The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston region. The Patriots compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays its home games at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. An original member of the American Football League (AFL), the Patriots joined the NFL in the 1970 merger of the two leagues. The team changed its name after relocating to Foxborough in 1971.