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Due to the terms of the operating covenant, any prospective buyers had to deal with Kraft.
With this in mind, Kraft made an offer for an outright purchase of the team for 2 million, which Orthwein accepted.
At the age of 27, Kraft was elected chairman of the Newton Democratic City Committee.
Had Kraft accepted Orthwein's offer, it would have cleared the last significant hurdle to moving the team. By 1994, Orthwein was not interested in operating the team in New England long-term, and decided to sell it.
At the time, it was the highest price ever paid for an NFL team.
Years later, Kraft said his passion for the Patriots led him to "break every one of my financial rules" in his pursuit of the team.
The stadium was considered to be outdated and nearly worthless, but the purchase included the stadium's lease to the Patriots, which ran through 2001.
The lease was ironclad enough to end Sullivan's three-decade involvement with the Patriots.