Welcome to Gillette Stadium
August, 9, 2012
By Mike Rodak | ESPNBoston.com
Mike Rodak/ESPNBoston.com Gillette Stadium sits empty less than 4 hours before tonight's kickoff.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Welcome to Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots host the Saints in their preseason opener (WBZ, 7:30 p.m. ET).
Weather conditions. It's a warm and muggy night in Foxboro. According to Weather.com, the current temperature is 88 degrees. Temperatures are expected to drop from the high 70s to the low 70s as the game progresses, while humidity will remain fairly high (current dew point of 66 degrees). Skies are hazy and winds are light. There is a slight chance of a thunderstorm.
White gets the call. Tonight's referee is David White, a replacement official due to the NFL's ongoing lockout of the NFL Referees Association.
Courtesy of Patriots
Players not expected to play. Players not expected to be in action for the Patriots tonight include LB Brandon Spikes and DT Jonathan Fanene. A full list of players out of action will be compiled based on pre-game warm-ups.
Scouts in the house. There are scouts from 13 NFL teams expected to be in attendance tonight, including AFC East rivals Miami and the Jets. This is typical for the preseason. There are also scouts from the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes here.
National anthem. Tonight's national anthem will be performed by Stephanie Petronelli, a Patriots cheerleader. The Bridgewater, Mass. native was on the Grammy Ballot in 2008 and 2009.
Offseason award winners on program cover. The cover of the official game program tonight (pictured above on right) features the team's 10 offseason award winners, which were announced last month.