TD Garden Venue General Manager: Work comes first


Entering the TD Garden you cannot help but feel a little sensation of butterflies flying around in your stomach. As a sports fan these kind of feeling are natural, but how does it feel when you do not go to the Garden as fan, but as an employee? Certainly you can be both a fan and employer at the same time. For TD Garden Vice President and General Manager Hugh Lombardi, the Garden is his fan zone, but primarily it is a work zone.

“There are a lot of challenges, you know. It’s always a challenge to stay ahead and keep out competition. The competition has become much tougher in the last few years, and you do work an extreme amount of hours,” said Lombardi during the Leadership Behind the Bruins panel held for Suffolk University students by Student Leadership and Involvement.

“When your friends are out having fun and going out you have to be at work. You have to accept that work comes before anything else if you want this job.”

Not a lot of people understand how demanding the role of general manager can be. The job does not end simply because the hockey or basketball season ends. During the offseason, the general manager has to take care of all kinds of business deals like consulting offers, new ventures and dealing with job inquiries. A GM has to balance all the plates at the same time, showing leadership and strong character to set a great example for other employers.

Lombardi has done this exact job to the bone. In his time at the Garden, he has improved the business greatly. Currently, the Bruins are one of the reasons the Garden is doing so well, but one team alone cannot bring in all the money. This is why you must have smart management that makes the right choices that is best for the Garden as a whole. Calling the big shots has not always been a part of Lombardi’s life, as he explained his early years in the sports industry business.

“You come here and you think you will become general manager in three years, but that is just not going to happen. In the beginning you definitely get overwhelmed and you are forced to make a lifestyle change. This job is not glamorous, the work is challenging and you have long hours.”