TD Garden set to host Sweet 16, Elite Eight

Playoff season will arrive early at TD Garden this spring when March Madness returns to Causeway Street for the first time in six years.

While the Bruins and Celtics are still a month away from officially starting their championship runs, fans from all over will flock to the Garden next Thursday — Sunday for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, bringing an economic haul for the city.

The Garden last hosted the East Regional semifinals and championship in 2018 – years before the COVID-19 pandemic and soaring inflation rates – when officials estimated 8,000 to 10,000 fans would visit for the tournament and projected a $25 million impact for the city.

That predicted revenue stream jumped from an anticipated $7 million when the Hub first welcomed the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight to the Garden in 2009.

Officials from the Garden and Meet Boston, the region’s primary tourism bureau, did not immediately respond Tuesday to a Herald request for comment on the economic forecast for hosting this year’s tournament.

But based on the starting ticket prices listed on StubHub as of Tuesday afternoon, it’s fair to say the Hub is in for an economic haul. There are three options for admittance: entry to every game in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 or all games in either round.

For the Sweet 16, taking place next Thursday and Friday, the cheapest ticket is starting at $254 for the thirteenth row in the balcony slightly to the side of the basket. For the Elite Eight, next Saturday and Sunday, you can sit in the last row of the balcony behind the basket for $273.

For every game in both rounds, tickets are starting at $462 for the tenth row in the balcony behind the basket.

While no local school will be playing in the tournament, nearby Connecticut will be well represented at the Garden as top-seeded UConn looks to make a run to the National Championship barring any upsets this week in the Rounds of 64 and 32.

Speaking to the Herald in 2018, former TD Garden president Amy Latimer said despite a lack of local representation, the tournament brought a unique experience to the city and its basketball fans.

“For us, it’s exciting, and we feel like it’s part of our responsibility in the community to host these national events,” Latimer said. “I think it’s great for the city and all these people are going to be walking around with their jerseys and everything, and it’s good for us and our clients.”

The craziness that comes with March Madness will get underway at the Harpoon Beer Hall on Thursday at noon, with the brewery hosting a “hooky watch party” featuring “fun costume disguises, contests” and beverages.

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