Robert Kraft no longer has to worry about anyone putting out their Kools on his floor.
The Patriots announced Monday morning that smoking has been banned throughout Gillette Stadium. There had previously been designated smoking areas within the gates of the stadium, but trips to flavor country will no longer be allowed once patrons make their way through the turnstiles. The ban will go into effect immediately, with a New England Revolution game this Saturday serving as the first event played under the new rules.
The majority of NFL stadiums do not allow smoking anywhere inside their gates, which makes sense given how many states and municipalities have enacted laws against smoking in public places. Some stadiums allow fans to exit and re-enter if they wish to smoke, the Bengals recently put such a policy into place, but, generally speaking, the only smoke you’ll see at most NFL games is going to come from the ears of coaches watching players fail to execute their perfectly prepared game plans.
Given the NFL’s zeal for merchandising, it’s a bit surprising that these moves to ban smoking haven’t come with a way to make some money attached. Nicotine patches with team logos would help smokers get through games without a fix while also helping teams create new revenue streams.