TD Garden puts new spin on premium
Boston’s TD Garden is entering a new era thanks to a $100 million renovation that includes rebranding the arena’s premium products into an umbrella membership called the Boston Garden Society.
The new premium seating approach is a nod to the deep history of the famed Garden, the home to the Celtics and the Bruins for decades. The membership-style plan at TD Garden includes new offerings and spaces as part of a facility transformation that began last year and added 50,000 square feet of space. It was the arena’s largest makeover since opening in 1995.
“We didn’t have to do this expansion, we could have left the building as it is,” said Amy Latimer, president of TD Garden. “But we invested over $100 million and the majority of the spaces are not added seats; it’s clubs and spaces for people to interact.”
Boston Garden Society membership offers flexible plans in a wide array of premium products including the arena’s 80 top-end suites, club seats and all-inclusive clubs. A new Society Street-to-Seat system uses six Destination Dispatch elevators where members can scan their tickets at private entrances in the garage level to gain direct access to their premium spaces and bypass the arena’s main turnstile entrance.
This fall has brought the opening of a bevy of new premium amenities including a product called the Rafters level, a members-only party deck on the top level of the arena. Members pay $1,600 annually for access to the private space and the flexibility to buy tickets to Celtics and Bruins games and other events. Food and beverage is not included in the price.
“You buy tickets as you go,” Latimer said. “You step down into amazing seats and it will be the place to be with a lot of energy. It is taking the highest level of the building and making it the most desirable.”
The new offering joins the all-inclusive Rafter Studios that are expandable spaces that can seat 36 to 230 people with a private space that overlooks the arena. Tickets start at $125 and the price varies by event. Food is included but beverages are an additional charge.
For club seat owners, the new 1928 Club, a two-story, 7,500-square-foot lounge, is a significant amenity. Access to the 1928 Club is included in the price of full-season club seats, but food and beverage is an additional charge.
TD Garden also now has a new Society Provisions concessions space for food and drink purchases that is open for all levels of Boston Garden Society premium members.
The remade arena added one premium-style space that is open to the public. The new Back Row Bar level, behind the last row of the balcony on the arena’s eighth level, has about 57 seats and sells food and drinks.
The premium seating upgrades are the latest features rolled out by Delaware North, which owns TD Garden and the Bruins, as it put the finishing touches on the privately funded renovation.
The overall upgrade also included new seats; 4K scoreboard and locker rooms; 53 new restrooms; and an expansion of the arena’s loge and balcony spaces. The project built a new front entrance that features an atrium with new elevators and escalators.
“It is everything from bathrooms to different hospitality amenities on levels three through nine,” said Charlie Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North and alternate governor of the Bruins.
The entrance allows for direct access from The Hub on Causeway development built in front of the arena. The $1.2 billion project includes 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use retail, hotel, restaurant and residential space adjacent to TD Garden. The first two phases of The Hub are finished and the entire project is scheduled to be completed by 2021.
The transformation of TD Garden began in 2016 after arena executives visited a host of facilities to develop their own renovation ideas. Project partners include SCI Architects for the TD Garden interior with Gilbane as general contractor.
“We visited everybody,” Jacobs said. “We brainstormed about what we could do to provide the best indoor experience in North America. We will set a new bar when we have it all open. This is a 25-year-old building but when you walk in, you think it is brand new. That is what we are shooting for.”