Bruins fans fall through TD Garden floor

May 31, 2011, 5:22 pm

(NECN: Ally Donnelly, Norwood, Mass.) - The Boston Bruins Game 7 victory over Tampa Bay on Friday went from exciting to scary for two fans. While others were celebrating, they were hurt. They had a frightening fall inside the TD Garden.

Twenty-nine year old Mike Lopez says it was the last 10 seconds of Game seven against Tampa Bay. The puck was down the other end of the ice and the Bruins were moments away from securing a spot in the Stanley Cup finals.

"Everybody's standing, everybody fired up...I think the last thing on anybody's mind at a time like that is, 'Am I safe where I am?" said Lopez.

But the Norwood, Massachusetts man wishes he'd asked that question. As the throngs of screaming fans jumped and shook the house, Lopez felt the floor beneath his balcony seats give way.

"There was kind of this whoosh sound and, you know, we fell," he said.

The 6'5", 215 pound Brown University graduate student and his 5'9" 165 pound friend estimated they plunged about six feet into a gaping hole.  "It was kind of this two second pause then it just became nuts." he said. "Everybody around us screaming, 'Get these guys out, get these guys out! Get these guys out!' "

The men were sitting in section 329, row six. At two-hundred dollars a seat, it's not exactly temporary seating but it's moveable, retractable, infill seating. The men landed on their feet and suffered only nasty scrapes and bruises. But being a new dad, Lopez can't help but cycle through the what ifs. What if it had been a child or someone with a medical condition sitting in the collapsed row?

"If one of us had leaned forward and hit our head?" he wondered. "You're not at a high school football game on wooden bleachers, you're at the Garden."

To add insult to insult to injury, Lopez had to watch those last legendary moments at home on taped replay. "We were like, 'Did that happen on the ice? Were we there?' That was kind of disappointing," he said.

A representative for the Garden said officials had already fixed the collapsed area and are still looking into the cause of the accident. Lopez said the Garden offered both he and his friend two free tickets to a game of their choosing including the Stanley Cup playoffs. He's thinking about it.

Tags: hockey, Stanley Cup, TD Garden, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ally Donnelly
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