New England Patriots President Jonathan Kraft was a guest on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Patriots Pre-Game Show this morning. Kraft mentioned that the reason that the Patriots are playing in Houston today is because the Patriots organization requested to play on the road this week when the NFL was making this season's schedule to accommodate the possibility of Gillette Stadium hosting the NHL Winter Classic. At that point, both Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium were in the running to host the event, but the NHL ultimately chose Fenway.
While "The Razor" would have provided better sight lines for the fans and the opportunity to sell more tickets to the game, I think Fenway Park provided a better backdrop to stage a television event of this magnitude (and let's be honest, that is exactly what the NHL Winter Classic is all about). The Patriots also played a home game on December 27th in Foxboro, which would have given NHL Facilities Operations Manager Dan Craig and his crew very little time to setup the rink and ice surface.