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BOB KRAFT TESTS MASSACHUSETTS' PATRIOTIC FERVOR
Published February 2, 1995
The fallout continues from Patriots Owner Robert Kraft's comments in the BOSTON GLOBE on Sunday that he may have to move the team if he doesn't get financial help from the state. On Tuesday, a Senate committee dropped a $35M appropriation for highway improvements in the area of Foxboro Stadium. Sources close to the issue said it was because legislators were "angered by Kraft's complaints about his treatment by the state" (Richard Kindleberger, BOSTON GLOBE, 2/1). Yesterday, Gov. William Weld reiterated his desire to assist Kraft, although he said he never made any specific offers of state help. Weld: "I think we should help him out." But later, Weld said that he hoped that "before we spend a lot of money on keeping the Patriots here, we might want to elicit a commitment from the Patriots to stay in Massachusetts for the next ten years or so." Weld will file legislation within a month "aimed at improving Foxboro Stadium parking and access" (Lehigh & Howe, BOSTON GLOBE, 2/2). Weld said he would be willing to "spend something less" than $100M to have the team stay in Foxboro if plans for a Boston stadium fall through: "With infrastructure support and if [Kraft] got ... the club seats and luxury boxes, I think he could make money in Foxboro" (Robert Connolly, BOSTON HERALD, 2/2). UNPATRIOTIC? Kraft has been the focus of editorials and columns since Sunday. The BOSTON GLOBE'S Dan Shaughnessy writes Kraft "did a good thing" and saved the franchise. "But he overpaid for the team. Now he is coming at us, tin cup in hand, asking for dough to improve his football stadium. It's kind of like me asking my neighbors to bail me out on that mortgage." An editorial in yesterday's GLOBE states: "While the state should finance road improvements at Foxboro Stadium, subsidizing the company that does business there is more troublesome. ... It would be unwise for the state to make deals that solely benefit private sports franchises (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/1). The BOSTON HERALD states that Kraft has "a lot to learn" about dealing with state government, but calls on the state to fund the "needed" road improvements (BOSTON HERALD, 2/2).