The Bruins start their home portion of the 2019-20 schedule on Saturday against the New Jersey Devils. If you’re going to the game, you might want to wear kneepads or get the extra salad because space is LIMITED! The TD Garden changed their seats for the first time in about a quarter of a century and went from the old black and yellow seats to cushier seats. Looks wise, I’ll be honest, it looks better and more in-line with other sports arenas. The only thing, there is very little space to sit. If you search TD Garden on twitter, you’ll see people’s knees almost near heads.
This was part of a $100 million renovation which replaced seats in the lower part of the garden and added 500 seats to the upper level. Of course there is another sporting venue with “unique” seating, Fenway Park which has wood seats that were installed decades ago or seats that literally face right field and those seats will cost you more money. The Red Sox raised tickets by about 1.7% in this, a year that the team didn’t make the postseason and is looking to cut payroll.
The TD garden which is owned and operated by the Jacobs family released a statement that was redacted and reworded. Originally, the statement essentially told fans to stuff their complaints. After a short time, the statement was re-written, “Through guest feedback, we recognize there are some areas of concern and have re-engaged our industry seating experts to evaluate and provide assessment.” Unfortunately for sports fans that are part of the balcony crew, don’t expect changes in the foreseeable future. There are Bruins games, Celtics games, concerts, WWE and more so there isn’t really an opportunity to change the seats out.
The Garden released the statement showing they at least listened. Do they care? Time will tell, but the Red Sox ownership released a press release and said the $9 college seats near Boston airspace will stay in place. Boston sports fans should be angered by this. The Bruins which as earlier stated own the garden, but did diddly squat in the offseason to improve from a game 7 choke job and crammed the common fans in like sardines in the balcony, but don’t worry with the cool elevator you don’t have to wait in a train station to access the building.
The Red Sox failed to make the playoffs after winning the World Series a year ago and have essentially told fans that 2020 won’t feature JD Martinez and Mookie Betts in the same lineup but please spend $100 on our crammed seats and $20 on a beer and a Fenway Frank to watch a mediocre team.
The owners that own buildings in Boston say they’re sports fans, if they are fans then they should offer fans a better viewing experience for a game and give the common people an opportunity to watch their teams. This past season, the Red Sox did a good thing selling general admission tickets to watch the resumption of a game and let fans on the field before and after the game against the Royals that ended in 20 minutes with the money going to charity. The Garden opened its doors for an open house to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the building.
More opportunities like those examples would make a pill like the small leg space or $20 pizza easier to swallow. Should we even talk about how people get to these games like using the MBTA?
-John Luck (@jluck_89)