This November I had an opportunity to see my favorite team, the NY Rangers, play my lady's team, the Boston Bruins, at the TD Garden. We got these excellent tickets from my lady's father so I wasn't going to be shelling out $$$ for tickets, which in my mind meant that I had plenty of extra dollah bills to spend on beers.
I had never been to any sort of event at the TD Garden and so I was blissfully unaware of the no-fun zone I was about to walk in to. As an "away" fan I was already trying to fly under the radar and didn't want to rock the boat too much with Boston fans (read: get my ass kicked by a bunch of rowdy Bruins fans because I was wearing a Rangers jersey). So we found our seats, and I decided to look around the Garden to see what kind of beers they might have.
The TD Garden did not disappoint. I walked around the entire arena to scope out my selections. They had so many different beers, ranging from your standard stadium light beers, to nearly all of my favorite large scale craft beers. Say what you will about New England or Boston but they have a couple of great breweries and if you don't like Sam Adams or Harpoon, you're un-American, so get off of my internet and stop stealing all the jobs.
I excitedly approached the first Harpoon draft stand that I saw after my lap around. I was especially friendly, listened to the middle-aged Bostonian crack a joke about my jersey, and then I ordered a beer. He asked for my ID. I pulled my New York State ID out of my wallet and he looked at it for quite a while. I hadn't had an ID of mine investigated for this long since I was underage and was using my fake New Hampshire ID (Live Free or Die!). He then returned my ID to me and then said
"I'm sorry sir. You're too young, I can't serve you."
"I'm sorry what? I'm 22."
"Yea, I can't serve you. Ya gotta be 25 if you have an out of state ID."
"Yup, that's TD Garden policy."
"Are you serious? That's ridiculous."
"Yea sorry man. Bring your passport next time and I can serve you."
I was clearly pissed off. Here I was, a 22 year old American, in the United States of Fucking America, and I had just been told I couldn't buy a beer. And I wasn't drunk. In fact, I was really sober. All the way sober. And really thirsty. So I walked around the arena to the next Harpoon stand. This time it was manned by an old dude. I thought maybe this old dude might give zero fucks, realize that TD Garden was fucking stupid and would serve me beer.
Nope. Same banter about me being a Rangers fan, and being "only 22". So I asked him if he was serious about this TD rule and he literally showed me the arena's alcohol policy. It was right there, no one under the age of 25 with an out of state ID could not be served alcohol. I tried my luck once more at a stand with a kid that was around the same age as me. Still no luck.
This might be the stupidest policy I have ever heard in my entire life. I literally cannot think of a way in which this policy makes sense. I thought, maybe its so visiting fans who are young can't get too rowdy. But that is just an exceptionally poor business model. I know Boston/ New England fans are diehards, but I would hope their management isn't that fucking stupid to be not raking in the dollars on dollars from young fans.
So then I remembered that Boston sports teams actually draw fans from outside of Boston and Massachusetts. In fact, the Celtics and Bruins would have fans from Mass, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut. So they won't only be keeping "away" fans from drinking, but also their own fans. I'm sure there is some sort of bullshit reason behind this obscene regulation, but until then all of the 21 to 24 year olds who forgot their passports will be fucked and forced to not drink at a sporting event in Boston. Because the TD Garden is the no fun zone, and Boston drinking laws officially cause it to lose in the battle between NYC and Boston.
In the end I still got to drink beers because the Bruins fan sitting next to me ended up being a pretty chill guy and started buying me beers as soon as the Bruins started to win. But heed my warning readers, if you're planning on heading to the TD Garden and you aren't from Massachusetts, you're gonna have a bad time.