Boston is a great sports town and no team has won more championships locally than the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have a great history of success with championships in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 00s, and as recently as 2010. The recent hire of coach Brad Stevens has brought attention back to the team once again because he gets his teams to play hard. The basketball fans in Boston are incredibly knowledgeable, so the home crowd atmosphere for Celtics’ games at TD Garden is always at high level. Here’s what you need to know when you’re heading downtown to cheer along with them in the arena.
Tickets & Seating Areas
The Celtics have been successful over the years, but they don’t have the same run of sold-out ticket sales as say the Knicks or the Lakers. Tickets are available through the primary market on the Ticketmaster website, via the phone, or at the TD Garden box office. Sometimes you’ll have to hit the secondary market to get what you need. Obviously, you also have the well-known options like Stubhub and TicketsNow, Ticketmaster’s secondary ticket platform that season ticket holders are encouraged to sell through, or a ticket aggregator (think Kayak for sports tickets) like SeatGeek and TiqIQ, which both have a decent amount of inventory from broker season tickets.
As for where to sit when you go, basketball is a sport best seen in the lower level. Tickets in the first three rows come with access to the Sun Life Courtside Club, which includes a cool 55-foot media wall displaying games and scores from around the league. If you can get a hold of someone’s season tickets that include Legends Club access, you’ll enjoy the availability of brick oven pizza, charcuterie, and a raw bar. The SportsDeck, located in between the lower and upper bowls on one baseline of the arena, provides another Club atmosphere with some people choosing to stand while they enjoy complimentary appetizers during the game.
It’s very easy to get to TD Garden since it’s built on top of North Station, a transportation hub. All the Green Line routes of the T, Boston’s subway system, stop at North Station and are the easiest way to get to TD Garden. Just be prepared for the possibility of busy trains and long lines leaving the game since it’s the only line that stops at North Station. You can also take the Orange Line to Haymarket, the Blue Line to Bowdoin or the Red Line to Charles / MGH and walk to TD Garden in under ten minutes.
Those coming in from the suburbs have the ability to take the commuter rail in from north of Boston to North Station. Those coming from the south and west of Boston can take the commuter rail to South Station and then take the T or a taxi from there.
There are also various bus routes that end around TD Garden. A full list can be found on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority website. Of course there’s always a taxi or Uber if you’re running late. Maybe you’ll even walk if it’s a nice day outside. You can also drive to the game and park either at the North Station Garage or one of the other parking lots in the area. The North Station Garage costs $42 for event nights, so park elsewhere if that’s too much for you.
Pregame & Postgame Fun
There are many great bars and restaurant to keep you entertained during your time in Boston. In terms of food close to TD Garden, there are plenty of options. You can grab really good fast food Mexican at Anna’s Taqueria. Their burritos are the best in town. Those in need of Boston’s well-known seafood can wander to Neptune Oyster or Union Oyster House if they don’t mind battling the lines. The North End, Boston’s Italian neighborhood, isn’t too far away either. Regina’s Pizzeria is a Boston staple for piping hot pies although the lines can go down the street during busy times.
Dolce Vita, Giacomo’s, Lucca, and Mamma Maria are all really good options for a standard Italian dinner. Save some room for dessert so you can enjoy the cannolis at Mike’s Pasty or Modern Pastry. I prefer Mike’s, but the locals are split between which they like more.
If it’s bars you crave then the area near TD Garden has plenty. The Harp is the classic spot and always has a good crowd before a big game across the street at TD Garden. West End Johnnie’s and the Grand Canal are two of the better options a few steps further away although Johnnie’s gets intense after games on a weekend night. Tavern in the Square is a newer chain that’s been opening around town in the last ten years and their recent addition in the area has about 40 beers on tap to enjoy. If beer is your thing, you might enjoy Boston Beer Works, which offers a variety of micro-brews.
At the Game
TD Garden recently underwent a massive renovation of their concourse area. The first stage of the renovation covered the concourse area behind the lower level of seats with the second stage for the upper-level concourse taking place this upcoming summer. The new food offerings include burgers drizzled with “Gooey Sauce” at Big Bad Burger, huge slices and arancini from Sal’s Pizza, shaved steak sandwiches at Garden Grill, and an array of tacos at Taqueria. The fan-favorite chicken fingers, however, haven’t gone anywhere, although they’re sold under the new name of Lucky’s Chicken.
Unfortunately, the upgrade is concession stands isn’t as good as some of the other concessions stands at other NBA arenas. Finally, TD Garden also upgraded its Wi-Fi so fans can readily upload to social media, but the speed bogs down when the house is packed.
Where to Stay
If you make it in from out of town for the game, there are plenty of hotels downtown for you to enjoy. You’ll likely want to stay near Boston Common or Boylston Street so you can enjoy the most of the city. Every brand name you can think of exists like Four Seasons, Hyatt Regency, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and Westin. If you want to stay within walking distance to TD Garden there’s the Holiday Inn Express, the Wyndham, and the Liberty Hotel, an upscale Luxury Collection property that was formerly a prison.
The area down by the Seaport has really exploded in recent years and there are a few brand name hotel options there as well. Hipmunk can help you find the best hotel for your needs. Alternatively, you can look into renting an apartment via AirBNB, HomeAway, or VRBO.