Citing public health concerns and “fan feedback, Gillette Stadium will become a fully smoke-free facility starting Saturday,” according to Ira Kantor of the BOSTON HERALD. All areas inside the stadium gates “will be designated as non-smoking, a policy that will remain in place for all ticketed events moving forward.” Saturday’s MLS Revolution game “will be smoke-free.” Gillette Stadium had allowed smoking since its opening in ’02 “in designated areas at the periphery" of the venue. In a partnership with Tufts Health Plan, new signage "will be hung throughout the stadium and anti-smoking literature will be available in the stadium’s Guest Services booths.” PSAs “will also [air] during events” (BOSTONHERALD.com, 7/9).
COLLEGE GAMEDAY: In Massachusetts, Harry Plumer writes the Univ. of Massachusetts is “doing its best” to build the gameday experience when its football team plays at Gillette Stadium. UMass Associate AD/External Relations Tim Kenney “promised an environment that’s a step up from the team’s previous Colonial Clashes against New Hampshire" at Gillette Stadium in '10 and '11. Palmer writes, "For a school that once banned tailgating on its campus, a new focus on gameday atmosphere will likely be a welcome change for fans.” Kenney spoke of “plans for live music in the plaza at Patriot Place, along with DJ’s and live bands for the students.” Also, free parking, a “rarity in college football, won’t hurt people’s appetites for tailgating.” UMass football coach Charley Molnar said, “It’s all things that surrounded the game. It’s the tailgating, the playing catch in the parking lot -- all that should be happening in Foxborough. ... There’s no reason we can’t have a day like they have in South Bend, like they have in Ann Arbor or Tallahassee” (Springfield REPUBLICAN, 7/10).