The Boston Patriots were established in 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts. They were named the Patriots because of the area's heritage as the birthplace of the American Revolution. When the NFL and AFL merged in 1970, the Patriots were placed in the AFC East division, where they still play today. In 1971, after playing in four different stadiums during their first 11 seasons, the Patriots finally found a permanent home in Foxboro, which would serve as their home for 30 years. As a result of the move, the team announced they would change their name from the Boston Patriots to the Bay State Patriots. The name was rejected by the NFL and on March 25, 1971, the team officially announced they would become the New England Patriots.
On August 15, 1971, the New England Patriots played their first game at Schaefer Stadium in Foxboro. They defeated the New York Giants 20-14 before a crowd of 60,423 fans. The Patriots ended their season that year with a record of six wins, eight losses, and finished third in the AFC East division.