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    How Much Did Robert Kraft Pay for the New England Patriots?

    Robert Kraft kept the Patriots from moving out of New England multiple times before owning the team and built an NFL dynasty as owner.

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    Billy Sullivan brought football to New England in 1959, when he was awarded the eighth and final franchise in the AFL. He led the team as it went from the AFL to the NFL with the merger. The Patriots played in a number of stadiums, including Fenway Park, before moving to a stadium in Foxboro, Mass., in the early 1970s.

    Sullivan was the owner of the Patriots until 1988, when he sold them to Victor Kiam, who owned a large razor company. Kiam, who was trying to resolve various debts, sold 51% of the team’s ownership to St. Louis businessman James Busch Orthwein in 1992.

    Robert Kraft Buys the Patriots

    Robert Kraft started being a Patriots’ season ticket holder in the early 1970s. His first ownership of a Boston-area sports team came in 1975, when he was part of the group that founded the Boston Lobsters of World Team Tennis, but the league folded in 1978.

    Kraft purchased Sullivan Stadium (Foxboro) out of bankruptcy court in 1988 for $22 million, but he lost to Kiam in his bid to buy the Patriots. Kraft reached an agreement with the Patriots to stay in the stadium until 2001.

    Kiam wanted to move the Patriots to Jacksonville before the city was awarded an expansion franchise. Kraft was able to keep the team in New England because of the stadium lease.

    Orthwein and Stan Kroenke, who would eventually own the Rams, both tried to buy the Patriots out of the stadium lease to allow a move to St. Louis. Kraft again kept the team in New England after declining both offers.

    Kraft bought the Patriots from Orthwein for $172 million in 1994. His bid for the Patriots was selected, even though Kroenke led a group that offered over $200 million for the team. When he bought the team, Kraft said, “My objective in buying the Patriots is to help bring a championship to New England.”

    Kraft’s Patriots Legacy

    As mentioned, Kraft bought the team for $172 million, yet now Forbes values the New England franchise at around $6 billion. He has become one of the most influential owners in the NFL and has played a key role in several of the major decisions made by the league over the last 30 years.

    In 2000, Kraft acquired Bill Belichick from the New York Jets to be the team’s head coach. A few months later, the Patriots selected QB Tom Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. That trio would go on to win six Super Bowls and make three other appearances.

    MORE: Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft Reflect on Longtime Partnership Amid Parting of Ways

    The stadium lease that Kraft and the team owners agreed to in 1988 expired in 2001, and the Patriots moved to Gillette Stadium for the 2002 season. He made the stadium the home of the New England Revolution, an MLS team, along with holding a number of other events, including international soccer and concerts.

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