Yesterday my mom, Amanda, Ric and I went to see the New England Patriots practice at the New England Patriots Training Camp which is located right behind Gillette Stadium at Patriot Place. It was fun and exciting to see the Patriots practice at this very wheelchair friendly and accessible training camp. Last year when I went to the New England Patriots Training Camp 2009 I met Randy Moss and the NE Patriot cheerleaders. This year I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Brady and found him friendly, kind and sensitive.
There are plenty of handicap parking spaces located in the front row of the parking lot. A wheelchair accessible sloped walkway at the end of the parking lot leads to a wide paved road. The pavement is smooth and easy to wheel along. At the end of this road you’ll see the Training Camp below. A wide sloped walkway leads down to the entrance of the Training Camp. The entrance is wide open and easy to access. There is no cost to enter. Admission is FREE. Located in front of the training field are some food concession stands and a tent selling official NFL NE Patriots merchandise. All are fully wheelchair accessible.
Port-a-Johns are located behind the concession stands. A wheelchair accessible restroom for staff members and fans in wheelchairs to use is located in a building near the Cheerleader’s building. A wide wooden ramp leads to the entry door. A kind attendant held the door open while Ric pushed my manual chair inside. The door to the restroom is automatic with simple push of a button. Braille is located on the sign for the Blind and visually impaired. The restroom is spacious and fully ADA compliant.
After using the restroom, a kind employee pointed us in the direction of the wheelchair accessible ramp that leads to the training field. This ramp has railings located on both sides for added safety; it leads to the front of the bleacher stands. The stands have cut-out sections in the front row for fans seated in wheelchairs with bench seating located on both sides so your friends can sit next to you. The attendants are all very kind and helpful and will help you get to an accessible seat.
My mom, Ric, Amanda and I chose to sit in the shade under a tent located right up front because it was so hot and humid sitting in the sun. We sat with some other folks in wheelchairs and all had a great view of the players practicing on the field. We got some great pictures of Tom Brady throwing and handing the ball off to teammates.
This morning practice was only an hour and a half long because it was a walk-thru practice and they weren’t dressed in full uniform.
A few minutes before practice ended, Tom Brady came right over to say hi to me! He was very kind and sensitive. He signed his name on my NE Patriot’s pendent and even took the time to let my mom take a picture of us. I could see that Tom was really hot and tired after practicing on this very humid and warm sunny day and I really appreciated he took the time to say hi to me.
It was wonderful to meet Tom Brady. Tom Brady is a wonderful guy and donates a lot of his time to Best Buddies a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
If anyone is interested in going to a New England Patriot’s Game, the ticket windows are located in front of the Gillette Stadium near The Hall at Patriots Place and Pro Shop of the New England Patriots. There are still some wheelchair seats available for the last three games. My mom bought me wheelchair accessible tickets to the NE Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins which is the last game of the season on January 2, 2011:)
I give the New England Patriots Training Camp FIVE STARS for wheelchair accessibility! The Kraft family has done a spectacular job making their facilities fully accessible to all.
Tom Brady also deserves FIVE STARS for his sensitivity, kindness and the wonderful charitable work he does that helps to make the world more sensitive, respectful, safer and accessible to all. Thank You Tom!