On This Day: Robert Kraft Purchases New England Patriots, 27 Years Ago

by Emily Morgan

A lifelong New England Patriots fan, Robert Kraft’s dream of becoming the team’s owner, would come to fruition 27 years ago today, on Jan. 21, 1994. 

That day he pledged, “My objective in buying the Patriots is to help bring a championship to New England.” 

Fans considered his statement to be a pipe dream considering their track record in the ’90s. However, 26 years later, the Patriots have six Lombardi Trophies and the highest winning percentage in all professional sports.

On Thursday, the official Patriots Twitter account shared a video to honor Kraft’s anniversary of taking ownership of the team. 

Robert Kraft’s Dedication to Patriots Evident in Team’s Unrivaled Success

After purchasing Foxboro Stadium and the surrounding property, Kraft purchased the team for $173 million. According to Forbes, the Patriots are valued at $4.4 billion, the second-highest in the NFL, behind the Dallas Cowboys.

“The gentleman I’m about to introduce stepped up at a critical time,” previous owner James Orthewein said at the initial press conference. 

“He understands what a football team means to this community. After league approval, he’ll become the next owner of the New England Patriots. Robert Kraft.”

In an interview, Kraft made it clear he had the dedication and heart to help bring the team to success. 

“The commitments I made was that I believe that if we do the right things and manage it right, we get the support from the fans and the corporate community, that whis will be an asset for the whole community and our family long-term,” Kraft said.

“But we have five years of hard work ahead of us, and I hope this community views it as a partnership. And I think it can be great. And I hope we can bring a championship here.”

Kraft’s relentless determination would pay off: the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl four more times during Kraft’s tenure.

In the five years leading up to the purchase, the Patriots were 19-61, hitting 1-15 in 1990 and going 2-14 in 1992.

In Kraft’s first year as owner, the team went 10-6. That year, they also played in the Super Bowl — the second appearance in franchise history.