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Another step toward sports equality: Women’s Beanpot title game to be held at TD Garden in 2024

Northeastern defeated Boston College in the 2023 women's Beanpot championship game.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Gaby Roy speaks for many of the college hockey lovers in the region when she says the Beanpot tournament is “by far my favorite time of the year.”

The Boston College junior was well aware of the tournament, having grown up in Marshfield, and has relished the chance to compete in it the last two years as a forward on the women’s hockey team. But she never imagined that she and her teammates — along with Boston University, Harvard, and Northeastern — would have the opportunity to play for the trophy at TD Garden.

That is, until this week.

On Tuesday, TD Garden announced that it will be the site of the championship round of the Women’s in 2024, serving as host for both the consolation and championship games on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Previously, the Women’s Beanpot was held at on-campus rinks.


“I honestly just thought that was a guys’ thing, so I think it’s an incredible opportunity for not just BC, but all four programs to showcase their talent on such a big stage,” said Roy.

The idea had been bandied about for years and picking up steam. TD Garden president Amy Latimer believes it may have happened sooner were it not for events getting backed up at the venue because of the pandemic. In between Bruins and Celtics home games, there were concerts that needed to be rescheduled, not to mention finding a date that worked for the four schools.

But the timing worked out for next year, which will mark the 45th Women's Beanpot. The announcement coincides with the Bruins’ celebration of Women in Sports Night at Tuesday’s game with the Ottawa Senators. Northeastern, which won the 2023 title, will be honored, and players from each team will meet with fans and take photos with the Beanpot on the concourse in the first and second intermissions.


“We are grateful and thankful to TD Garden and to the administrators that have made this opportunity possible for our student-athletes,” said Northeastern women’s hockey coach Dave Flint. “It is a tremendous step in growing the game of women’s ice hockey and increasing its visibility.”

Northeastern celebrated the women's Beanpot title this season at Conte Forum. Next year, the Huskies could be celebrating on Causeway Street.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Latimer hopes to offer the same experience for the women’s event that the fans and athletes at the men’s tournament have been enjoying.

“We wanted to offer the platform for the young girls that are playing hockey in New England to come see this amazing event,” said Latimer. “We believe in ‘They see it, they can be it.’

“For the athletes, we want them to have the same experiences as the male athletes — coming into a building with the championship banners that are hanging up in the rafters and playing on the same ice as the Bruins.”

To that end, the event will have a title sponsor for the first time. In 2023, Dunkin’ became the first sponsor for the men’s tournament, and that deal will extend to the women in 2024. Both the women’s championship and consolation games will be broadcast on NESN.

Previously, the four schools would rotate hosting the women’s tournament, which would be played on the first two Tuesdays of February. Harvard was scheduled to host in 2024, and it is believed that the first round will still take place at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center, likely on Jan. 16.


The earlier date could be beneficial. Most years, the men’s and women’s tournaments were held on consecutive nights. Expecting fans to attend both events back to back early in the week was a lot to ask, but that will not be the case next year.

Ticketing information and additional details will be announced in the fall. Latimer is hoping to include youth organizations, with parents attending the games with their children.

Roy believes the teams will have plenty of support from friends and family.

“Any chance that people have to go to the Garden, they’re going to go, especially if they know someone playing,” said Roy. “I think a lot of the local kids will be able to rally folks to go, so I think that will be really fun. I feel like watching your friend play at the Garden is also a really cool experience too.”

Perhaps what Latimer is looking forward to most is the postgame celebration, when the winning team will raise a Women's Beanpot championship banner to the rafters and skate around the TD Garden ice with the trophy for the first time.

“I think there’s going to be some extra emphasis on who wins it next year,” she said. “Those coaches, and those players, are going to want to be the first. I think there won’t be a dry eye in this place.”

Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney.