As early as the late 1970s, the team was looking for a new arena. The Boston Garden was approaching 50 years old at the time and new owners, The Jacobs family, were looking to build a 17,000 seat arena in suburban Boston after negotiations fell through with the City of Boston. The team nearly moved to Salem, New Hampshire around where Rockingham Park is today. That fell through and the Bruins continued to reside in Boston Garden.
In 1985, Boston Garden owner Delaware North was awarded the rights to construct a new arena by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and Mayor Raymond Flynn. However, poor economic conditions delayed the project.
On May 8, 1992, Delaware North announced that it had secured funding for a new arena, in the form of $120 million worth of loans evenly split between Bank of Boston, Fleet Bank of Massachusetts, and Shawmut National Corporation. That December, a bill approving construction of the new arena was killed in the Massachusetts Senate by Senate President William M. Bulger. Legislative leaders and Delaware North attempted to reach an agreement on plans for the new arena, but in February 1993 Delaware North owner Jeremy Jacobs announced that he was backing out of the project as a result of the legislature's demand that his company pay $3.5 million in "linkage payments". Two weeks later, after a new series of negotiations, the two sides finally came to an agreement, and on February 26 the Legislature passed a bill that allowed for construction of a new sports arena.
Construction began on April 29, 1993. Plans for the new arena stated that it would be slightly north of the old facility. The term "slightly north" ended up meaning that there was only nine inches (23 cm) of space between the two buildings when construction was completed. The site for the new arena occupied 3.2 acres (13,000 m2). It eventually cost $160 million. Ground was broken on April 29, 1993. In 27 months, quick by today's standards, the arena was built. That included seven weeks of delay caused by heavy snowfall. The Shawmut Center opened on September 30, 1995.
When constructed to replace the aging Boston Garden, the arena was called the FleetCenter. The arena opened on September 30, 1995.
During the construction phase, the naming rights to the "New Garden" were sold to a major Boston-based regional bank, Shawmut Bank. However, just as the Shawmut Center was being completed, the "New Garden's" sponsor, Shawmut, was the bank whose name disappeared during the merger. Shortly before the new arena opened, every seat, which had been stamped with the Shawmut logo, had to be replaced. Also, the entire color scheme for the interior had to be adjusted from Shawmut's blue-and-white to Fleet's green-and-gold.
The name of the arena was expected to change as a result of the April 1, 2004 merger of FleetBoston Financial with Bank of America. On January 5, 2005, Delaware North announced an agreement under which the bank made a payment to be released from the remaining six years on the naming rights agreement. The agreement left Delaware North free to sell the naming rights to another sponsor. On March 3, 2005, Maine-based TD Banknorth, a U.S. subsidiary of Toronto-Dominion Bank, announced its purchase of the naming rights for $6 million per year. The first major event after the announcement was the 2005 Hockey East Men's Ice Hockey Tournament.
The company named the facility "TD Banknorth Garden" in honor of the original Boston Garden. The name officially became the TD Banknorth Garden on July 1, 2005. Prior to that date, it went under the name "YourGarden".
In early 2005, while still searching for a long-term corporate sponsor, the FleetCenter conducted auctions on eBay to sell one-day naming rights. From February 10 to March 13, the FleetCenter sold the naming rights 30 different times on eBay. The net proceeds of $150,633.22 generated during the auction was donated to charities in the Greater Boston area. The FleetCenter also made private arrangements with a few companies for one-day naming rights, and offered one day's rights in an employee raffle.
During the name auction, only twice were names reported to be rejected. Kerry Konrad, a New York City lawyer and Yankees fan, won naming rights for March 1 with a bid of $2300. He proposed the name "Derek Jeter Center", after the New York Yankees shortstop, a stab at fellow Harvard College alumnus and Boston Red Sox fan Jerry Rappaport, Jr., with whom he had a 25-year-old rivalry. Being in the heart of Red Sox Nation, the name did not sit well with the executives and was rejected. An agreement was reached in which Rappaport added $6300 for a total bid of $8600, representing the 86 years of the Curse of the Bambino, and named the arena "New Boston Garden, Home of The Jimmy Fund Champions". Fark.com founder Drew Curtis held a contest on his website to name the arena after he bought single-day rights. A user vote resulted in the "Fark.com UFIA Center" coming on top, but the name was rejected due to its inappropriate meaning. The name eventually selected by Curtis and company was "Boston Garden".Including its present name, the TD Garden has had 33 different names.
Celtics players dubbed it "The Jungle" during the team's 2002 playoff run.
In April 2008, TD Banknorth became TD Bank, after a merger with Commerce Bancorp, a New Jersey–based bank. Owner Delaware North Companies announced on April 15, 2009, that the building would be renamed TD Garden in July 2009.
Before the 2006–2007 season, the TD Garden underwent a major overhaul, installing a new HD entertainment board. For basketball, video advertising panels (installed by the NCAA for the 2006 Women's Final Four) replaced the traditional scrolling panels, and added a see-through shot clock, joining the FedExForum, Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia), Philips Arena, US Airways Center, United Center, Quicken Loans Arena, and the Time Warner Cable Arena (this was done before the NBA mandate was installed in 2011). In addition, a vintage siren, just as the original Boston Garden had used, was added to replace the end-of-period horn for hockey only, a feature of the Montreal Canadiens, the Bruins' arch-rivals, at the Montreal Forum (now the Pepsi Forum shopping centre) and the current Centre Bell. In 2009, an LED energy efficient lighting system was added to the exterior of the building. The Boston Globe announced a 70-million-dollar project upgrade to TD Garden's concourses and Legends Club restaurant, along with technology upgrades and the relocation of a retail shop. Construction occurred in two phases, summer 2014 and then summer 2015.
The arena has been recognized by many industry publications as one of the top arenas in the country. Arena industry publication Venues Today ranked the TD Garden as the No. 3 arena in the country for 2006. Additionally, the TD Garden has been recognized with the following recent awards and achievements:2007 TD Garden selected as finalist for National Sports Forum Achievement Award
2008 TD Garden receives EPA Award
2009 Nominated for Sports Facility of the Year by Sports Business Journal
On January 25, 2013 during a Celtics vs. Knicks game at the Garden, television announcer Marv Albert accused the TD Garden production crew for being one of those arenas that "constantly" use fake sound effects to intensify the crowd reactions on nationally televised games (which is very similar to "sweetening" on television); however, the official Twitter account of the Boston Celtics stated that the Celtics have never used artificial crowd noise. Following their 2011 Stanley Cup Finals win, the Bruins changed their previous Stanley Cup banners to reflect the changes in the team's main jersey logo through time during their past five Cup wins, as the current logo adorns the 2011 Cup win's banner.
The arena is primarily the home venue for the NBA's Boston Celtics and the NHL's Boston Bruins. It has hosted the 1996 NHL All-Star Game, the 2008 and 2010 NBA Finals, and the 2011 and 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. While dominant in their previous arena, Boston Garden, the Celtics and Bruins were initially much less successful in their new home as both teams missed the playoffs numerous times and failed to make their league's conference finals until 2008. That year the Celtics defeated their arch-rival Los Angeles Lakers in six games, clinching the 2008 NBA championship in the Garden. The Bruins overcame the Vancouver Canucks in seven games to capture the 2011 Stanley Cup, winning all games in the Garden with lopsided scores (8-1, 4-0, and 5-2) and then taking the championship on the road at Rogers Arena. In the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Bruins overcame a 4-1 deficit in the deciding Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs to win 5-4 in overtime, en route to making it to the Finals; the Chicago Blackhawks hoisted the Stanley Cup in the Garden after a stunning comeback in the final minute of Game Six.
From March 28 - April 3, 2016, TD Garden hosted the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships.
Eddie Palladino is the current public address announcer for Celtics games, while Jim Martin is the public address announcer for Bruins games. Ron Poster is the arena organist.
The arena is the home of the annual Beanpot college hockey tournament between the Boston University Terriers, Boston College Eagles, Harvard University Crimson and Northeastern University Huskies. The facility has hosted the 2001 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the 1996 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, the 1996 and 2000 US Gymnastics Trials, and the 1998, 2004 and 2015 NCAA Men's Frozen Four.
High school championships and tournaments for the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association are annually hosted at the TD Garden. Events include ice hockey and basketball championships. The Super Eight is one the popular events that fans and students attend.
TD Garden is one of two NBA arenas (along with Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic) with parquet floors. The Celtics are best known for the tradition of the parquet floor from their Boston Garden years, originally built after World War II because of cost and the scarcity of lumber in that time. However, a traditional floor was used in the 2006 NCAA Women's Final Four and the 2009 NCAA Men's East Regional (NCAA rules require a special NCAA-specification floor be used for all tournament games). When the 2012 NCAA Men's East Regional was held at TD Garden, a lighter-shaded parquet floor was used, with the same NCAA-specific design.
Ricky Hatton began his 'American dream' here on May 13, 2006, he stepped up to welterweight to fight WBA world champion Luis Collazo. After knocking Collazo down after seconds into the first round, Hatton was made to work hard to earn a unanimous point win.
On August 28, 2010, the TD Garden hosted UFC 118, which was the first time that the UFC held an event in Boston. UFC president Dana White confirmed that the UFC would return to The Garden which took place on August 27, 2013. The TD Garden hosted UFC on Fox Sports 1: 1, the launch of the new Fox Sports 1 cable channel, on August 17, 2013. This was the second UFC event to take place at the TD Garden. The UFC returned on January 18, 2015 for UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver, and again on January 17, 2017 for UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz.
The very first concert ever hosted at the now TD Garden was R.E.M. on October 2, 1995. Since its grand opening in 1995, more than 30 million people have come to the TD Garden to see the arena's famous tenants, the NHL's Boston Bruins and NBA's Boston Celtics, as well as world-renowned concerts, sporting events, family shows, wrestling, ice shows and so much more. Home to approximately 200 public events annually, the TD Garden hosts well over 3.5 million people each year.
Among the non-sporting events hosted by the Garden are concerts, shows, graduations, seminars, Disney on Ice, the circus, and commencement exercises for Northeastern University.
Comedians such as Tim Allen, Denis Leary, Chris Rock and Louis C.K., among many others, have all performed at the TD Garden during their nationwide tours.
The Garden has hosted many WWE events in the past. This includes Wrestlemania XIV in 1998, the 2000 King of the Ring, the 2003 and 2011 Royal Rumble, the 2006 SummerSlam, the 2008 and 2013 Survivor Series, the 2012 Night of Champions, WWE Money In The Bank in 2014, TLC: Tables, Ladders, & Chairs in 2015, and most recently, Hell in a Cell on October 30, 2016. It has been a regular stop for Raw and SmackDown, with notable episodes including the 900th episode of Raw and SmackDown's 10th anniversary celebration. SmackDown Live will be here on April 11 2017
Canadian singer, Celine Dion kicked off her Let's Talk About Love World Tour at the arena with two sold-out shows on August 21 and 22, 1998. She returned to the arena 10 years later on August 12 and 13, 2008 during her Taking Chances World Tour. These two shows were filmed and were included on the DVD, "Celine: Through The Eyes of The World."
The singer-songwriter Lady Gaga performed at the arena for the first time on her The Monster Ball Tour on July 1–2, 2010. She performed there again for the ArtRave: The Artpop Ball on June 30, 2014, in front of a sold out crowd. Lady Gaga was scheduled to perform here during her Born This Way Ball, but the show was canceled because of her hip injury.
Jennifer Lopez performed at the arena on July 25, 2012 to a sold out crowd, during her Dance Again World Tour.
Cher performed at the arena on April 9, 2014 for a sold out crowd, during her Dressed to Kill Tour (Cher).
Carrie Underwood sold out her Storyteller Tour on February 23, 2016, raising over $1 Million in ticket sales.
On July 26 to July 29, 2004, the TD Garden (then the Fleet Center) was the host of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, in which then Senator of Massachusetts John Kerry was nominated as the Democratic candidate for the 2004 Presidential Election. The convention was also famous for then Senator and future President Barack Obama's keynote speech which began the speculation of him running for President in the 2008 Presidential Election.
Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas performed on their 2016 Honda Civic Tour: Future Now at the TD Garden on July 20, 2016
Ariana Grande performed on her Dangerous Woman Tour on March 3, 2017 with opening act Little Mix.
In May 2013, Delaware North Companies and Boston Properties proposed plans to construct a multi-purpose 3 tower structure on the former site of the original Boston Garden. The complex would encompass 1,870,000 square feet (174,000 m2), of which 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2) will be allotted for retail space and 600,000 square feet (56,000 m2) for commercial offices. It will also include 500 residential units, a 200-room hotel, and an 800-space underground parking garage. Construction began in late 2015. The project is being completed in three stages. The first stage is the podium that includes shopping, entertainment, dining, new access to the MBTA North Station Green Line and Orange Line, and a new entrance to the TD Garden and North Station. It also includes an expansion to the existing North Station Garage that sits underneath North Station and the TD Garden. The second phase includes two buildings built on top of the west side of the podium. One building will be apartments, the other a hotel. The third phase is an office building that will sit on top of the east side of the podium.
In May 2010, a bronze statue of famed Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr, in a famous flying pose celebrating "The Goal", was unveiled outside the stadium.
Located in TD Garden is The Sports Museum (also known as "The Sports Museum of New England"). The museum's exhibits focus on the history of various sports in the Boston area, including the Boston Bruins, the Boston Celtics, the New England Patriots, and many more.
Just as the Boston Garden was, the TD Garden is built on top of Boston's North Station, a major transportation hub. The Commuter Rail waiting area becomes crowded during events due to this design: the fans shared a relatively small area with commuters and several fast food concessions. (There is a concourse on the second floor which is about the same size as the former main ground floor concourse, but this is utilized only as an entryway for the arena.) Work finished on the expanded North Station concourse in early 2007. A new, larger, railway concourse gives railway passengers a waiting area which does not interfere with patrons entering or leaving the Garden.
Connections to the Orange Line and Green Line are near the eastern entrance to the Garden. The Green Line ran on the Causeway Street Elevated in front of the building until a tunnel under it was opened in June 2004. The then-disused Elevated was used as a platform for security forces during the 2004 Democratic National Convention, then demolished slightly afterwards.
The TD Garden has been seen/mentioned in movies such as The Town (2010), Knight and Day (2010), Zookeeper (2011), and Ted (2012).