Robert Kraft bought the New England Patriots from Newporter James Orthwein 26 years ago today

Orthwein purchased the New England Patriots from Victor Kiam in 1992, when the latter was facing bankruptcy and owed him millions. The purchase price was $106 million. During his ownership, Orthwein hired Bill Parcells as head coach and oversaw the drafting of first-overall draft pick quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who helped to return the moribund franchise to respectability. He planned to relocate the Patriots franchise to St. Louis, renaming the team the St. Louis Stallions. However, those plans were derailed when Boston paper magnate Robert Kraft, owner of Foxboro Stadium, refused to accept a buyout of the lease. Kraft used his ownership of the stadium to stage a hostile takeover, offering to pay $172 million for the Patriots franchise knowing that Orthwein no longer wanted the team if he could not move it to St. Louis. Orthwein accepted the bid on January 21, 1994.