TD Garden executives unveiled the first phase of their $70 million renovation of the 20-year-old arena Wednesday, prior to the Boston Bruins’ season opener versus the Philadelphia Flyers.
“This is for our fans, they’ve asked for this,” said TD Garden President Amy Latimer.
Delaware North Companies, owner and operator of the Garden, is working to improve the fan experience starting with renovations that began months ago. Phase one of the renovations includes upgrades to the level four loge concourse, and the Garden’s largest restaurant, Legends, as well as installing more than 400 antennas for better wireless access throughout the arena. Phase two is expected to be done within a year or so and includes renovations to the ProShop, the level seven concourse, and more concession stands.
The level four loge concourse received a floor-to-ceiling remodel including new white floors, digital enhancements, and walls decorated with subway tiles and old photos of Garden events.
Digital enhancements also can be seen throughout the concourse. There are video boards on the walls to keep fans updated on the game while they grab a drink or a bite to eat. “Nobody in the concourse wants to miss the game,” Latimer said There also are large interactive screens that can help guide fans the quickest way to their seat, or the nearest bathroom, or beer cart.
Large screens light the way to each section of seating and show ads throughout the concourse.
Eight of the 16 concession stands on the level four loge concourse have been upgraded for opening night; the other eight will be upgraded throughout the season. The concession stands on level seven will be renovated next summer. Upgrades include digital signage and more variety.
The new concession stands offer eight options to fans, ranging from burgers at “Big Bad Burger,” to fresh local seafood at “Boston Common,” or nachos loaded with beef, chicken, or vegetables at “Taqueria.”
Chef Patrick Kilduff said the food will be made fresh right in front of customers, referring to this as “live action cooking.” The team at the Garden has decided to bring back the tradition of cutting pizza with shears. “It was really important to bring in some of the local flavor,” Latimer said. “It’s nice to bring in traditional items, but also the new ones.”
Legends restaurant on the third level of the arena, which is open to eligible Bruins and Celtics season ticket holder, also was completely renovated. The restaurant has a revamped menu that includes a raw bar and a brick oven for pizza. Retired players’ numbers adorn the columns in the restaurant and electronic versions of the teams’ championship banners are hung from the ceiling as wall decor.
Former Bruins captain Johnny “Chief” Bucyk was on hand to help unveil the updated Legends restaurant before its first night open for the season.
Nina Joy Godlewski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @NinaJGodlewski.