The New England Patriots Very Nearly Became The Bay State Patriots

Published on April 3rd, 2023 1:38 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The story of how the Boston Patriots became the New England Patriots.  In photo: Doug Flutie. The early 1970s was a crazy time for professional football, as the American Football League and National Football League merged together.

The New England Patriots - known as the Boston Patriots at the time - were also enduring a period of craziness, as they were trying to find a permanent home after spending the 1960s flitting around from one stadium to another.

The owner of the Patriots wanted a new stadium built in Boston for his team, and he wanted the city's help to do so.

Boston refused, and the team picked up and left.

The team ended up moving to a town called Foxborough.

In order to help lure the team to their city, the owners of the Bay State Raceway, located in Foxborough, donated some of their land to the Patriots.


In February of 1971, the owner of the Patriots held a press conference to announce their new name:

The Bay State Patriots

The first immediate issue with this name change is that the NFL hadn't agreed to it.

The second immediate issue was that "Bay State" Patriots was shortened to "BS" Patriots, and this was obviously a bad look for the team, especially when they were mentioned in newspapers (the papers would shorten team names to save print space).

What should have been a great moment for the Patriots was now the source of embarrassment.


The "Bay State Patriots" name was short-lived, and a month later, the team agreed to be called the New England Patriots.

The league agreed to the change, and that was that.


In the end, the Patriots simply wanted to dump the "Boston" from their names, as they were so incredibly angry that the city of Boston wouldn't help them to build a new stadium.

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