TD Garden welcomed back fans for the first time in over a year

TD Garden welcomed back fans for the first time since March of 2020. While the arena was not at capacity, it was a great site to be hold.

Boston-03/25/21 A Bruins fan cheers from the balcony in the 3rd period. The Boston Bruins played the NY Islanders at TD Garden which allowed 12% capacity of fans for the first time since the begining of the pandemic. Photo by John Tlumacki/Globe Staff (sports)

Life started to get a little closer to normal on Thursday night. For the first time since March 7th, 2020 (or 383 days but who is counting?) TD Garden permitted fans. The Massachusetts ruling in February determined venues could allow 12% of their normal capacity. 

TD Garden getting closer to normal

So, as the Bruins hosted the New York Islanders on Thursday, 2,191 fortunate hockey fans were in attendance. While ultimately, the game ended with a very frustrating overtime loss for Boston. The Bruins were up 2 when the referees gave them a four-minute power play in the second. But the Islanders fought back and snagged the extra point. New York bested their record to 3-0-2 against Boston this season. 

But to harp on the result would be at the expense of missing the larger point. 

Before the game, WBZ talked to a Bruins super-fan, who was holding a Bruins flag and wearing roller-blades, before the game. 

“This is what I live for,” Xanadude, as he goes by on Twitter, said. “I’ve been looking forward to this. Hockey in the spring is one of the greatest times of my life. This is one of the things I look forward to over anything else.” 

The sentiments were not limited to just Causeway Street. Moments before puck drop, the National Anthem rang beautifully through TD Garden. 

Sound for soar ears

Todd Angilly, the man in charge of belting out The Star-Spangled Banner, told the Telegram and Gazette “I didn’t think I was going to make it through it. It was so emotional.” 

Once the game began, those in attendance cranked the festivities and appreciation up to 11. There were multiple shots of kids soaking in the evening, which immediately planted a smile onto the face of anyone watching. After what they have gone through over the past 12 plus months, and more importantly, what they have not experienced, it was a sight to behold. 

After the first period, a man held a piece of paper over the woman sitting next to him. The paper read, in bolded, black capital letters, “She’s A Nurse” with an arrow pointing down. Seeing a front-line worker enjoy the Bruins in person was awesome. 

It is fantastic aspects of pre-COVID life are starting to seep into Boston. The Bruins are just kicking off a stretch of 7 (would have been 8 before the team quarantine) consecutive home games. TD Garden is set to allow Celtics fans back on March 29th when the New Orleans Pelicans come to town. And on April 1st, Red Sox fans, for the first time since September of 2019 (!!!!!!) will enjoy a day at Fenway Park. 

Our lives are starting to come back. The next major step will be getting The Garden, Fenway, and Gillette packed again. 

Photo Courtesy of Boston.com.

Story by Chad Jones

Follow Chad on Twitter @shutupchadjones

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