Bruins gave season ticket holder free seats for life when she could no longer afford them

bishopphotoThere has been a lot of negatives surrounding Boston sports in the past week or so – Ray Allen helps the Heat win an NBA title after ditching the Celtics, Doc Rivers skips town for Los Angeles (Paul Pierce and KG may be next), the Bruins lost the Stanley Cup and, of course, Aaron Hernandez might be a murderer.

But, thankfully, a feel-good story has come to our attention, thanks to an article by Emily Kaplan of the Boston Globe this week.

It tells the story of 77-year old Marge Bishop, a Bruins season ticket holder since the 1960s who recently could no longer afford her first-row seats thanks to rapid price increases.

Bishop, who is widely recognized by first name around the TD Garden thanks to the fact that she gives chocolate to the Zamboni drivers in between periods, thought about giving up her tickets in 2004 when the price went from $73 per game to $90.

However, Charlie Jacobs, the son of Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, personally reached out to her and asked her to join the season-ticket advisory board. After the ticket renewal window had closed, Jacobs made sure her tickets were not released to the public. Bishop ended up changing her mind and keeping her tickets.

But she faced the same dilemma a few years later when the tickets saw another steep pricing increase, this time to $150 per game. She knew there was no way she could afford her tickets and told Jacobs she would not renew. That’s when Bishop carried out an unbelievable gesture:

Jacobs invited Bishop for a backstage tour of the Garden, including the weight room and luxury offices. Then he showed her a plastic card he carries around — a Patriots VIP pass with his name on it.

“He could go to any game he wanted at any time,” Bishop said. “At first I didn’t know why he was showing me it.”

Then Jacobs presented Bishop with a similar card. Hers was good for any Bruins game.

“It was the most unbelievable gesture,” Bishop said. “People just don’t do things like that.”

Bishop has never missed a game. Since her husband begins work at his construction job at 5 a.m. and lifts heavy equipment all day, he’s sometimes too tired to attend.

So Bishop has brought everyone from her doctor to the supermarket cashier.

“Her name was Maria,” Bishop said. “She saw I was wearing a Bruins pin and she said, ‘Oh, I love the Bruins!’ So I asked if she wanted to join me.” 

A pretty awesome story and a great gesture from a member of one of the most widely criticized ownership families in all of sports. Jeremy Jacobs has a reputation for being pretty sour, but clearly Charlie has fallen quite far from the tree.

And it’s important to point out that it was Bishop’s decision to go public with the story (“I finally wanted to talk about it because I think people should know,” she said) so it’s not just a PR stunt by the Bruins. Kudos to Charlie Jacobs and the team.

[h/t Larry Brown Sports]


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Pete Blackburn
Founder & lead editor of The Nosebleeds. Journalism graduate of Endicott College, Class of 2013. Boston born & raised.