Pats to permanently leave seat unoccupied for POW/MIAs

In honor of Veteran’s Day, which lands on a Sunday this year, the New England Patriots will pay permanent tribute to those in the military who never made it home again.

Via, a seat permanently will be left empty for all servicemen and women who were either missing in action or who remain prisoners of war.

“What an exciting day,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said at the Friday unveiling.  “Thank you all for coming here today.  This is pretty cool and just another small way we have a chance to support all the great military folks who do so many great things for this country and in many ways are still under-appreciated in my opinion.”

Gillette Stadium is the first pro sports venue to dedicate a seat in this way.

56 responses to “Pats to permanently leave seat unoccupied for POW/MIAs

  1. I appreciate that acknowledgement that this organization is instituting. I find it honorable, heartening, and respectful. I don’t want to be the a-hole but our lost soldiers do deserve more than that if you want to honor them. Fifty yard line, front row, with all the hot dogs, apple pies, and Chevy’s they want.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think this is awesome! Way awesome! I hate them a little less today. (nah, not really) 🙂

  2. this is cool, but i agree it would be better to donate tickets to the military for them to send some of our soldiers to the games. still nice to see them honoring our military personal.

  3. As someone who completed his active duty military obligation in 1963, I am grateful to see active duty service men and women get the respect they deserve.

  4. I am a Dolphins fan but must say its a classy move by Mr Kraft and the Patriots organization.

    Anything that is done to recognize the men & women in our Armed Forces is a step in the right direction.

    Our prayers go out to all in harm’s way.

    God Bless the USA!

  5. have you ever been to a pats game? they donate tickets all the time to the military and honor the men and women during TV time outs. i think lots of teams do this. just because you don’t read about it on PFT doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

  6. As you can tell from my name, this is very painful for me to say…. Nice job Pats. Very classy move. Thank you Vets for all you have done and continue to do for this country.

  7. For all those posting that they should donate tickets, the Krafts already donate hundreds of tickets for service men and women to see the games. This is just an additional way to honor the MIA/POWs that we should all never forget. Kraft is a classy man.

  8. Uh, not for nothin’ but the Pats routinely invite 10-100 vets every home game as Kraft’s guests. 150 are expected tomorrow for this particular event. You can usually see them as a group in the end zone or sideline pregame. As you were.

  9. This is why I love my hometown team. I live in sd now and the chargers would beg for this much class. Hell, they can’t even avoid a blackout.

    Good job Mr Kraft.

  10. Meh…never understood the “leave a seat open” thing. Just let someone sit there. My uncle (a huge Patriots fan) was (and still is) MIA in Iraq and I can say with 100% certainty that he would rather someone actually be sitting in the seat enjoying the game.

  11. The Pats also do a ‘hometown hero’ presentation every game where they introduce a current/recent serviceman (or woman) and give the crowd a brief story of their exploits in service to our country. Often times the cheers are louder than most points in the game. It’s brief, but it’s real and it’s very cool.

  12. mikewhorio says:Meh…never understood the “leave a seat open” thing.

    This could be compared to the riderless horse in military funerals.

    Mr Kraft does have a lot of class!

    3d Armored Cavalry Regiment

  13. I won’t be critical of the move because I think it is done with the right thing in mind. It should be remembered that football is entertainment, it is something we watch together. I think most veterans would rather see that space used for living soldiers to enjoy, for a soldier and his son, or dad, or wife, or daughter. The dead can’t watch a football game.

  14. a season ticket holder. For all you people that don’t think this a great gesture,and say they should just donate the tickets to current military. You are all idiots! Every pats game you see at least 20 soldiers on the field invited to the game by robert kraft. He honors one soldier every game that has fought for our country. People I don’t care if you don’t like the pats, just take it for what it’s worth our team is just classier than yours…go pats,and USA!

  15. New England Patriots: playing in a stadium dedicating a seat to the soldiers in our great nation’s military since 2012.

    Chicago Bears: playing in a stadium dedicating the entire stadium to the soldiers in our great nations’s military since 1925.

    Mr. Kraft, the work your team does for the soldiers is wonderful, as is the work done by the other 31 teams. Just don’t think that dedicating one seat is a big thing, when another city did something *slightly* bigger 87 years ago.

  16. I think this a great thing for the Patriots to do. The empty seat, riderless horse, empty formation are all ways that are used to honor those that are not with us. POW/Mia lost but not forgotten!

  17. Every sports team should be doing this in their stadiums. Hell, every college and high school too. Without the people willing to give the ultimate sacrafice, there is no United States of America.

  18. Bring our troops home now, and end our perpetual wars. There is no just reason to keep them from their families and homes any longer. Our government restricts our freedoms while sending our young to “fight for our freedom”, and then abandons them should they be fortunate enough to return. Go to your local park, street corner, or other urban area where the police won’t bother them and you’ll see how our government treats our vets. Bring some food and blankets with.

  19. It’s a nice idea, but I feel like it could be better –

    What Pats are doing: Leaving 1 seat empty in tribute to soldiers.
    Soldiers get a “tribute” seat they don’t sit in and that’s it

    What Pats could be doing: Painting 2 seats with yellow ribbons as tribute seats, selling the seats (preference to active duty military), and donating the proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Fund/other charities geared towards helping the military.

    With the second idea, soldiers get a chance to buy tickets to the game, the seats are a tribute to soldiers (and are being used by soldiers) AND money from 8+ football games at Gillette per year is being given to charities who help soldiers.

    Rather than a symbolic tribute, why not get soldiers to go to the game AND help fund support services for wounded soldiers?

  20. trevor123698 says:
    Nov 10, 2012 9:59 PM
    “War is a racket!” -Former USMC major general Smedley D Butler.

    You are absolutely pathetic for deleting my comment.


    Agree completely on both points. Football is an extension of the mythic delusion that war proftiteers count on. Thats why the high school all-star games promote “ARMY” on their jerseys which is also pathetic.

    How about leaving seats unoccupied for a million dead iraqis who had nothing to do with anything.

    Its detestable that a public forum FORCIBLY promotes foreign policy through wars that hurt , not aid our image abroad.

    AND I AINT GOING ANYWHERE. Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism.

    “I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket”
    -Smedley Butler

  21. davidschap says:
    Nov 10, 2012 10:31 PM
    This is why I love my hometown team. I live in sd now and the chargers would beg for this much class. Hell, they can’t even avoid a blackout.


    That would be californians knowing “b.s.” when they hear it, and I guarantee you more military people are there, then in foxboro.

    Class has nothing to do with it – just P.R., and to make the people feel better about troops urinating on dead bodies, killing children (thinking they are terrorists) and murdering reporters (collateral murder) – a Good portion of the military serve our country, but several others were afflicted with Gulf War Syndrome, Agent Orange, and in some cases experimented on Tuskegee Experiment.

    Lets get real – yeah, we appreciate the sacrifice, but dont get it twisted. IT IS THE REAPPORTION of resources and securing those resources by war – Remember when Perot was supposed to go and find out about the POW/MIA’s , and he ended up saying;

    “I keep running into drug traffickers bringing drugs into the U.S.”

    Nixon abandoned those MIA’s in Vietnam. He wasnt about to pay the Vietnamese any amount for their safe return or otherwise.

    People need to get real, and stop this mythologizing the military, and learn about My Lai, Abu Gharib, Fallujah and other atrocities perpetrated by the military.

    Good for the Chargers and for California. WE KNOW BETTER.

    Semper Fi – former Marine, and current politically aware person.

  22. It’s a nice gesture. But a better way to honor our servicemen and women would be to provide decent medical care and education after they’re discharged, and maybe not sending them into pointless conflicts in the first place.

    One wonders how many sons and daughters of Congressmen, Senators, and other high placed and wealthy families are in dangerous combat situations?

  23. This could be compared to the riderless horse in military funerals.

    And the “Missing Man” formation with fighter jets.

    I’m glad we’ve come such a long way from the hippies denigrating our people in the early 70’s.

  24. Cool thing to do. Too bad the Bucs and their fans already beat them to it. They routinely leave 20+% of their seats empty for .

  25. They give lots tickets to vets many times. The vets deserve it, Pats did it. Can’t ask for more. God bless soldiers who PROTECT their country.

  26. Classy move in a perfect environment. It will give observers reason to stop and think and appreciate all who made their afternoon of enjoyment possible.

    In other news, the Jets have named 25,000 seats thus to avoid blackouts

  27. Bucs fan here, but that is a classy act from a classy organization. Any tribute to the military is appreciated by all, especially those that have lost a friend that they fought beside.

    82nd Airborne

  28. Everyone complaining about what the Pats did as not enough. That should be followed by exactly what YOU have been doing. Otherwise go look in the mirror.

    Obviously we know what those that served did and are doing. So of course this is not directed at you.

  29. USAF 1984-1988. Pats season ticket holder since 1993. I’d be glad to take a vet to a game. Especially a handicapped vet. Thanks for your service. And thanks for the gesture Mr. Kraft.

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