Fans are coherently aware of the dogfight that will ensue in the NFL's toughest division in 1999. The AFC East is coming off a year in which it secured four of six AFC playoff berths.
The Patriots are the only team in the division to qualify for the playoffs three consecutive years and will put that string on the line against playoff teams like the Bills, Jets, Dolphins, Broncos, Cardinals and Cowboys. The much improved Colts make the AFC East incredibly competitive.
As a result of the team's success and the fabulous competition that will come to Foxboro Stadium in 1999, the team sold out every game in 90 minutes on Saturday when individual tickets went on sale to set a franchise record for the fastest sellout in team history.
It marks the sixth consecutive year that the Patriots have sold out every game and also means that all games will appear on local television.
The threat of a local television blackout has not existed since Robert Kraft first purchased the team and announced a complete sellout prior to the 1994 regular season opener. Since then, the Patriots have sold out 51 consecutive games at Foxboro Stadium entering the 1999 season.
Beginning in 1995, season ticket sales have been capped, leaving approximately 2,500 tickets per game available for general consumption.
For the second consecutive year, the fastest selling tickets were for two division rivals, Miami (Oct. 17) and the New York Jets (Nov. 15). Both games were sold out within the first 40 minutes. The season opener vs. Indianapolis (9/19) was also high in demand, selling out in just under an hour. They were the third opponent to sell out.
A limited number of tickets remain for both of the Patriots preseason games and can be purchased through any TicketMaster outlet at (508) 931-2222 or (617) 931-2222. Approximately 1,000 tickets remain for the Patriots preseason opener against the Washington Redskins (Aug. 13), but only single-seat requests can be purchased for the nationally televised game against the Dallas Cowboys (Aug. 21).
IN OTHER NEWS
Foxboro Stadium hosted two women's World Cup games this past weekend and will host three more over the next two weekends. On Saturday, June 20, Australia and Ghana played to a 1-1 draw while defending World Cup champion Norway defeated Russia, 2-1.
This Saturday, June 27, Mexico takes on Italy at 4:30 p.m. followed by the United States vs. North Korea. Foxboro Stadium will host a semifinal match at 7:30 p.m. on July 4.
It's official. The Barcelona Dragons, with four Patriots allocated players, will compete for the World Bowl title on Sunday at 1:30 p.m..
The Dragons secured that berth with a 28-26 win over the Frankfurt Galaxy, who will be their opponent again this week in the championship game. Barcelona features center Matt Reem, safety Kadar Hamilton, tackle Tarren Crawford and quarterback Jim Murphy – all who are on the Patriots roster. Also, former Patriot Marrio Grier and former Holy Cross star and Patriots training camp prospect Tom Claro plays for the Dragons, who are coached by former Boston College head man Jack Bicknell.
Sam Clancy, who coached on the Patriots staff last season, is the defensive line coach. Barcelona needed a win or a Rhein Fire loss to clinch a title game berth, but secured the opportunity with a nail-biting win.
The Galaxy missed two late field goals that could have provided a victory. Rhein defeated the Berlin Thunder 38-10, but were eliminated when the Dragons defeated Frankfurt.
Frankfurt also features a Patriots allocated player in defensive back Cory Gilliard.
The World Bowl will be played Dusseldorf and televised by your local FOX affiliate.