Local

Curious Why No Drinking Fountains At TD Garden

By David Wade, WBZ-TV
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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

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BOSTON (CBS) — Being a sports fan in Boston is great, and expensive, too.  The tickets, the parking, the food…it all adds up. 

One Bruins season ticket holder was curious why something that was always free is no longer there. 

Al in Whitinsville Declared his Curiosity saying: “I noticed that TD Garden has removed all the water bubblers. Is this legal for a building this size not to have anything but overpriced bottle water?” 

We checked it out and found it is legal, but the Garden’s explanation doesn’t quite hold water.

On a Friday night, during a recent Celtics game, WBZ-TV producer Ken Tucci and videographer Tom Matteo took a walk around the Garden concourse where there are many concession stands.  They were looking for a free drink of water. 

We learned from TD Garden officials that over the past few years they took out all the water fountains saying they were “underutilized and vandalized.”  The last four came out this summer. 

The Garden sent us a statement with what looked like a solution:  “Complimentary serving cups of water are available at all concession stands on Levels 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9.” 

So we decided to try it out.  Our producer visited 10 different concession stands asking for that free cup of water, but it was always the same answer…no…no…no…and no. 

Several concession stand employees told us every cup is “inventoried” so they can’t hand them out.  If we wanted water we had to spend $4. 

The Garden statement also explained that the Guest Relations office on Level 4 would also supply “complimentary cups of water.”  

But when our producer visited that office he found a water bubbler….but it was empty. 

The Garden also says guests can get free water at the First Aid Office, but when we went there the door was closed, so we didn’t go in.

City inspectors told us there are no rules about water fountains at stadiums and arenas, so not having any in the Garden is not illegal.  But many fans told us they thought it was greedy. 

“I mean the water is pretty expensive in there,” said one Celtics fan.

We told the Garden what we experienced and again asked them to talk to us about this on-camera. 

Instead they sent us a second statement saying:  “The drinking water policy has been in place for all events.  Upon further review, it has come to our attention there has been inconsistent availability of these courtesy cups at concession stands and mixed messaging relative to the location of drinking water to our guests.  We are taking immediate steps to re-train our associates on the policy.  We apologize to our guests for the poor execution of this policy.”

So maybe the next time you go to the Garden you can at least get a free sip.

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