Boston’s TD Garden Announces $100 Million Expansion

Four years after pouring $70 million into renovating the Boston Bruins and Celtics’ arena TD Garden, property owner Delaware North has announced another $100 million investment to expand the facility as it prepares for the “next generation of sports and entertainment experiences.”

Most of the new upgrades over the two-year project will be infrastructure related, such as the addition of an underground pedestrian tunnel that will connect the North Station MBTA subway stop with the North Station Commuter Rail and a new arena entranceway dubbed The Hub on Causeway.

Delaware North is also adding social spaces inside the arena, such as a communal membership-based party deck located on the top floor of the arena with court/ice views. It total, TD Garden will get 50,000 square feet of additional space, including concourses, restrooms, concessions, and gathering spaces.

The idea behind the renovations, however, expands beyond infrastructure. The company wants to change the fan experience “from Causeway Street all the way to their seats,” according to a press release. This season, members of the new Boston Garden Society will be the first to enjoy a new “street-to-seat” experience with six private smart elevators that will scan their tickets so that they can bypass the main turnstile entrance for a streamlined entry direct to their seat. 

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Charlie Jacobs, principal owner of Delaware North and the Bruins, said he wanted to make sure the nearly 20-year-old arena “sets the industry standard.”

“The Jacobs family’s expansion investment will further the goals to redefine the fan experience and cement the arena’s reputation as an innovator and industry leader,” said TD Garden President Amy Latimer. “The ‘Legendary Transformation’ will bring new entry experiences, expanded concourses and gathering areas, new clubs, enhanced food and beverage offerings, and new team locker rooms.”

Also a part of the renovations will be new team locker rooms for the NHL’s Boston Bruins and NBA’s Boston Celtics that will be ready for the 2019-20 season. The teams are expected to announce details about their new locker rooms in the coming months. Renovations on visiting team locker rooms will take place in 2020. 

TD Garden has also completely overhauled its sports lights, upgrading all 250 fixtures of the on-ice and on-court lighting with LEDs, which the company said improves operation and maintenance efficiencies and will lower the arena’s carbon footprint through a 200,000kWh reduction in annual energy usage.

The investment includes enhancements to the company’s digital properties as well the launch of a new mobile-friendly website, www.TDGarden.com , that showcases events and updates on renovations.

Also new this season is an ‘Answer Engine’, a 24-hour automated virtual employee on TD Garden’s website and app—powered by Satisfi Labs—that can address customer questions and provide experiential recommendations in real time.

SportTechie Takeaway

Sports teams are working to implement smart arena technology and infrastructure improvements to prepare for a next-generation of fans that crave social and digital experiences. While TD Garden’s renovations aren’t overly tech-focused, the company’s use of smart elevators to enhance the ticketing experience is not unlike many of the smart gate experiences being adopted by arenas across the major leagues. In 2014, when TD Garden announced its last major expansion, the company worked in technology infrastructure upgrades from Cisco to support fans’ “digital expectations well into the future.”

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