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Madison Square Garden

"The World's Most Famous Arena"

History Seating MSG Transformations Fun Facts

Madison Square Garden is home to a variety of sporting events and concerts year round. It located in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. It can be found between 8th and 7th Avenues, and between 31st and 33rd Streets, it is situated on top of Pennsylvania Station. MSG is served by 14 subway lines and can be reached by all other lines (including the three shuttle lines) generally with a single transfer. MSG is easily accessible from the Long Island Rail Road as it sits atop Penn Station. For Metro-North riders, it's just two subway stops away from Grand Central. Parking is tough and is recommended you arrive earlier. The best way to get to MSG is to take public transportation. It will save you time and money.


Madison Square Garden was originally built in 1871, known as Madison Square Garden I. It was the former passenger depot of the New York and Harlem Railroad on Madison Street. Circus mogul P.T. Barnum bought and converted the terminal when the railroad depot was moved to Grand Central Terminal in 1871. Barnum transformed the place into a hippodrome called "Barnum's Monster Classical and Geological Hippodrome." It was later renamed "Gilmore's Garden" after America's famous bandleader of the time, Patrick S. Gilmore. At this point in time, the Garden was an uncovered place. Millionaire William Henry Vanderbilt named Gilmore's Garden "Madison Square Garden" and threw open the doors once again, in 1879. The next phase of the Garden was built by Stanford White and was called Madison Square Garden II. At the time it was built, it enjoyed having the title as the second tallest building in New York City. The main hall was the largest in the world, and contained permanent seating for 8,000 people with room for many thousands more. The final version of the Garden was built on February 11, 1968. The current Madison Square Garden opened after the Pennsylvania Railroad tore down the above-ground portions of 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 design constructed by Robert E. McKee of El Paso, Texas. 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.

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Madison Square Garden is host to various types of events. The seating is very interchangable and can change depending on the sport and/or concert on a given night. Seating in the Madison Square Garden is arranged in six ascending levels. The first level is only available for basketball games and concerts and not for hockey games and ice shows. This level is referred to as "floor" or "court-side" seating. The next above this is called loge seating, followed by the 100-level and 200-level promenades, the 300-level promenades, and the 400-level or mezzanine. The amount of seating various depending on the event. For hockey, the Garden seats 18,200, for basketball 19,763 and for concerts 20,000. The arena features 20,976 square feet of arena floor space.

Shootaround at MSG (wav, 39 kb)

MSG Transformations

As part of the 2011-2013 renovation, the club sections, 100-level and 200-level have been combined to make a new 100-level. The 300-level and 400-level are being combined and raised 17 feet closer, forming a new 200-level. One small section of the 400-level will remain near the west end of the arena, and will feature blue seats. Madison Square Garden's transformations started in the summer of 2011. MSG's $850 million second renovation is taking place mainly over three offseasons. Renovation is being done in phases with the majority of the work done in the summer months to minimize disruptions to the NHL and NBA seasons. However this has affected the New York Liberty and will play 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. There also will be larger concourses, new lighting and LED video systems with HDTV, and new seating. Phase II of the transformation will finish next year and there will be two new pedestrian walkways suspended from the ceiling to allow fans to look directly down onto the games being played below and more dining options. The Knicks and the Rangers each finally got their own locker rooms with are much improved. They are bigger and so are the players' lockers. The lockers are arranged in a big circle so players can interact more before games. An extended off-season for the Garden permitted some advanced work to begin on the new upper bowl, which is scheduled to be completed in the 2012-2013 seasons. This advance work included the West Balcony on the 10th floor, taking the place of sky-boxes, and new end-ice 300 level seating.

Fun Facts

Madison Square Garden has a ton of history inside it. There are also so many funny facts about it. Did you know that MSG is nowhere near Madison Square, Madison Avenue, or anything related to anything named Madison. Another is when things get exciting and people say the building rocked, they MEAN it. Really. The arena floor is actually the FIFTH floor of the building - and it is supported by really, really big springs. MSG is currently the oldest NHL Arena, and the second oldest NBA arena (behind the Oracle Arena in Oakland). Legend Michael Jordan played his first professional game at Madison Square Garden, scoring 33 points against the Knicks, and the crowd gave him a standing ovation.