The New England Patriots have long been known as trendsetters in professional football – pioneering schemes, plays and personnel groupings that have caused heartbreak and migraines for opposing coaches.
Now they have become the first team to change even the way their players arrive to games, as ESPN reported on Tuesday that the team had purchased two 767 Boeing jets for their private travel needs.
The two wide-body jets are reported by ESPN to be customized with premium, first-class seats and are shown to be emblazoned with Patriots colors, the team logo and five Lombardi Trophies on the tail wing. The jets are to be stored at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick.
That was news to Patti Goldstein, spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Airport Corporation. She said Wednesday of the planes when she started getting media calls on Tuesday. But she didn’t find it extraordinary that the Pats would want to base the planes here, as they already fly in and out of Green.
According to the ESPN report, the Pats will utilize one of the jets as their primary plane throughout the year for their eight regular season games that will be played away from their home turf at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. The other plane is a backup. ESPN reported that the team may explore renting out the planes for other uses during the off season.
It is not clear if the planes are new or used, and the team has declined to publicly comment on the purchases. New Boeing 767 wide-body jets can run as much as $200 million each. Even if the jets are new, it wouldn’t necessarily be a hurdle for team owner, Robert Kraft, who Forbes estimated in 2017 has a net worth of $4.17 billion.
The Patriots tweeted out a digitized rendering of the plane design Tuesday night with the simple message, “New airkrafts,” obviously a play on words referencing Kraft.
New airkrafts. pic.twitter.com/Af2gI3G0vQ— New England Patriots (@Patriots) August 9, 2017