Madison Square Garden
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
|"MSG", "The Mecca", "The Garden", "The World's Most Famous Arena"|
The Eighth Avenue facade of Madison Square Garden in August 2009
|Location||4 Pennsylvania Plaza
New York, New York 10001
|Owner||The Madison Square Garden Company|
Ice hockey / Lacrosse: 18,006
Pro Wrestling: 18,500
The Theater at Madison Square Garden: 5,600
|Field size||820,000 square feet (76,000 m2)|
|Broke ground||October 29, 1964|
|Opened||Former locations: 1879, 1890, 1925
Current location: February 11, 1968
|Construction cost||$123 million
($805 million in 2015 )
1991: $200 million
($297 million in 2015)
$1.07 billion dollars in 2013
|Architect||Charles Luckman Associates
Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects
|Structural engineer||Severud Associates|
|Services engineer||Syska & Hennessy, Inc.|
|General contractor||Turner/Del E. Webb|
|New York Rangers (NHL) (1968–present)
New York Knicks (NBA) (1968–present)
New York Liberty (WNBA) (1997–2010, 2014–present)
New York Titans (NLL) (2007–2009)
New York Knights (AFL) (1988)
New York CityHawks (AFL) (1997–1998)
National Invitation Tournament (1969–present)
St. John's Red Storm (NCAA) (1969–present)
Billy Joel (2014–present)
Madison Square Garden (sometimes called MSG or simply The Garden) is a multi-purpose indoor arena in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Located between Seventh and Eighth Avenues from 31st to 33rd Streets, it is situated atop Pennsylvania Station (the second railroad station to bear the name). It is the fourth venue to bear the "MSG" name, the first two (1879 and 1890) of which were located on Madison Square, on East 26th Street and Madison Avenue, with the third Madison Square Garden further uptown at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street. The Garden is used for professional basketball and ice hockey, as well as boxing, concerts, ice shows, circuses, and other forms of sports and entertainment. It resides in close geographic proximity to other midtown Manhattan landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Koreatown, and Macy's at Herald Square. It is home to the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association, and residency to singer-songwriter, Billy Joel.
Opening on February 11, 1968, it is now considered to be the oldest, and most active major sporting facility in the New York City metropolitan area. It is the oldest arena in the National Hockey League and the second-oldest arena in the National Basketball Association. Madison Square Garden is the third-busiest music arena in the world in terms of ticket sales, behind the Manchester Arena and The O2 Arena, both in England. At a total construction cost of approximately $1.1 billion, Madison Square Garden has been ranked as one of the ten most expensive stadium venues ever built. It is part of the Pennsylvania Plaza office and retail complex. Several other operating entities related to the Garden share its name.
- 1 History
- 2 Events
- 3 Seating
- 4 Accessibility and transportation
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The original Madison Square, now a park, meets at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway at 23rd Street in Manhattan. It was named after James Madison, fourth President of the United States.
Madison Square was the site of two venues called Madison Square Garden, the first from 1879 to 1890, and the second from 1890 to 1925. The first Garden, leased to P. T. Barnum, had no roof and was inconvenient to use during inclement weather, so it was demolished after 11 years. Madison Square Garden II was designed by noted architect Stanford White. The new building was built by a syndicate which included J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, P. T. Barnum, Darius Mills, James Stillman and W. W. Astor. White gave them a Beaux-Arts structure with a Moorish feel, including a minaret-like tower modeled after Giralda, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville – soaring 32 stories – the city's second tallest building at the time – dominating Madison Square Park. It was 200 feet (61 m) by 485 feet (148 m), and the main hall, which was the largest in the world, measured 200 feet (61 m) by 350 feet (110 m), with permanent seating for 8,000 people and floor space for thousands more. It had a 1200-seat theatre, a concert hall with a capacity of 1500, the largest restaurant in the city and a roof garden cabaret. The building cost $3 million. Madison Square Garden II was unsuccessful like the first Garden, and the New York Life Insurance Company, which held the mortgage on it, decided to tear it down in 1925 to make way for a new headquarters building, which would become the landmark Cass Gilbert-designed New York Life Building.
A third Madison Square Garden opened in a new location, on Eighth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, from 1925 to 1968. Groundbreaking on the third Madison Square Garden took place on January 9, 1925. Designed by the noted theater architect Thomas W. Lamb, it was built at the cost of $4.75 million in 249 days by boxing promoter Tex Rickard,; the arena was dubbed "The House That Tex Built." The arena was 200 feet (61 m) by 375 feet (114 m), with seating on three levels, and a maximum capacity of 18,496 spectators for boxing. Demolition commenced in 1968 after the opening of the current Garden. It finished up in early 1969, and the site is now where One Worldwide Plaza is located.
On February 11, 1968, the current Madison Square Garden (sometimes referred to as Madison Square Garden IV) opened after the Pennsylvania Railroad tore down the above-ground portions of the original Pennsylvania Station. The new structure was one of the first of its kind to be built above the platforms of an active railroad station. It was an engineering feat constructed by Robert E. McKee of El Paso, Texas. Public outcry over the demolition of Pennsylvania Station structure—an outstanding example of Beaux-Arts architecture—led to the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Garden is located in the office and entertainment complex formally addressed as Pennsylvania Plaza and commonly known as Penn Plaza, named for the railroad station.
In 1972, the Garden's chairman, Irving Mitchell Felt, proposed moving the New York Knicks and Rangers to a then incomplete venue in the New Jersey Meadowlands: the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The Garden was also the home arena for the NY Raiders/NY Golden Blades of the World Hockey Association. The Meadowlands would eventually host its own NBA and NHL teams (the New Jersey Nets and the New Jersey Devils, respectively). The NFL's New York Giants and Jets also relocated there. Felt's efforts fueled controversy between the Garden and New York City over real estate taxes. The disagreement again flared in 1980 when the Garden again challenged its tax bill.
In 1991, Garden owners spent $200 million to renovate facilities and add 89 suites in place of hundreds of upper-tier seats. The project was designed by Ellerbe Becket. In 2004–2005, Cablevision battled with the City of New York over the proposed West Side Stadium, which was cancelled. Cablevision then announced plans to raze the Garden, replace it with high-rise commercial buildings, and build a new Garden one block away at the site of the James Farley Post Office. Meanwhile a new project to renovate and modernize the Garden completed phase one in time for the Rangers and Knicks' 2011–12 seasons, though the vice president of the Garden says he remains committed to the installation of an extension of Penn Station at the Farley Post Office site. While the Knicks and Rangers will not be displaced, the New York Liberty will play at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey during the renovation.
Madison Square Garden's $1 billion second renovation took place mainly over three offseasons. It was set to begin after the 2009–10 hockey/basketball seasons, but was delayed until after the 2010–11 seasons. Renovation was done in phases with the majority of the work done in the summer months to minimize disruptions to the NHL and NBA seasons. While the Rangers and Knicks were not displaced, the Liberty played their home games through the 2013 season at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey during the renovation.
New features include a larger entrance with interactive kiosks, retail, climate controlled space, and broadcast studio; larger concourses; new lighting and LED video systems with HDTV; new seating; two new pedestrian walkways suspended from the ceiling to allow fans to look directly down onto the games being played below; more dining options; and improved dressing rooms, locker rooms, green rooms, upgraded roof, and production offices. The in-arena walkways were eliminated, and portals have been installed between the sections. The lower bowl concourse, called the Madison Concourse, remains on the 6th floor. The upper bowl concourse was relocated to the 8th floor and it is known as the Garden Concourse. The seventh floor houses the new Madison Suites and the Madison Club. The upper bowl was built on top of these suites. The Loge 100 and 200 level were combined to create the new lower bowl. The 300 and 400 level were combined to create the new upper bowl. The periphery of the arena allows for city views.
Construction of the lower bowl (Phase One) was completed for the 2011–2012 NHL season and the 2011-12 NBA lockout shortened season. An extended off-season for the Garden permitted some advanced work to begin on the new upper bowl, which was completed in time for the 2012–2013 NBA season and the 2012–13 NHL lockout-shortened NHL season. This advance work included the West Balcony on the 10th floor, taking the place of sky-boxes, and new end-ice 300 level seating. The construction of the upper bowl along with the Madison Suites and the Madison Club (Phase Two) were completed for the 2012–2013 NHL and NBA seasons. The construction of the new lobby known as Chase Square, along with the Chase Bridges and the new scoreboard (Phase Three) were completed for the 2013–2014 NHL and NBA seasons.
Penn Station renovation controversy
Madison Square Garden is seen as an obstacle in the renovation and future expansion of Penn Station, which is already expanding through the James Farley Post Office, and some have proposed moving MSG to other sites in western Manhattan. On February 15, 2013, Manhattan Community Board 5 voted 36 to 0 against granting a renewal to MSG's operating permit in perpetuity and proposed a 10-year limit instead in order to build a new Penn Station where the arena is currently standing. Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer said, "Moving the arena is an important first step to improving Penn Station." The Madison Square Garden Company responded by saying that "[i]t is incongruous to think that M.S.G. would be considering moving."
In May 2013, four architecture firms – SHoP Architects, SOM, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro – submitted proposals for a new Penn Station. SHoP Architects recommended moving Madison Square Garden to the Morgan Postal Facility a few blocks southwest, as well as removing 2 Penn Plaza and redeveloping other towers, and an extension of the High Line to Penn Station. Meanwhile, SOM proposed moving Madison Square Garden to the area just south of the James Farley Post Office, and redeveloping the area above Penn Station as a mixed-use development with commercial, residential, and recreational space. H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture wanted to move the arena to a new pier west of Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, four blocks west of the current station/arena. Then, according to H3's plan, four skyscrapers at each of the four corners of the new Penn Station superblock, with a roof garden on top of the station; the Farley Post Office would become an education center. Finally, Diller Scofidio + Renfro proposed a mixed-use development on the site, with spas, theaters, a cascading park, a pool, and restaurants; Madison Square Garden would be moved two blocks west, next to the post office. DS+F also proposed high-tech features in the station, such as train arrival and departure boards on the floor, and applications that can help waiting passengers peruse their time until they board their trains. Madison Square Garden rejected the allegations that it would be relocated, and called the plans "pie-in-the-sky".
In June 2013, the New York City Council Committee on Land Use voted unanimously to give the Garden a ten year permit, at the end of which period the owners will either have to relocate, or go back through the permission process. On July 24, the City Council voted to give the Garden a ten year operating permit by a vote of 47 to 1. "This is the first step in finding a new home for Madison Square Garden and building a new Penn Station that is as great as New York and suitable for the 21st century," said City Council speaker Christine Quinn. "This is an opportunity to reimagine and redevelop Penn Station as a world-class transportation destination."
In October 2014, the Morgan facility was selected as the most ideal area for Madison Square Garden to be moved, following the 2014 MAS Summit in New York City. More plans for the station were discussed.
Madison Square Garden hosts approximately 320 events a year. It is the home to the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association, and the New York Liberty of the Women's National Basketball Association. The New York Rangers, New York Knicks, New York Liberty, and the Madison Square Garden arena itself are all owned by Madison Square Garden, L.P. The arena is also host to the Big East Men's Basketball Conference Tournament and the finals of the National Invitation Tournament. Other regular events at the arena include the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus when it comes to New York City (although the Izod Center and Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum also host the circus each year), selected home games for the St. John's men's Red Storm (college basketball), the annual pre- and postseason NIT tournaments, the NBA Draft, the Millrose Games track and field meet, and almost any other kind of indoor activity that draws large audiences, such as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the 2004 Republican National Convention.
Many large music concerts in New York City take place in Madison Square Garden. Particularly famous ones include George Harrison's The Concert for Bangladesh, The Concert for New York City following the September 11 attacks, John Lennon's final concert appearance (during an Elton John concert on Thanksgiving Night, 1974) before his murder in 1980, and Elvis Presley, who gave four sold out performances in 1972, his first and last ever in New York City. A 1971 rock-and-roll revival concert at the Garden, featuring Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Ricky Nelson, during which Nelson was reportedly booed when he played newer material, is thought to have been the inspiration for his 1972 hit single "Garden Party". The Garden usually hosts a concert each New Year's Eve, while the Knicks and Rangers play on the road. The Police played their final show of their reunion tour at the Garden in 2008.
Elton John holds the all-time record for greatest number of appearances at the Garden with 64 shows (the 60th occurring on his 60th birthday, March 25, 2007), and Billy Joel set a record in 2006 during his 12-performance run, the longest run of a single artist at the venue. In a 2009 interview, the two piano men spoke about their affinity for playing concerts at the Garden. "Madison Square Garden is my favorite venue in the whole world," said Elton John. "I chose to have my 60th birthday concert there, because of all the incredible memories I've had playing the venue." "Madison Square Garden is the center of the universe as far as I'm concerned. It has the best acoustics, the best audiences, the best reputation, and the best history of great artists who have played there," said Billy Joel. "It is the iconic, holy temple of Rock and Roll for most touring acts and, being a New Yorker, it holds a special significance to me. I'm honored to hold the record for Most Consecutive Nights Ever Sold at this world famous venue."
U2 performed at the stadium 17 times: the first one was on April 1, 1985 during their Unforgettable Fire Tour, in front of a crowd of 19,000 people. The second and the third were on September 28 and 29, 1987 during their Joshua Tree Tour, in front of a total crowd of 39,510 people. The fourth was on March 20, 1992 during their Zoo TV Tour, in front of a crowd of 18,179 people. The fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth was on June 17 and 19 and October 24, 25 and 27, 2001 during their Elevation Tour, in front of a total crowd of 91,787 people. The tenth, the eleventh, the twelfth, the thirteenth, the fourteenth, the fifteenth, the sixteenth and the seventeenth were on May 21, October 7, 8, 10, 11 and 14 and November 21 and 22, 2005 during their Vertigo Tour, in front of a total sold out crowd of 149,004 people. The performance of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" from the second 1987 show was recorded for the group's studio-live album Rattle and Hum.
Depeche Mode performed at the stadium 11 times: the first one was on December 18, 1987 during their Music for the Masses Tour. The second and the third were on September 23 and 24, 1993 during their Devotional Tour. The fourth and the fifth were on October 28 and 29, 1998 during their Singles Tour. The sixth and the seventh were on June 27 and 28, 2001 during their Exciter Tour. The eighth and the ninth were on December 7 and 8, 2005 during their Touring the Angel. The tenth and the eleventh were on August 3 and 4, 2009 during their Tour of the Universe, in front of a total sold out crowd of 26,860 people.
Jacky Cheung, Hong Kong singer and the best selling Asian artist in the mid-1990s, was the first Asian artist to perform at the Paramount, Madison Square Garden. His two-show performance in October 1995 is part of his 100-show world tour that year.
The Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special was a 2001 New York City revue show by the American superstar. It took place on September 7 and 10, 2001. CBS television network later aired excerpts from the concerts as a two-hour special in honor of Michael Jackson's thirtieth year as a solo entertainer. The shows sold out in five hours. Ticket prices were pop's most expensive ever; the best seats cost $5,000 and included a dinner with Michael Jackson and a signed poster. Jackson reportedly earned $7.5 million for each of the two concerts, which is over $150,000 per minute.
Janet Jackson filmed a show from The Velvet Rope World Tour at the Madison Square Garden for a concert special aired on HBO. The special is among the network's highest rated concerts, drawing over fifteen million viewers and surpassing the ratings of all four major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox) among viewers subscribed to the channel.
On February 4, 2006, Rain became the first Korean to perform at Madison Square Garden. The tickets were sold out within a matter of days. He held his sold-out concert, Rainy Day New York from February 4 to 5. Rainy Day New York was marketed and promoted by the Asian concert production company Rainstone Live. Celebrities such as P-Diddy and JoJo also attend his concert.
On December 16, 2011, Swedish House Mafia performed at MSG. No other electronic dance act had ever performed at the Garden. For Swedish House Mafia's longtime fans, however, the venue seemed a natural fit: the group had finally arrived at a place big enough to match its ambitions. The 20,000-seat arena sold out in just nine minutes.
It has previously hosted the 1976 Democratic National Convention, 1980 Democratic National Convention and the 1992 Democratic National Convention, and hosted the NFL Draft for many years (now held at Garden-leased Radio City Music Hall). In 2007, over 13,000 fans enjoyed the National Lacrosse League's New York Titans inaugural home opener at Madison Square Garden. In 2008, the Titans played five home games at the Garden. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice relocated to Barclays Center when it opened in 2012, leaving the Garden with at least nine open dates.
MSG is also known for its place in the history of boxing. Many of boxing's biggest fights were held at Madison Square Garden, including the Roberto Durán-Ken Buchanan affair, and the first Muhammad Ali – Joe Frazier bout. Before promoters such as Don King and Bob Arum moved boxing to Las Vegas, Nevada Madison Square Garden was considered the mecca of boxing. The original 18½' × 18½' (5.6 m × 5.6 m) ring, which was brought from the second and third generation of the Garden, was officially retired on September 19, 2007, and donated to the International Boxing Hall of Fame after 82 years of service. A 20' × 20' (6 m × 6 m) ring replaced it beginning on October 6 of that same year.
The arena is also used for other special events, including tennis and circus events. The New York Police Academy, Baruch College/CUNY and Yeshiva University also hold their annual graduation ceremonies at Madison Square Garden. It hosted the Grammy Awards in 1972, 1997 and 2003 (which are normally held in Los Angeles) as well as the Latin Grammy Awards of 2006. The Garden also hosted the 2005 Country Music Association Awards (normally held in Nashville, Tennessee). The Big East Conference men's basketball tournament has been held at MSG every year since 1983, making it the longest period a conference tournament has been held at a single location. The Professional Bull Riders has made annual stops since 2007 when its inaugural Built Ford Tough Series event was won by J. B. Mauney.
Notable firsts and significant events
In 1980, the Garden hosted the first World Judo Championships for women; Jane Bridge (UK) in 48 kg won the gold medal. In 1985, the Garden hosted the inaugural Wrestlemania presented by the World Wrestling Federation, while in 1988 the Garden hosted the WWF's inaugural SummerSlam PPV. In 1990, Andrew Dice Clay became the only comedian in history to sell out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row. In 2009, MSG hosted the second longest NCAA men's basketball game when the Syracuse Orange and Connecticut Huskies went into six overtimes in the Big East Men's Basketball Tournament.
The Garden hosted the Stanley Cup Finals and NBA Finals simultaneously on two occasions: in 1972 and 1994.
MSG hosted the following All-Star Games:
MSG hosted the following championship rounds:
- NBA Finals:
- Stanley Cup Finals:
MSG hosted the following WWE Pay Per Views:
- Survivor Series 1996: November 17, 1996
- Survivor Series 2002: November 17, 2002
- Survivor Series 2011: November 20, 2011
BNP Paribas Showdown tennis exhibition matches:
- Rafael Nadal v. Juan Martin del Potro: 2013
- Serena Williams v. Victoria Azarenka: 2013
- Andy Roddick v. Roger Federer: 2012
- Maria Sharapova v. Caroline Wozniacki: 2012
- Andre Agassi v. Pete Sampras: 2011
- John McEnroe v. Ivan Lendl: 2011
In 2014, the Garden hosted the NCAA East Regional semifinals and final—the first NCAA Tournament games to be played in New York City itself in 63 years.
On September 28, 2014, Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India who led the Bharatiya Janata Party to the first parliamentary majority in the country in three decades in national elections in May, addressed what was the biggest gathering of Indian Americans in the U.S. to ever have been held. Almost 20,000 people from groups with links to the Indian-American community, as well as members of Congress and Senators, attended his speech.
Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University became the first head coach in NCAA Division I men's basketball history to win 1,000 games after the Blue Devils defeated St. John's, 77-68, at the Garden on January 25, 2015.
Other notable concerts and appearance in films
In addition to the concerts and other events described above, the Garden has hosted numerous other notable concerts:
- Johnny Cash performed and recorded his live album Johnny Cash at Madison Square Garden in 1969.
- Elvis Presley made entertainment history in 1972 by becoming the first entertainer to sell out four consecutive shows at Madison Square Garden. Originally, there were three shows scheduled – one on June 9, and two on June 10. Due to overwhelming demand, a fourth show was added on June 11. A total of 80,000 people attended the four shows.
- On December 23, 1972, Grand Funk Railroad they played their 4th concert at MSG which was filmed for ABC's In-Concert Series to benefit Phoenix House Drug Rehabilitation Center. The sold out concert was almost cancelled when the band's former manager, Terry Knight, filed an injunction to have their equipment seized. A last minute agreement allowed the show to go on.
- Led Zeppelin: On their 1973 tour, played MSG three nights in a row, July 27, 28 & 29 filming the concerts for their upcoming film The Song Remains The Same. For their 1977 tour, they played six sold-out dates in June; it was meant to be only four nights, but the demand was so great that they added another two nights. By the time all ticket applications had been received, they could have played an additional 2 shows, if their schedule permitted.
- Lynn Anderson became the first female country music singer to headline and sellout Madison Square Garden in March 1974.
- On June 18, during Judas Priest's performance for their 1984 tour, the audience ripped apart the foam seats and threw them onstage, causing over a quarter of a million dollars in damage to the venue. The group were banned from performing there again; whether this ban is still in effect is unknown.
- In 1988, Madison Square Garden chose the March 3 concert by Michael Jackson as the greatest concert ever held at the venue. Added to this, in 1988 he performed another two sold-out shows on March 5 and 6. He also performed at MSG twice on September 7, 2001, and September 10, 2001, for his 30th Anniversary Special.
- It was also featured in popular culture. In the 1998 Godzilla film, toward the end, MSG is destroyed because the creature has laid eggs within the structure and to prevent the hatched babies from escaping the complex, a fleet of military jets fire missiles into the building complex.
- In 2000, New Jersey natives Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band closed out their highly successful Reunion Tour with a ten night stand at the Garden. The ten shows were held between June 12 and July 1, and the final two (performed on June 29 and July 1) were filmed by HBO. HBO premiered Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live in New York City on April 7, 2001 and the shows were subsequently released for consumer purchase in DVD and CD format.
- In 2011, the Garden hosted The Monster Ball Tour by Lady Gaga. The concert was taped and released as a DVD titled, Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden. The special won at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards.
- On October 23, 2011, artists from South Korea's top K-pop talent agency/record label S.M. Entertainment including BoA, Kangta, TVXQ, Super Junior, Girls' Generation, SHINee, and f(x) performed a sold out show as part of their SMTown Live '11 World Tour and thus became the first Koreans to perform at the venue.
- On December 12, 2012, Madison Square Garden hosted a concert to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy that devastated many parts of the New York metropolitan area. Notable performers were Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Roger Waters, Eddie Vedder, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Dave Grohl and Paul McCartney. The concert lasted over 5½ hours and was broadcast live on many cable stations. The event was a great success and raised over $50 million to help hurricane Sandy victims.
- The Garden is the only venue at which each of the four former members of The Beatles played solo concerts after the breakup of the band – although not at the same time.
- From 1979 to 1994, Grateful Dead played the Garden 52 times including two nine-night runs in 1988 and 1991.
- Phish has played the Garden 31 times including 8 times on New Year's Eve.
Seating in Madison Square Garden was initially arranged in six ascending levels, in five colors. The first level, which was available only for basketball games and concerts, but not for hockey games and ice shows, as the "floor" or "court-side" seating. Next above this was the loge (red) seating, followed by the 100-level (orange) and 200-level (yellow) promenades, the 300-level (green) promenade, and the 400-level (blue) or mezzanine. The rainbow colored seats were replaced with maroon and teal seats during the 1990s renovation which installed the 10th floor sky-boxes around the entire arena and the 9th floor sky-boxes on the 7th avenue end of the arena, taking out 400-level seating on the 7th Avenue end in the process.
Because all of the seats, except the 400 level, were in one monolithic grandstand, horizontal distance from the arena floor was significant from the ends of the arena. Also, the rows rose much more gradually than other North American arenas, which caused impaired sight lines, especially when sitting behind tall spectators or one of the concourses. This arrangement, however, created an advantage over newer arenas in that seats had a significantly lower vertical distance from the arena floor.
As part of the 2011–2013 renovation, the club sections, 100-level and 200-level have been combined to make a new 100-level lower bowl. The 300-level and 400-level were combined and raised 17 feet closer, forming a new 200-level upper bowl. All skyboxes but those on the 7th Avenue end were removed and replaced with balcony seating (8th Avenue) and Chase Bridge Seating (31st Street and 33rd Street). The sky-boxes on the 9th floor were remodeled and are now called the Signature Suites. The sky-boxes on the 7th Avenue end of the 10th Floor are now known as the Lounges. One small section of the 400-level remains near the west end of the arena, and features blue seats. The media booths have been relocated to the 31st Street Chase Bridge.
The capacity for basketball has been as follows:
- 19,500 (1968–1971)
- 19,588 (1971–1972)
- 19,693 (1972–1978)
- 19,591 (1978–1989)
- 18,212 (1989–1990)
- 19,081 (1990–1991)
- 19,763 (1991–2012)
- 19,033 (2012–2013)
- 19,812 (2013–present)
The capacity for hockey has been as follows:
- 17,250 (1968–1972)
- 17,500 (1972–1990)
- 16,792 (1990–1991)
- 18,200 (1991–2012)
- 17,200 (2012–2013)
- 18,006 (2013–present)
The Theater at Madison Square Garden
The Theater at Madison Square Garden seats between 2,000 and 5,600 for concerts and can also be used for meetings, stage shows, and graduation ceremonies. It was the home of the NFL Draft until 2005, when it moved to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center after MSG management opposed a new stadium for the New York Jets. It also hosted the NBA Draft from 2001 to 2010. The theater also occasionally hosts boxing matches on nights when the main arena is unavailable. The fall 1999 Jeopardy! Teen Tournament as well as a Celebrity Jeopardy! competition were held at the theater. In 2004, it was the venue of the Survivor: All-Stars finale. No seat is more than 177 feet (54 m) from the 30' × 64' stage. The theatre has a relatively low 20-foot (6.1 m) ceiling at stage level and all of its seating except for boxes on the two side walls is on one level slanted back from the stage. There is an 8,000-square-foot (740 m2) lobby at the theater.
Accessibility and transportation
Madison Square Garden sits directly atop a major transportation hub in Pennsylvania Station, featuring access to commuter rail service from the Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit, as well as Amtrak. The Garden is also accessible via the New York City Subway. The A C E trains stop at Eighth Avenue and the 1 2 3 trains at Seventh Avenue in Penn Station. The Garden can also be reached from nearby Herald Square with the B D F M N Q R trains at the 34th Street – Herald Square station as well as PATH train service from the 33rd Street station.
- Madison Square, and the predecessor "Roman Hippodrome"
- 1879 Garden, Madison Avenue and East 26th Street
- 1890 Garden, same site
- 1925 Garden, Eighth Avenue and 50th Street
- Madison Square Garden Bowl, boxing venue in Queens
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- MSG – THE TRANSFORMATION
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