By Rachel Holt

FOXBORO (CBS) – The Patriots are gearing up for their home opener on Sunday, as restaurants in Foxboro prepare for a unique year.

Brian Earley, Vice President and General Manager of Patriot Place, shared, “it’s not the start of the regular season that we had all imagined.”

Per state regulations, there will be no fans in the stands at Gillette Stadium through at least September, which means business at Patriot Place will look a lot different on game days.

Earley noted, “the restaurants won’t have that and they’ll miss it terribly, the numbers will not be nearly the same. They just can’t be under safe guidelines.”

In a normal season, Gillette can hold over 65,000 fans, and local shops and restaurants reap the benefits. Earley notes that in the past, “restaurants are at capacity, there’s probably 30,000 at Patriot Place. It’s not going to be like that at all. It’s going to be a much different environment that we just have to adapt to.”

The restriction applies to tailgating in the parking lot as well.

Restaurants like CBS Sporting Club are prepared to offer fans the next best thing, with safety protocols in place, including QR codes for menus and social distancing.

CBS Sporting Club at Patriot Place in Foxboro (WBZ-TV)

Joe Mazzei, Director of Marketing for Big Night Entertainment, shares that at the restaurant, “you’ll hear the call, you’ll experience the sound on these giant TVs. There’s a 25-foot TV here at CBS, there’s a 37-foot TV here outside on the patio. It’s absolutely amazing.”

Earley notes, “my colleagues in the stadium have done a tremendous amount of work with the state to get to the point where fans can come back and into the stadium, hopefully after October 1st, and again we’re all working together to make sure we don’t have any hiccups here tied back to the property.”

For now, a view of the field is still possible for some lucky diners out on the patio at CBS Sporting Club.

Rachel Holt