Prior to the NHL dropping the puck this year and the tip-off of the NBA season, a two-year, approximately $10 million renovation of premium space at TD Garden was completed, in which all 89 individual suites were gutted and rebuilt. Gone are the seldom-used, glorified coat-rack lounge chairs, couches, and coffee tables, replaced by a more entertainment-friendly, open kitchen setup.
Think about it: when you host a house party, guests tend to congregate in the kitchen, not in the living room.
To capture the essence of this natural guest entertainment environment, for many, it starts with a kitchen island. At TD Garden, the re-imagination of its suites into open, urban-feeling kitchens included a unique furniture design with a heavy wooden top and steel base reminiscent of a galley isle. This variation at TD Garden however is not permanent and easily moveable should design needs and tastes change in the future.
“It’s the same concept as an island,” says Leah Leahy, Vice President of Premium Sales and Service at TD Garden. “People are congregating around it, creating that kitchen-island feel. But it doesn’t feel as heavy in the small space.”
Located directly behind the “island” is an L-shaped Caesarstone countertop with a safe underneath the long side of the “L” and two glass refrigerators underneath the short side. The safe is accessible to licensed suite holders for them to lock up wine and spirits. The glass refrigerators are helping to increase beverage sales.
“People spend more when they see the merchandise,” explains Leahy. “And we’re seeing that happening with our alcohol sales.”
Prior to the renovations, a demo suite was built, which was accessible throughout the season to every licensed suite holder for one event. Their feedback, which ranged from functionality to aesthetics, proved valuable, as it completely changed the original design.
Once all reactions were aggregated and the layout was tweaked and finalized, suite holders were brought into the process once more and given the option to choose between either of two finishing packages: white Caesarstone countertops with a glass tile backdrop or brown Caesarstone countertops with a stone wall.
Completing the new suite finishes and fixtures is a small bar sink and four induction burners, replacing chafing dishes. Being a two-team building, base colors are neutral with a merlot “pop” color.
“We had done some renovations over the years, but nothing to this extent,” says Amy Latimer, President of TD Garden. “We’re very proud of it.”
- The TD Garden suite renovations took place over the two previous summers with half of the suites completed each year.
- Group One Partners, Inc., the local Boston firm who also did the popular Loft space at TD Garden, was again the renovation architect.
- TD Garden considered the option of making its suites larger and decreasing its inventory by one-third, but from a revenue perspective, that alternative wasn’t feasible.
- The venue’s focus next year is a floor-to-ceiling renovation of the general public concourses.
- Three walls inside the suites were reserved so clients could custom brand them.
- To combat the rampant problem of suite “crashers”, a scanning system outside of the suites was installed; to enter the suite, a ticket must be scanned in order for the door to open.
- Terrace seats in suites were upgraded by Irwin Seating.
- There are small televisions out on the terrace seats, two or three depending on the size of the suite.
- New 52-inch televisions were installed in every suite; on each screen is Cisco StadiumVision.
- TD Garden is the beta building for Delaware North Companies Sportservice who is testing mobile ordering in suites with iPads.
- The tablets also provide suite holders retail access to order merchandise and have it brought to the suite.
View More Photos of TD Garden as well as the rest of my trip to Boston
Next Stop: Katz's Delicatessen, New York City
Last Stop: In Search of the Premium Experience