To Whom It May Concern:
As a Boston Bruins season ticket holder, I take great pride in spending much of the winter months (and over the course of the 2010-2011 season, spring and early summer) at the Garden. My commitment to the organization includes a significant financial investment, as well as countless hours of time spent at games and following the team.
I am writing to express my concern with—and to propose a revision to—the camera policy recently updated for all sporting events at TD Garden. This policy, as currently stated on your website, states:
Non-flash, still cameras without a detachable lens, may be used to take pictures of sporting events or events where house lights are illuminated during a performance. Cameras with detachable lens are prohibited from all TD Garden events. Any tripod or other photography equipment may not be used or placed in any area of the building without building issued media credentials.
A policy banning detachable lenses, yet allowing “non-flash, still cameras” fails to acknowledge the reality of photography equipment in 2011. Point-and-shoot cameras today are available with detachable lenses, and flashes are standard features of every camera on the market—point-and-shoot or SLR.
Having considered the issues that could have prompted the update in policy, I present the following arguments:
- Flash is distracting: It is in fact the casual point-and-shoot camera operator who uses flash during professional sporting events—as they don’t understand their equipment well enough (or care enough) to bother to turn off camera features. Users of higher end photographic equipment, who have studied photography, know that the use of flash will negatively impact their results.
- The lenses are too big: If lens size is the issue, limit the size. The RBC Center has outlined a reasonable camera policy (available here) that limits camera and lens size. Detachable lenses must be less than five (5) inches long and less than three and a half inches (3.5) in diameter; the camera body cannot exceed three (3) inches in depth/length; and the overall camera and detachable lens combination cannot exceed eight (8) inches in overall length. This allows fans with interests in photography to shoot the games without distracting fellow patrons.
- Photographers are blocking aisles: Be sure that ushers are patrolling to keep aisles clear of any patrons, including those with cameras.
Limiting photography hurts the TD Garden brand, as it diminishes the opportunity for fans to capture the spirit and romance of attending a game at the TD Garden and celebrating the Boston Bruins or Boston Celtics; it also presents guidelines that are far less-fan friendly than comparable sports arenas and other Boston sports teams (see the wide-open Fenway Park policy). Please do consider adopting a policy that reflects a knowledge of photography and photographers while ensuring a positive fan experience for all—those who choose to photograph the events and those who do not.
Boston Bruins Season Ticket Holder