about to open just up route 1.
    I didn’t go to a ton of games in the old stadium, but I’m not going to pretend it anything better then a cesspool. You parked in a mudpit, the traffic was just as bad, everyone was an asshole and the team sucked. However, they weren’t charging the highest ticket price in the league.
    The problem is that this year, things have swung in the total opposite direction. It’s like they are going out of their way to remind you, the paying customer, that you are the least important person in the whole operation. On the way in to the game, the parking nazi’s happily take your 40$ and scream at you to park as close as possible to the car next to you so they can squeeze in as many cars as possible. But there is nobody to be found directing traffic when the game ends to help you leave more quickly. The state police and Kraft’s security drive their golf carts thru your tailgate and yell at you to move your grill out of their way… but after the game when some help directing traffic might be needed….
    They are happy to collect your money for parking, yet they resent you being there because your keeping people away from the mall.
    The Kraft’s must be nervous because for the first time this year I got a call from the team asking if I was satisfied with my gameday experience. They seemed absolutely shocked when I had some complaints.

  19. I don’t know where alot of you guys get your info from…but Kraft has built a strong empire there. His stadium, which he financed, almost all paid for. his outside markets for football strong.
    All companies lay off excess employees in bad times …so pro football is no different than any other business.
    Anyone crtical of Patriot Place has rocks in their heads…theres no place like it in America. Unless you’re looking for something like your local shot/beer tavern w/brown toilets. It’s beautiful and yes, caters to upscale.
    We went here on our last trip to Boston and next time there, i’ll go back….it’s awesome.

  20. The unexpected underperformance of an outdoor mall that none of the fans actually wanted, and that most people don’t even understand what it is… yeah that’ll put a damper on your financial outlook.

  21. The economy is bad, so get used to this kind of “news.” As for the climate, it’s a non-issue. Even in the global warming era it’s going to be cold for a couple of weeks. People forget that in December there were 9 days above 50 degrees and five of those nine were even above 60 degrees. New England stretches 600 miles from north to south and the cold of southern New England is dramatically overstated. The average January high temperature is 36 degrees in Boston and 37 degrees in Providence. Just two years ago it was 71 degrees on January 6 and cherry blossoms were out. The weather and the economy are cyclical.

  22. As a long time season ticket holder Pats 169 you hit the nail squarely on the head and its definately gonna get worse.We have been sitting around the same people for years and no one is happy.The funny thing is about 1/3 of the stores that they put in were stores rumored to be closing like circuit city.The way they have treated the fans the last few years has gone down hill for sure.The bandwagon pink hats will be jumping ship fast if they miss the playoffs again and Kraft will have turned off the fans who were going even when they sucked.If I hear the bob Kraft speech where he says he is just a fam himself im gonna choke him.dont piss on my head and tell me its raining Mr Kraft.We as Pats fans are taking it in the ass because he made a bad investment at the worst possible time.The have become arrogant as hell and to be honest they dont really seem to care about their loyal fans unless there is a news camera showing their good deed..I still havent met ONE Pats season ticket holder that was picked in the Superbowl lottery last year not one.

  23. Classic case of the emperor has no clothes anymore. When Kraft took over the team he had a clear vision of what was needed and did an awesome job. I was a season ticket holder then but got out before the new stadium. Building the stores next to the stadium and putting parking across Rt1 is the dumbest f___ing idea ever but I am sure all of his lackies were telling him what a great decision it was. Put the f____ing shops across the street.
    Mr. Kraft and Junior Kraft, get a grip because the football team seems to be 3rd or 4th priority and no longer #1.

  24. “Maybe Bellicheat could give a seminar on ethics and morals although I don’t know how much money you could charge for a 2 minute seminar.”
    Maybe he could give a seminar on how to keep quiet and not squeal on the rest of your weaselly brethren. Funny how nobody in the coaching fraternity questions Belichick’s character. You would think one of these morally upstanding guys would call him out by now. Surely the videotaping was just the tip of the iceburg and they are all so sick of his shenanigans and how the media fawns over his “genius.” It’s enough to create biblical type jealousy. I am so impressed by the rest of the NFL coaches’ restraint in the face of such an intolerable miscreant.

  25. After shedding Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, and Eric Mangini how much more fat can the pats possibly trim???

  26. The Patriots laid off 60 employees and STILL have a bigger scouting department than the Bengals…

  27. I’ve been turned off by the NFL gameday experience for some time now. Only still have season tickets because of my inlaws. Would rather watch it at home.
    People need to realize that the NFL is all about the $$$. They don’t care for the little people. Look at the Super Bowl and all of the companies that get the tickets while Joe Sixpack is stuck at home.
    I was in Glendale last year during the Super Bowl. Didn’t go to the game. Was in town on vacation. Decided to go the NFL experience. May as well call it the NFL joke. Pay to park. Pay to get in. Pay for everything inside. Although, using the biffy was free.

  28. Things are so bad in Foxboro now Jonathan had to pick his on cloths this am AND he had to eat domestic cavier in his limo ride to work..

  29. I have to say I’ve never been a fan of the new stadium or what they charge you for the privilege to see a game. It takes 1/2 hour to get to your seats from the gate, and the view from the 3rd level is horrible, you couldn’t give those seats to me-and they charge $90 for those seats? $40 parking? They have seriouly priced me out of that place. Now I’ll go see an away game and spend almost the same money and actually go somewhere (Buffalo is a big trip around here, and I enjoy their stadium). I also travel 495 everyday, and didn’t even think once about shopping at Patriots Place. Wrenthem outlets are right off the highway, and so is Emerald Sq Mall(off 295) and they have everything covered, why would I go out of my way to hit up Patriot Place, especially during Xmas season with all the other shoppers out when I know how bad traffic is getting in and out on game days?

  30. totally in agreement with previous posters especially Patriots169.
    Eternal gratitude to Kraft for keeping the Pats in New England and bulldozing old Foxboro Stadium, but there have been major flaws in the execution of the design of Gillette Stadium. I have not seen Patriot Place up close but logistically that seems to present some problems as well.
    first off, for anyone thinking of going to a game at Gillette, pay the extra $100 or so to NOT sit in the upper level. Even the first rows of the upper level are in the stratusphere, and if your in the upper half, don’t even both showing up w/o binoculars (or a telescope). And then there’s the curious omission of escalaters to the upper levels, meaning you’ll zigzag your way up ramps for what seems like an eternity. Once you enter the stadium gates, you could be looking at a 30 minute walk up to your seats. Ridiculous. Should you choose to buy standing room tickets, be prepared to deal with a downright hostile security squad that is determined to let know know that they, not the game on the field, are the “stars”.
    All in all, its really turned into a stale, corporate environment catering to the wine and cheese crowd. You can sense the alienation in old school fans. Sure, you don’t have to worry about the guy next to you peeing on on like the old days, but given the hassles and outrageous cost and time commitment, I’d rather just see a few road games and skip Foxboro altogether.

  31. Yes PP is somewhat flawed. It is out of the way and there is little draw for many of the more common stores like EMS, Victorias Secret and such. No surprise that many of the shops and restaraunts are not doing very well. But, it is much different than the nearby outlet malls with much higher scale stores and restaurants. I really don’t think the weather has all that much impact on the place. Its more of an issue of drawing peope in but it certainly could have been anticipated. Foxboro is not exactly a metropolis.
    I’d love to know what personnel are being let go.

  32. Who cares about the patriots? They’re out. What a shame too. Maybe they could steal shoppers from another mall?

  33. Patriot Place is not working, not because it’s an outdoor mall, but rather because of it’s layout. You must climb about 40 steps to get to the main walking strip. Also, the stores are mainly high-end. Also, Foxboro isn’t exactly a city. People in RI are more apt to go there than MA folks.
    Foxboro is basically a town 45 miles outside Boston. Gillette should’ve been built in downtown Boston, but the city cronies wouldn’t allow it.

  34. Nearly every mall built in the last 10 years around here has been an outdoor mall. All of the older indoor malls have become “deal malls” with the exception of Providence Place, but that is downtown.
    “It’s the economy, stupid.”
    As to the gameday experience, it is getting to the point where it is actually better to stay at home and watch it in HD. The wine-and-cheese crowd never gets into the game so there is not much of a “home field advantage” there. I went to the Rams game and parked in someone’s yard on Rt 140 and even with the 30+ minute walk to get to the stadium gates, it was quicker than sitting in that parking lot. If you can, avoid driving on Rt 1 and 495 and pick it up in Franklin using the back roads, if you take 495….

  35. To: All Employees
    From: Human Resources
    RE: Layoffs
    As a result of the reduction of money for department areas, we are forced to cut down on our number of personnel. Under this plan, older employees will be asked to go on early retirement, thus permitting the retention of the younger people who represent our future. Therefore, a program to phase out older personnel by the end of the current fiscal year, via retirement, will be placed into effect immediately.
    This program will be known as SLAP (Sever Late-Aged Personnel). Employees who are SLAPPED will be given the opportunity to look for jobs outside the company. SLAPPED employees can request a review of their employment records before actual retirement takes place.
    This phase of the program is called SCREW (Survey of Capabilities of Retired Early Workers). All employees who have been SLAPPED or SCREWED may file an appeal with the upper management.
    This is called SHAFT (Study by Higher Authority Following Termination). Under the terms of the new policy, an employee may be SLAPPED once, SCREWED twice, but may be SHAFTED as many times as the company deems appropriate.
    If an employee follows the above procedures, he/she will be entitled to get HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel’s Early Severance) or CLAP (Combined Lump sum Assistance Payment) unless he/she already has AIDS (Additional Income From Dependents or Spouse). After getting HERPES or CLAP employee’s will no longer be SLAPPED or SCREWED by the company.
    Management wishes to assure the younger employees who remain on board that the company will continue its policy of training employees through our Special High Intensity Training (SHIT). This company takes pride in the amount of SHIT our employees receive. We have given our employees more SHIT than any company in this area.
    If any employee feels they do not receive enough SHIT on the job, see your immediate supervisor.
    H. R. Department

  36. oigetit says:
    January 23rd, 2009 at 9:27 am
    I’ve been turned off by the NFL gameday experience for some time now. Only still have season tickets because of my inlaws. Would rather watch it at home.
    People need to realize that the NFL is all about the $$$. They don’t care for the little people. Look at the Super Bowl and all of the companies that get the tickets while Joe Sixpack is stuck at home.
    I was in Glendale last year during the Super Bowl. Didn’t go to the game. Was in town on vacation. Decided to go the NFL experience. May as well call it the NFL joke. Pay to park. Pay to get in. Pay for everything inside. Although, using the biffy was free.
    listen sarah, we’re gonna have to settle this once in for all. if you call me joe six pack one more time I am going to catapult your entire family to russia.
    am I the only one in the world who is offended by being called Joe Six Pack? The connotation is so trashy. I work 70-80 hours/week and you spend $150k on clothes. who the F are you to judge me?

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