On Sunday, the Patriots will add their sixth banner to the decor at Gillette Stadium, but there was another reason for Patriots fans to line up outside more than 24 hours before kickoff.
In honor of the Patriots Super Bowl LIII victory, Nike designed the Patriots 6x Championship Air Force 1s. Nike is also making a donation in honor of the Super Bowl champions in the Boston community.
This is why, well before the Steelers roll into Foxborough, Patriots fans and sneakerheads lined up outside of the Patriots ProShop. Fans began showing up at Gillette Stadium as early as Thursday, and about 150 people were there when the doors opened at the ProShop.
They came from all over New England and beyond -- like Seattle, Nashville and Sacramento, for instance -- to get the new Patriots sneakers. Robert Kraft greeted the line of fans that wrapped along the sidewalk, signing autographs, taking selfies, handing out pins and surprising the first people in line with tickets to Sunday's game.
And it doesn't hurt that the new Air Force 1s are limited edition and overflowing with details that will make any Patriots fan happy.
They are a blue shoe with a chrome "swoosh" and white laces (as well as a set of alternate navy laces). Of course, there's a splash of red, and a SBLIII patch on the tongue. Inside the heel of each shoe is the Patriots Exclusive Victory logo. One shoelace aglet has the date of Super Bowl LIII and the other has six stars for each Patriots championship.
Each pair of sneakers also comes with a small pouch of confetti from Super Bowl LIII.
Dion Singh and his wife drove from Toronto to be at Gillette Stadium for the home opener, and as a sneaker collector, the release of the new Patriots 6x Championship Air Force 1s made it even sweeter.
"It’s huge. I’m a shoe guy too, so Patriots shoes, they go hand in hand. This is it right now. I don’t feel this cold right now. I don’t feel it," he said. "Being here amongst other fans, sneaker fans, Patriots fans, it can’t compare."
Kalin and Corey Mayberry came from Memphis for the third year in a row to catch the home opener and get their hands on the new sneakers. When they started dating in 2007, the football fans were drawn in by the Patriots and their undefeated season. Since then, the Patriots have been a huge part of their relationship, and they even followed the Patriots 2018 playoff run from Foxborough to Kansas City to Atlanta.
"They open up around our anniversary, so we got married specifically around the start of football season for this reason," Kalin said.
While the shoes look great, the cherry on top is that buying them supports a great cause.
"We love Boston in general. It’s just such a great city," Kalin said. "To know that it benefits the goods things from the city, it’s just really awesome."
You can check out more photos from the morning in the gallery below.
For the sixth consecutive year, Nike and the New England Patriots collaborated on a limited edition Patriots-designed Air Force 1 sneaker, which was unveiled by Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and sold at the Patriots ProShop on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. This year’s special edition, Air Force 1 Flyknit Low NE QS, celebrates the Patriots record-tying sixth Super Bowl Championship with colors reflective of the team’s color rush uniform. Each year, the shoes have sold out and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston.