If you want to see the Bruins play their home opener against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, you’re going to drop at least $90 for a ticket, and that’s sitting in the balcony. Per the early reports of fans who’ve seen the $100 million renovation to TD Garden, you also had better be small and limber.
The Garden’s sleek new seats — they’ve done away with drab gold and gone all-black — have precious little room between and among. The renovation over the summer squeezed an extra 500 seats into the configuration, though Boston magazine reports most of that comes in new seating areas and has little to do with the stingy amount of space left for legs and feet in the rest of the house. The reason for the tighter seats, apparently, is extra cushioning and new armrests.
Gripes from hockey fans forced to sit too close to each other for the preseason — and, really, this affects anyone who goes to the Garden for a Celtics game or a Bob Seger concert — elicited a statement from a TD Garden spokesman on Tuesday: “We’ve received feedback from fans and can appreciate that, as with any change, it takes some time to get used to such major changes.”
Then there was Charlie Jacobs, CEO of the Bruins, who told WEEI’s Matt Kalman the new seats resemble those used in other NHL arenas: “It’s not like we sort of made it up arbitrarily, and this is the size of the seat.”
So, everyone will get used to it. And this is probably how they do it down in Tampa, maybe St. Louis.
How ridiculous. We say that only because this is a family newspaper. It’s beyond insulting that the Bruins and their arena have so cramped their fans, then made the situation worse with such a blithe response to the outrage pouring over social media. Garden seats weren’t exactly roomy in the first place. Now, fans are practically sitting in each other’s laps. Give everyone a few beers and a game against Montreal, and, well, it’s easy to see where this is leading.
Jacobs suggested in his interview with Kalman, “There may have to be some fixes involved. I’m not sure we can do those overnight.”
If not overnight, then let’s hope it’s in a matter of weeks. Nobody should have to hobble out of the Garden with blood clots.