Fans of the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins often make the pilgrimage to TD Garden to see their teams in action. Between the Celtics’ 17 NBA titles and the Bruins’ six Stanley Cup wins, the 23-year-old venue is home to more championship banners than any other arena in the nation.
In an effort to embrace the history behind those championships and as improve the overall fan experience, TD Garden recently announced a host of new additions to the arena that will be implemented over the next two years.
This season, fans will get to see the first phases of the $100 million expansion. The first few additions have made getting to and entering the stadium easier for fans. This includes a new main entryway through The Hub on Boston’s Causeway Street. Fans commuting to the game on the rail can access the North Station easily from this entrance.
TD Garden’s North Station Garage has also been expanded with 500 new parking spots and two new elevators. There are also plans to open a new underground pedestrian tunnel in December connecting the arena with the North Station MBTA subway stop as well as the North Station Commuter Rail.
$100 Million: Total cost of the renovations to @tdgarden.
Privately financed by the Jacobs family, the improvements include elevated premium areas, street-to-seat experiences, expanded concourses, and new social spaces. pic.twitter.com/9TwVUgNHZG
— Front Office Sports (@frntofficesport) November 9, 2018
The first phase of renovations has been particularly heavy on making the arena more accessible. TD Garden President Amy Latimer said these renovations have been a long time coming.
“When the old Boston Garden came down in 1997, there was an idea to develop that front parcel and to have a front door,” Latimer stated. “Unfortunately, we haven’t had a front door up until now. So that’s been a big piece of just getting the fans in and giving them a different path from the commuter. The good news about waiting is that we got to put in these new elevators along with destination dispatch. When you scan your ticket, it tells you which elevator to use to reach your seat. So, those are a combination of things that we needed. We’re a 23-year-old building, so our thinking has been ‘how do we improve and keep building for the future?’”
Also included in the renovations are the additions of new restrooms and more food and beverage stands. Latimer mentioned this was done in an attempt to reduce lines and allow fans to see more of the game.
“We’ve spent the past couple of years trying to figure out what the gaps are and what we were missing. What we found was we need to try and reduce lines so that people can get back to their seats.”
Beginning next NBA/NHL season, fans will also get to see a host of new hospitality additions as well. On top of additional restrooms and more concessions offerings, fans will have the opportunity to watch the game from Rafters — a membership-based party deck located high above the show floor — and the new Back Row Bar, located behind the last-row balcony seats.
Fans will also be able to purchase seats directly below the area of the arena where the championship banners themselves hang. Fans with club-level seats will also have access to the 1928 Club, a bar meant to resemble an old Boston speakeasy that also pays homage to the early days of the Celtics and the Bruins. New suite offerings are also part of the incoming additions.
Perhaps the most intriguing addition to TD Garden’s offerings is the Boston Garden Society, which is a membership of sorts that allows fans access to exclusive food and beverage areas within the arena as well as other customizable entertainment and hospitality options. The Boston Garden Society was an offering that the arena introduced to fans way back when it first opened — and with the new renovations, it seemed like the perfect time to bring it back.
“When the building opened in 1995, like I felt like we were leaders in sort of that premium seating space,” Latimer recalled. “We felt like we had the opportunity to reintroduce the Boston Garden Society as Boston’s ‘oldest newest’ sports and social club.
“It’s just more in tune with what the future is for sports viewing for a new generation. This Boston Garden Society is just a better representation of what we are, what we’ve built, and what we’re doing going forward.“