Patriots, Robert Kraft flying 76 healthcare workers to Super Bowl LV on team plane
The New England Patriots of course will not be playing in Super Bowl LV, but thanks to the efforts of owner Robert Kraft, some of the team’s fans will be in attendance at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Kraft would fly 76 vaccinated healthcare workers from six New England states on the team’s plane, dubbed the AirKraft, to Sunday’s showdown between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs.
Robert Kraft is using the New England Patriots team plane to bring seventy-six healthcare "superheroes", representing all six New England states, to an all-expenses paid trip to Super Bowl LV in Tampa this Sunday.— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) February 2, 2021
Kraft surprised the lucky healthcare workers with the news in a virtual meeting as he personally inviting them to the game.
As guests of the Kraft family, 76 heroes are Bowl bound.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) February 2, 2021
Earlier this week, Robert Kraft called to personally invite some of these heroes and thank them for their work fighting COVID-19.
The Patriots owner is expected to welcome the healthcare workers upon their arrival in Tampa on Sunday morning when the plane touches down.
Along with the free flight and Super Bowl tickets, the 76 healthcare workers attending the game as Kraft’s guest will also receive the following:
- Transportation from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough to Boston’s Logan Airport with police escort
- A ticket to the NFL TikTok Tailgate concert, headlined by Miley Cyrus, exclusively for vaccinated healthcare workers
- Two-night complimentary hotel stay
- Patriots gift bag
- A $100 VISA gift card to spend at Raymond James Stadium
- Ground transportation in Tampa
Kraft, along with son, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, revealed the motivations behind the gesture are twofold: to pay tribute to front-line workers who bravely continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and also highlight the importance of getting vaccinated.
“Last April, when our plane returned with masks from China, we never could have imagined the devastation this pandemic would cause, nor could we have dreamed of the heroic stories and achievements that have come to be as a result, especially the dedication of healthcare workers on the front lines and the creation of safe and effective vaccines,” Robert Kraft said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.
“Ten months later, it’s an honor for us to celebrate these healthcare workers by giving them a well-deserved break for a day and an opportunity to enjoy the Super Bowl, a reality that is only made possible because of the vaccines. We hope that in doing so, others are also encouraged to get vaccinated as they are able. Once again, we want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of the healthcare heroes who have risked their well-being to ensure ours. They are truly superheroes to us.”
As mentioned by Kraft in his statement, the Patriots used to organization’s plane to fly PPE supplies from China, although that was not the only time the aircraft was used for reasons beyond typical NFL-related business.
The NFL previously announced that 7,5000 healthcare workers were invited to attend Sunday’s game as guests of the league. The 76 healthcare workers invited by Kraft will join them.