When the Patriots were formed, they were called the Boston Patriots, Awesome Thank you Tom Brady New England Patriots shirt and during their first decade of existence, they played in numerous stadiums, never really finding a permanent home in Boston. In 1971, they moved to a new stadium in Foxborough, which is about 25 miles away from Boston and is actually closer to Rhode Island. As a result of the move–and presumably to broaden the potential fan base for what was likely the fourth most popular professional sports team in Boston at the time (the Red Sox and Celtics are perpetually beloved teams in Boston, and the Bruins were at their best in the late 60s and into the 70s)–the team sought to rename itself as the “Bay State Patriots,” but this was rejected by the NFL. Therefore, the team chose the fallback name of “New England Patriots.”
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I suspect that if the Patriots had remained in Boston and only Awesome Thank you Tom Brady New England Patriots shirt decided to build a distant suburban stadium, they would have followed the lead of other teams, such as the Giants, Jets, 49ers, and Cowboys, and retained the “big city” name. But at the time the Pats moved to Foxborough, they were far from the big time franchise they are today and hadn’t really established themselves. Plus, the states in New England are not very large, so claiming the region made good business sense: the Pats staked a claim not just to Boston, but to other parts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine that are more or fewer parts of the extended Boston metro area.