(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

I’ve been talking about old Boston venue names for a couple of weeks now. And you’ve been talking about them, too.


So let’s continue the conversation. And build upon it. This all started a few weeks ago, when I put together this look back at Harborlights and it’s many name changes over the years. Eight, to be exact. In just under 30 years! That led to a similar history of the Mansfield, MA venue we call Great Woods, even though for over a decade now it’s been known as the Xfinity Center.


Names are a funny thing. Great Woods was “Great Woods” for a long time before its first name change, so it stands to reason that a lot of music fans of a certain age would still call it that. But Harborlights was only “Harbor Lights” for less than two years. Sure, some folks call it by its current name–Leader Bank Pavilion–but lots still call it Harborlights. Again, names are a funny thing.


Old Boston Venue Names: Which One Do You Bring Back?

So many of you chimed in about how you still call these storied venues by their old names that I decided to turn the whole thing into a 12-Inch Poll. This week, we’re going to take a whole bunch of big, beloved Boston music venues. Venues that have changed their name over the years (sometimes a whole bunch of times). And we’re going to pick one and change its name back. For good.


You get to pick one venue and tell its current sponsor or owner that the new name has to go. You get to tell them that they’ve got to bring back the original name. And that the name has to stay that way. Forever. Because let’s face it: we’re mostly using the old names anyway, right?

  • Boston Garden

    Props to TD Garden for embracing the whole “Garden” brand during their sponsorship run. Truth be told, everyone pretty much just calls it “The Garden” now. But “Boston Garden” is where it’s at, baby.

  • Cape Cod Music Circus

    That was the name when it opened in 1950: The Cape Cod Music Circus. Now, it’s 2 venues: the Music Circus and the Melody Tent. So this one’s a bit more complicated.

  • Foxboro Stadium

    Yes, I know this one’s trickier. Gillette stadium technically replaced old Foxboro Stadium when it was built in the early 2000s. But Foxboro Stadium was the home of the Patriots for 40 years. Should we bring the name back?

  • Great Woods

    The Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts opened in Mansfield in the summer of 1986. Since 2014, it’s been the Xfinity Center. But it will always be Great Woods.

  • Harborlights

    Tough to keep track with those 8 name changes in its 29-year history. Leader Bank Pavilion is the most recent iteration. Some folks just say “the waterfront.” But most folks still say Harborlights.

  • Indian Ranch

    Actually *checks notes* yeah, Indian Ranch is still Indian Ranch out there in Webster. Since 1946. Carry on.

  • Suffolk Downs

    Suffolk Downs wasn’t exactly known as a live music hub during its years of operation. It was a racetrack, after all. But it did host some pretty legendary shows. And with the debut of The Stage this summer, do we just bring the name back?

Sign me up for the ROCK 92.9 email newsletter!

Be the first to know about rock news, upcoming shows, plus exclusive prizes, giveaways, and more!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.