‘We’re all grateful’: Businesses see boost as fans welcomed back to TD Garden

BOSTON (WHDH) - For the first time in more than a year, fans were able to watch the Boston Bruins play at TD Garden, bringing a boost to nearby businesses.

The Garden welcome back about 2,200 people Thursday in compliance with the state’s 12 percent capacity limit for stadiums, arenas, and ballparks under Phase 4, Step 1 of the reopening process.

RELATED: Islanders rally, disappoint Bruins fans with 4-3 OT victory

This was a good sign for businesses in the TD Garden area, where fans stopped by before the game.

“It just feels good to have people in the building, coming in excited,” Causeway owner Dave Ferrando said.

Pattrick Higgins of Higs Tickets says this is the boost that many businesses have been waiting for.

“Spending money in the shops and in the businesses and I know we’re all grateful,” he said. “It’s been a very long year, seeing people excited to go to a game, seeing people down here, energy in the area. It’s been good for the soul.”

Sly Edigio, owner of Beantown Collectibles, says the last year has been tough.

“I had to lay everybody off,” he said. “You spent all these years building a business, my company’s been in business 20 years, and just gone.”

Now with fans back, Edigio says he is hiring again but sales are definitely different than before.

“There’s like three people, you sell one hat and then you look down and you see the sidewalks completely empty and that was the rush, four people was the rush.”

Still, many hope sights like this are a step in the right direction.

“There’s people that came in who I haven’t seen in a year,” Ferrando said. “They come in just for games, so it’s exciting.”

Higgins added, “Hopefully we’ll see bigger numbers as people get vaccinated and we can bring people back to work and kind of like I said, get back to a normal life.”

Businesses are hoping that capacity limits will increase, allowing for more foot traffic in the area.

(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)