When the going gets tough, sometimes the biggest accomplishment is just sticking with it.
Amy Latimer knew it was her job to keep her people at Boston’s TD Garden “aligned and engaged in one of the most stressful work environments of our time,” as COVID-19 brought events at the arena to a halt. “Our team’s ability to adapt and adjust has been critical to reopening our business to fans in the coming days,” she said as the facility planned to welcome fans back for a Boston Bruins game March 23, “and it should certainly be celebrated as a success.”
In a challenging situation with no easy answers, Latimer saw people come together, something her years of experience in the industry could help facilitate. “Everything has been a result of pure necessity, which in turn, has supplied one of the most collaborative working environments that I can remember,” she said. “We have come together across industries — arenas, gaming, corporate partners, and brands.”
Looking outward, the Garden’s social media channels and marquees (“and even exterior lighting,” Latimer said) became resources to support community initiatives such as voter registration, COVID education, health and safety PSAs and support for front-line and essential workers.
Latimer thinks some lessons learned during the pandemic will pay off once the virus retreats. The strides in all-mobile ticketing, in-seat food and beverage, and mobile merchandise ordering required by COVID times will create an easier, more enjoyable night at the arena.
“This past year has forced us to take a step back and reflect on how we do things,” she said. “I think fans will return to a better guest experience.”
— Rob Knapp