Boston sports fans really love chicken tenders.
More than 800,000 were sold at TD Garden this season, prompting the team at TD Garden to create a whole line of tender-themed merchandise, launching Wednesday when the Celtics open the Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat.
The Garden is pulling out all stops as Miami comes to town, with a number of new food and beverage options with an emphasis on spice. (Heat, get it?)
From the new food and drink menus to transit tips to T-shirts, here’s a rundown of what fans can expect if they’re headed to a game.
Food for the masses
While many dishes are limited to fans with tickets in suites, the rest of us can test out some special options around the concourse.
- The Miami Vice slice — pizza topped with habanero-bacon BBQ pulled pork and fresh jalapeños — can be found at the new “Beat the Heat” concession in Loge 3 and Balcony 303.
- The Smash (Miami) burger — pastrami, with a mustard spread on a potato roll — will be at Big Bad Burger in Loge 8 and Balcony 311.
Food for club seating and beyond
If you’ve got access to the club seats you can try dishes like:
- Korean BBQ chicken bites (aka Beat the Heat bites), at club seating.
- The Boston Beef and Reef (a cheeseburger with truffle sauce and lobster, served with truffle fries), at the 1928 Club.
- A Philly — sorry, Boston — cheesesteak, at Legends on the third level.
TD Garden is also partnering with a handful of small businesses to highlight their offerings — but they’ll only be available on the Boston Garden Society level.
- Mei Mei Dumplings, which has a factory in Southie where it hosts classes, will serve up cheddar-scallion-potato, lemongrass pork, and curried sweet potato dumplings with dipping sauces.
- No, it’s not a mini-basketball — it’s a truffle. Braintree-based Montillo’s Bakery is serving up the treats.
- Four Corners Pizza Cupcakes is serving up a dozen of their concoctions. Order a box for your whole party, and try flavors like Nashville hot chicken, chicken and waffles, and shrimp mac and cheese.
Merch you can’t miss
About those chicken tenders. If you’re a fan, you can now show your pride with a line of chicken tender merchandise. From T-shirts to hats to “Lucky’s Chicken” chains to fanny packs, you can find it all in Section 328.
Fans can also get their own tender T-shirt screen printed on-site at the SHOPBOS pop-up store.
Other merch highlights include:
- A Jayson Tatum/Jaylen Brown/Marcus Smart line, with cartoon renderings of the three.
- A Big Hat (of Big Hat fame) with the Celtics logo, available for purchase for fans.
- If you’re looking for high-end products, make friends with someone who has courtside seats. There’s special Celtics and Boston merch — custom jean jackets and tie-dyed sweatshirts, etc. — on the third level that can only be accessed if you have a ticket on the court.
Trains will hold until 15 minutes after the game to give fans time to get down to the lower level.
Canal Street events
As you probably already know, Canal Street in front of TD Garden will be shut down to cars starting three hours before games and an hour after. The TD Garden crew will be sending out the entertainers to interact with fans. Look for a DJ to hype you up. A local drumline will also be out on Wednesday.