With news that some 20,000 fans will file into the Bell Centre in Montreal tonight to watch Game 7 between the Bruins and Canadiens, Twitter user Marc Choquette raised an interesting question: Why no viewing parties in Boston?
— marc choquette (@marc_choquette) May 14, 2014
The Bruins, of course, are at home tonight, so TD Garden will already be full. But rarely if ever does the venue or the city put on viewing parties for big games, and there have been a lot of them, with Boston teams winning eight championships since 2001.
The Garden came close to putting on a viewing party for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals vs. the Vancouver Canucks in 2011 but ultimately did not, with a Garden spokesperson saying it was “due to a number of factors, fan safety being first and foremost.” At the time, the mayor’s office cited the late hour of the game as a reason for not hosting a public event.
On Wednesday, a Bruins spokesman said the team hasn’t ruled out viewing parties for later in the playoffs should the Bruins advance.
“If a team in the league decides to host a viewing party they have to work with NHL and broadcast rights holders to seek permission to do so,” said Bruins spokesman Matt Chmura. “We haven’t gone down that path this season, and we haven’t made any decisions on whether we will moving forward.”
Are viewing parties more of a Canada thing? During the Toronto Raptors’ first-round series with the Brooklyn Nets, Raptors fans packed Maple Leaf Square outside the arena and watched the games on big screens. If the Bruins offered that same kind of setup, would you go?