Boston Venue To Get Upgrade

Boston’s newly christened arena will get a physical makeover in addition to its name change.

TD Banknorth Garden, which is set to change its name from the FleetCenter July 1, will undergo an $8 million refurbishment of its entrances, concourses and other areas, venue CEO Richard Krezwick told the Boston Herald.

Construction could begin this summer, Krezwick said.

The TD Banknorth Garden’s new name comes courtesy of a 20-year naming rights deal worth an estimated $150 million. Arena owner Delaware North Companies sold the rights to TD Banknorth after previous sponsor FleetBoston was acquired by Bank of America.

The moniker echoes local history in its reference to the demolished Boston Garden – which the FleetCenter replaced in 1995 – but has met with mixed reactions.

An editorial in The Harvard Crimson called the name “awkward” and suggested the change was poorly timed, coming just as the 10-year-old FleetCenter had gained widespread recognition.

An economics professor told The Boston Globe he expected most locals to refer to the venue simply as “the Garden.” But an ad exec pointed out that the bank’s name will get plenty of exposure on signs and broadcasts, regardless of how it is used in casual conversation.

The arena – home of the Boston Celtics and Bruins – hosted more than two dozen major concerts last year, including sellouts from Usher and Pearl Jam and three nights with Prince.