In hopes of improving the entire experience of Boston Bruins fans, Boston Celtics fans and concert attendees, TD Garden will go through a $70 million comprehensive renovation over the next two years.
This renovation, announced Monday, will be led by Charlie Jacobs, the principal of Delaware North Companies Inc. The arena will receive a new ProShop for Bruins and Celtics gear, modernized concourses, a renovation of the Legends Club and upgraded technology to enhance the digital aspect of fans’ experiences.
“The Jacobs family is committed to providing the people of Boston with an arena that sets the industry standard,” Jacobs said in the Monday release. “With the TD Garden being nearly 20 years old, we recognize that these renovations are necessary and we are confident that they will transform the fan experience from the moment a patron enters the building.”
The ProShop, which will be moved from the west side of the North Station concourse to the second floor, will have more space and retail options with a closer proximity to the action and increased visibility from outside the arena. Construction on the ProShop will begin in early May, and DNC is hoping to finish the project by the end of 2014.
The loge and balcony concourses will be treated to a complete remodeling, with a new design that offers new and more varied concession options. The plan of DNC is to remodel the loge concourses in summer 2014 and balcony concourses in summer 2015.
DNC will also be renovating the Legends Club, which the largest restaurant in the TD Garden and reserved exclusively for Celtics Courtside Club members and Bruins and Celtics season ticket holders.
Finally, DNC is partnering with Cisco and PC Connection to update the arena’s technology to increase fan engagement. Changes will include high density Wi-Fi, digital signage and modernized point-of-sale technology, according to the release.
Pankaj Tandon, professor of economics at Boston University, said these renovations are a good investment for DNC and will benefit both fans and the city’s economy.
“There will be $70 million worth of construction activity, which means jobs for not only the workers who will carry out the renovations, but also for the various businesses that will cater to and support the construction,” he said. “Overall, the multiplier effect on businesses in the area and in the city generally will be very positive.”
Tandon said there have been a variety of similar renovations completed by the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots that have yielded good returns to the investors, enhanced the fans’ experience and improved the city environment.
“Boston has in recent years enjoyed a huge boost from its professional sports teams … where fans have been filling the seats at a record clip,” he said. “This means increased profits for the teams, and some of that comes back to the city in the form of these construction or renovation projects. Very appropriate in the current climate.”
Fans throughout Boston are very eager for the renovations, although some acknowledge it may be a little too expensive.
“This is really exciting,” said Rob Lawrence, 46, of Brighton. “The TD Garden is such a known place in Boston. I love going to hockey games … everyone is so into it. The renovations will just make the whole thing a lot better. It’s probably about time for a remodel.”
A long-time Bruins fan, Stanley Graham, 59, of Roxbury, was enthusiastic about the changes and said it will really improve the game experience.
“It’s always good for a place like this to be brought up to date with new technology, food options…anything that appeals to people and gives a better overall experience for the people who are the essence of that business, the fans,” he said. “I really like the idea of the moving and expansion of the ProShop … it’s too crowded in there, and it could be a lot nicer.”
Marc Wilmore, 41, of Dorchester, said he was a little bit more hesitant about the large price stamp, but said it was worth it with such a big corporation.
“That is an incredible amount of money, but it sounds like it will be worth it,” he said. “Especially since the Bruins and Celtics already turn such a profit, it’s good for the TD Garden to give back to the fans in a way.”