(NECN: Kevin Walsh, Eileen Curran, Foxboro, Mass.) -- It's a day many New England football fans feared they would not see this year, but now the first Patriots pre-season game is hours away.
The NFL lockout put the season in jeopardy, but that's all in the past now as the Pats face the Jets.
Fans started tailgating at Gillette Stadium as early as 3 p.m., eager to see veteran stars like Tom Brady and new high-profile additions including Chad Ochocinco.
"We've got a lot of time so we've got some steak, we've got some beers, we're going to catch some rays and probably get really great farmer's tans," said tailgating fan Sean Mayer.
The Pats face the Jags at 7:30 p.m.