For almost 25 years, what is now considered TD Garden has looked like this, existing in its own space on Causeway for a good long while:
As I’m sure you’ve no doubt noticed, it’s looking a little more cluttered these days, what with the towers that shot up over the last year, with the Bruins’ parent company’s aim to bring up a whole entertainment complex that looks kinda like this:
Now, there’s a lot going up around the Hub on Causeway as it’s being called, but a vast majority of it...the average Bruins fan is not going to be super interested in. Hotels, malls, and bowling alleys are neat, but they’re all stuff for the in-between game days. Y’know, those places in time in which you’re desperately waiting for your favorite entertainment outlet/stress vector to drop the puck again? That’s not useful to you.
What is useful, is telling you about the stuff that does directly impact the fan experience, and that’s exactly what this is about.
Stuff that was already open/there:
Green Line-to-Commuter-Rail Tunnel: A tile’d in the ground that gets you from the Green Line to North Station. I suggest you use it instead of clogging up the absolute nightmare that is Causeway traffic. It’s reachable via the North Station Orange/Green line.
The Garage expansion: 500 new spots underground have been opened on Parking levels 3 and 4. that’s all it is. Just a room full of parking spaces. If you can afford the parking pass, it’ll definitely make getting into the building a lot easier. Getting out of Boston however...That is the tricky part.
Jeremy Jacobs’ sweet new escalators: Many of our commentators have had the unique and truly wondrous experience of riding Jeremy Jacobs new attraction...a pair of escalators out front with ankle-high lighting. Truly worth the experience as it gets you right up into the security lines way easier than trying to navigate the horde that comes up from North Station.
It’s only open during gamedays however, which in my opinion means they need to move the glass that separates north station to just outside the escalators going to the loge/balcony, because otherwise they’re just continuing to wall off their own pro shop. Some people wanna buy stuff off the rack instead of on Amazon, y’know.
Stuff that’s been redone:
All new, all black seats: Of all the things that will be changing, I cannot imagine this one being anything but the biggest source of controversy, as TD Garden’s website announced that the team will be moving away from the alternating black and gold seats for an all-black look.
Now personally? I enjoy the yellow seats as they make the lighting in the arena kinda disperse better... But a lot of these seats are as old as when this building was considered the Shawmut Center for about five days. If these seats can made more comfortable in any way, shape or form...I’m for it. Stadium seating isn’t perfect and any improvements made are good ones.
That said, I do feel like some of the flavor of the arena will be lost in doing so.
Back-Row Bar: There’s gonna be a bar on the very back row of the Balcony seats, but the promotional material hasn’t been very clear as to whether or not that means it’s on one side, all around the arena, or just in one section. We’ll keep you posted on that. Also, extra seating! Always a positive!
Expanded Loge and Balcony Concourses: This is the big one. 20% increase in space for the loge, 30% for the Balcony. Areas to sit down, food hall style offerings, rotating food offerings in general. Great views, grab-and-go stuff...
And thank god for all of it, but the dedicated seating areas most of all.
If you’ve ever been to a Bruins game in the past 20 years one of the hallmark most obnoxious parts of having 18,000 people running around trying to go to the bathroom, get food, shut their kids up with gelato, get a beer, or go to the pro-shop...are the enemies of a just and free people who waste the precious space available to the rather cramped hallways by standing around and doing nothing for the entirety of intermission in little clumps right in the middle of the fucking concourse. When they paid to have a space readily available to them that they are willfully ignoring the use of so they can “stretch out” even though there’s plenty of space INSIDE THE ARENA PROPER to do what they’re gonna do. Having a dedicated area for this will make getting around the arena a far easier thing than it is right now.
Frankly, I’m pissed they didnt knock down the walls that’d make this happen so we can have the added capacity sooner. If they needed a particularly motivated STH, I’d have been happy to volunteer.
Added Bathrooms: Always a nice addition! Please dont be Edmonton media and pee in the sink.
For the Bourgeoisie among us:
First of all, thank you for your time in deigning to read this publication written by the dirty proletariat on your off-time from whatever it is rich people do because I’m pretty sure “work” is no longer one of those things these days. Curling with gold bars, maybe?
Well, if you design to come see what hockey looks like on ice instead of solid gold or whatever, here are some luxury options just for you.
Boston Garden Society: Basically the premium stuff with better branding and they get you right up to your seats.
Also there’s a personal bar+grill on level 5, but that’s just taking over the previously existing thing on Level 5.
Rafters and Rafter Studios: Basically Boston Garden Society members and the Mr. and Mrs. McMoneybags of the world get to go hang out in a special club area that’ll be built on level 9. I for one, hope this means elevators going to Level 9 are both installed, and move faster than an arthritic grandmother trundling up a flight of stairs.
Rafter Studios is just added premium-of-the-premium box seats with a bartender on-hand. Swanky!
1928 Club: Fancy Restaurant for the Season Club seat holders. Take your boss/business partner for a sweet little get-together.
Now, the real question for all of this, and it’s an important one is this:
Was any of this necessary?
The answer? A good portion of it.
TD Garden has long been the home of the Boston Bruins and Celtics, but the building has badly needed updating for awhile now. Arenas, for good and for ill, have been getting all sorts of bells and whistles to try and keep up with the changing demands of entertainment, and the NHL’s arenas are no exception. Giving it a facelift on the concourse here and there helped a bit, but the reality of the thing is that while a few things are mostly just there to probably get companies to buy in on club seating, certain aspects of the gameday experience have badly needed upgrades to counteract the biggest inconveniences.
Y’know, other than slow first periods.
I for one will miss the standalone structure, but I cant wait to see what life is like inside the brand new TD Garden!