The Boston Garden arena: TD Banknorth Garden

The TD Banknorth Garden, replacing the Fleet Center and its predecessor, the Boston Garden, officially opened in 1995. Located in downtown Boston on Causeway Street at the North Station Platform, it is Boston’s main entertainment center. The interesting history of the TD Banknorth Garden began in 1928 with the construction of the legendary Boston “Madison Square” Garden by boxing promoter, Ted Rickard. With a ceremonial gold key, President Coolidge turned the lights on in the Garden from the White House, and three days later, the crowds rushed in.

Through the years, the Boston Garden was the scene of many noteworthy events such as the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey circus, Disney on Ice, and the Harlem Globetrotters, as well as famous political speeches by Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy. As the home of the NHL Boston Bruins and the NBA Boston Celtics, the Boston Garden gained some notoriety for its parquet floor, one of only three arenas in the US with this feature. This particular floor was moved from the old Boston hockey arena to the Garden in 1952, where it soon became a significant part of basketball history. It is said that the Celtics could determine the direction of the basketball by the sound of the bounce on the parquet floor, suggesting that this may have contributed to their winning many NBA championships.

The tradition of the Beanpot, a series of hockey tournaments held at the Garden between four major college hockey schools that included Boston College, Harvard, Northeastern, and Boston University, began in 1952 and continues today. There have been numerous rock concerts at the Garden, as well, including Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, and Bob Seger. Originally planned to stage boxing events, the seating and acoustics designed for close-range viewing, the undersized hockey rink, no air conditioning, and electrical power outages, were all problems that played a significant part in the history of the Boston Garden. The much-needed replacement, the Fleet Center, opened in 1995 after the Garden’s last event, a preseason game between the Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens. For the next ten years, there were over 30 different names given to the arena and finally in 2005, TD Banknorth purchased exclusive naming rights.

The arena has continued to feature numerous major sporting events including the Bruins and Celtics home games, NCAA games, the 2001 US Figure Skating Championships, Wrestlemania, and the 1996 and 2001 US Gymnastics Trials. In 2003 alone, there were 26 concerts including Justin Timberlake, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, The Dixie Chicks, and Christina Aguillera. In addition, the TD Banknorth Garden hosted the NCAA “Frozen Four” men’s ice hockey championship and the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

The 10-story building encompasses 755,000 square feet above a five-level parking garage. The TD Banknorth Garden has a seating capacity of 19,600, three private restaurants, 104 executive suites, 2,442 club seats, a multi-million dollar scoreboard, and full panoramic LED technology. In addition, it has seven elevators, 13 escalators, and 36 permanent concessions. Premium ticket holders have two restaurants to choose from, Banners and the Premium Club. Season package holders have exclusive membership to Legends, a private club, open before and after the Celtics and the Bruins games.

A main tourist attraction is the Sports Museum, located at the Premium Club’s private entrance on the west side of the Garden. Admission is $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for seniors and children 6-17, and children under 6 are free. Normal operating hours at the Museum are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week. There are numerous exhibits including sculptures by Armand LaMontagne of famous sports figures such as Larry Byrd, Bobby Orr, and Harry Agganis. Also featured are Hall of Fame portraits of the Bruins and basketball notables such as Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, and Reggie Lewis. Additional exhibits and history include the Red Sox, the New England Patriots, the Olympics, the Boston Braves, and the Boston Marathon.

The Pro Shop at the TD Banknorth Garden has home team merchandise, Boston Garden memorabilia, and NHL and NBA team merchandise. It is open Monday — Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., as well as before, during, and after the Bruins and Celtics games.

Purchase tickets to the Celtics at TD Banknorth Garden as well as Celtics tickets for games across the country. NBA tickets, NFL tickets, NHL tickets and MLB tickets also available for all Boston area games.

Ticket Prices: Vary for each type of event. VIP tickets and group rates are available, as well as packages that include buffet dinner, event merchandise, and assigned floor seating. Tickets can be purchased online at the official TD Banknorth website, the Banknorth Garden box office, at Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling information at 617-624-1000. Numerous other telephone numbers are listed on the website.

The TD Banknorth Garden sponsors over 200 public events for an average of 3.5 million visitors a year and it has entertained well over 20 million people in its history.

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