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Madison Square Garden

New York, NY

Home of the New York Rangers

4.4

3.0

Madison Square Garden (map it)
4 Pennsylvania Plaza
New York, NY 10001


New York Rangers website

Madison Square Garden website

Year Opened: 1968

Capacity: 18,006

There are no tickets available at this time.

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The World's Most Famous Arena

The original Madison Square Garden opened in New York City in 1879 but was demolished 11 years later. The second incarnation of Madison Square Garden opened in 1890. The third version was built in 1925. The current Madison Square Garden opened in 1968. Since the opening in 1968 it has seen a few renovations, the most recent coming from 2011-2013. At a cost of 1 billion dollars, the renovations included larger entrances, concourses, and new seats. Madison Square Garden is the home of the New York Rangers and the New York Knicks as well as certain St. John’s men’s basketball games.

Most recently, MSG underwent renovations that took place over 3 summers, from 2011 to 2013. The renovations included larger entrances with interactive kiosks, larger concourses, and new lighting and LED video systems with HDTV. The renovations also included additional walkways, as well as new dining options. The loge 100 and 200 level were combined to create the lower bowl. The 300 and 400 levels were combined to create the upper bowl. The Chase Bridges were completed for the 2013-2014 season. There have been talks to move Madison Square Garden to make room for an expansion of Penn Station. There is no timetable for the arena to be moved at the moment. Overall, the price tag for these renovations was 1 billion dollars. The team has seen a great run of success in recent years. The ownership puts out a perennial contender and provides a great backdrop to watch hockey.

4.4

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    5

Madison Square Garden has everything that you want in an arena. The food is top notch and there is certainly a large amount available. Whether you prefer traditional stadium food, or something more unique, Madison Square Garden has it covered. Popcorn, peanuts, hot dogs, pretzels, candy, and burgers are all available. There are many options as far as alcohol goes. There are multiple bars around the concourse that sell mixed drinks as well as wine and a wide selection of beer. From Bud Light to Stella Artois to Heineken, Madison Square Garden has it. Madison Square Garden sells Coca-Cola products. Since it is New York, prices are steep, but you get great quality and value for your money.

There are many different unique offerings at Madison Square Garden. There is a Mexican stand that serves authentic and delicious tacos. There is sushi, Italian, and even lobster rolls. There is also the Carnegie Deli where you can get authentic New York pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. One of my favorites is Sausage Boss by Andrew Carmellini. At this stand you can get great sausage and pepper sandwiches.

There are also healthier options at Madison Square Garden. These include salads, wraps, and other vegetarian options. Gluten free options are also available.

Atmosphere    4

The atmosphere in Madison Square Garden is one that every NHL team strives to have. The Rangers don't even need to put in much fanfare and extras because the team has such a rich history and tradition. Walking around the concourse, you can see the many historic events that have taken place at Madison Square Garden. There are big moments from the Knicks and Rangers as well as many concerts and events.

Many great players have come through MSG including Wayne Gretzky, Willis Reed, Patrick Ewing, and Brian Leetch. The Rangers have a great pregame video that gets projected onto the ice, and they have a solid team that throws t-shirts and interacts with the fans. Madison Square Garden is a great place to enjoy a slice of Original Six hockey.

Neighborhood    5

Madison Square Garden is located in downtown Manhattan. There is a plethora of things to do around MSG. There are cultural stops, great food, and tremendous shopping. There is also always security around so it is a very safe area. There are many great places to eat in New York City and a fair amount of them are within a short walk from MSG. Right below Madison Square Garden is New York Penn Station. There are many good places to eat there if you are looking for something cheaper.

Fans    5

The New York Rangers are an Original Six team. They have a long and storied history as a franchise. It is because of this that they have such a tremendous fan base. There are literally generations of Rangers fans that you will see when you attend a Rangers game. The fans have great knowledge of the game of hockey and it shows. The passion and intelligence of the fans really comes out during the game.

The fans have great passion, but they also have great respect. Opposing fans are treated very well at MSG. There may be friendly ribbing, but it is all in good fun. The fans chant "Potvin Sucks" when there is a lull in the action. This is an homage to a former New York Islanders defenseman, who last played in 1988.

Access    4

Madison Square Garden is located in the heart of Manhattan. Getting around in a car is not exactly a speedy affair. Your best bet is to take public transportation. If you are coming from New Jersey you can take NJ transit and get right to Penn Station. Penn Station is located right under Madison Square Garden. Long Island Railroad, the subway, and Amtrak all use this as a hub. It makes it very easy to take the Amtrak train to Manhattan. You can simply get off at Penn Station and go up to the Garden.

There is clear signage to help you find your way to the Garden. The lines can get very long despite the efforts of security so get there early. Once the game ends, the lines to get out can be very long. The concourse is great and easy to walk around. It is wide and offers plenty of room. The bathrooms are very nice and lines don't get too long. No matter where you sit in Madison Square Garden you will have a good view of the action.

Check out Parking Panda for some of the best parking options for the game. Use the promo code STADIUMJOURNEY10 for 10% off your first transaction.

If you are taking a car there is parking available near Madison Square Garden.

Return on Investment    4

Since this is New York, you will be paying a pretty steep price for tickets. If there is an opponent like the Flyers, Islanders, or Bruins, be prepared to pay top dollar. There is always the secondary market, but the Rangers will always be a hot ticket.

Despite the high costs associated with a Rangers game, the return for that money is immense. The Rangers always seem to put out a high quality product. Also, the food and drinks are top notch and the Rangers always put on a great show. It is definitely a worthwhile investment.

Extras    4

One star goes to the great HD video board that the Rangers have. It is crystal clear and displays all the information a fan needs during the game.

A second star goes to the great video presentation that they project onto the ice. It really gets the fans going and it shows the history of Rangers hockey.

Another star goes to the free WIFI the Rangers offer. It is actually very fast and is a great perk to offer fans.

A final star goes to the spacious concourse and beautiful design of the Garden. This includes the pictures of famous moments and players.

Final Thoughts

The Rangers are one of the iconic franchises in the history of the NHL. Madison Square Garden provides a great backdrop for this historic team. If you are a hockey fan this should be on this list of places you need to visit. It is truly an iconic hockey arena. Make sure you find some time to visit "The World's Most Famous Arena."

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Crowd Reviews

The World's Most Famous Arena

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

Originally built in 1968, Madison Square Garden is steeped in history and tradition. The venue has
hosted shows, concerts, famous boxing matches, NBA Finals, and Stanley Cup Playoffs while serving as the home of the New York Rangers and New York Knicks.

Located on top of Penn Station, "The Garden" sits right in the heart of Manhattan. The stadium holds 18,200 people for hockey games - most of which are diehard Ranger fans.

The Rangers have been around since 1926 and were one of the "Original Six" NHL teams. However, being a Ranger fan has been quite a challenge. The team stresses "Ranger Pride," but the franchise has only won two Stanley Cups in the last 70 years.

The "Blueshirts" are approaching 2,500 victories as a franchise, and the theme of the "New York Legacy" is still alive.

In summer 2011, The Garden underwent a series of renovations that will take three offseasons and cost nearly $850 million. It's one of the older arenas in the league, so these renovations are much needed. The first step was brand new first-level seating which was completed before opening night.

The next stages of construction will further add to the appeal of the legendary Madison Square Garden.

Madison Square Garden, Home of the New York Rangers

Total Score: 4.14

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

Madison Square Garden is a legendary arena. It has been host to the New York Rangers, Knicks, Democratic National Convention, Republican National Convention, legendary concerts and boxing events and so much more. There have been several versions of the Garden around the island of Manhattan. The current edition was opened February 11th, 1968 and was built on top of Pennsylvania ("Penn") Station.

Transportation to the Garden is relatively easy depending on where you come from. MSG is located between 31st and 33rd streets and 7th and 8th avenues. If you choose to drive to the Garden from Long Island or Queens, the Queens Midtown tunnel will let you out on 34th street where there is plenty of parking nearby. The Lincoln Tunnel coming from New Jersey empties onto 34th street. Parking for a Rangers game usually costs about $40 for the night.

As you make your way through the concourse there is a steady bustle of enthusiastic, stereotypical New Yorkers. These Rangers fans, most of whom are diehards, make their way inside. If you have "Club" seats, there are entries from 31st and 33rd streets. This separate entry allows you an express route into the building and access to the Play by Play sports bar and restaurant, as well as The Club, a higher end restaurant. Here, you can dine before heading upstairs to your seats.

If you're fortunate enough to have skybox seats, there is a private elevator outside the Play by Play restaurant. An attendant waits to double check your ticket before heading upstairs. Once you head up the private elevator, there is a balcony area and attendant to escort you to your box. The boxes are stocked with a full bar (beers, vodkas, rums, cordials, etc.), as well as your own buffet-style finger food selection consisting of hot dogs, waffle fries, chicken fingers, cookies, and M&M's. Each suite has its own bathroom and two TV's. Views from the skybox are excellent. There is no worry of fans standing up in front of you, and no play along the boards missed. If you have the ability to experience a skybox, it's an excellent experience.

The Mecca

Total Score: 4.43

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

It doesn't get much better than basketball at Madison Square Garden, but hockey will do as well. The location is amazing, and the fans are insanely passionate about their team.

The World's Most Famous Arena

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

They call Madison Square Garden “The World’s Most Famous Arena” and that description is an apt one. Whereas New York’s other professional sporting venues are scattered throughout the five boroughs, Madison Square Garden is located right in the nexus of the universe, on top of one of the country’s busiest train stations and less than eight blocks from Times Square.

The Garden is a busy place with more events each year than any other arena in the country, yet the longest-standing tenant is the New York Rangers hockey club. The current Garden is actually the fourth such building to bear the name (and the second not to actually be located at Madison Square, the small park at the intersection of Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd St.) The Rangers have called the third Garden, and now the current Garden home since 1926.

Built in 1968, Madison Square Garden is now the oldest arena in the NHL, nipping nearby Nassau Coliseum by four years. Yet the Garden has the look and feel of a newer building. The Cablevision company, which owns the arena, the Rangers, and the Knicks, has invested a fortune into the building, with the last round of major renovations set to proceed over the summer of 2013. Over the past two off-seasons, the seats and concourses have been modernized and the amenities at the Garden are indistinguishable from a newer building.

went pre-upgrade

Total Score: 4.00

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

an ok place from what i remember ...game again was a blowout ...Rangers 6-1 Avalanche (if you read my other reviews i have alot of them)

brilliant atmosphere though and easy to get to...food and drink was good from what i remember ...was my first ever night in the states so the jetlag was setting in late in the 3rd.

Blue Shirts on Broadway

Total Score: 4.43

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 5

The New York Rangers began play in 1926 and immediately called Madison Square Garden home. However, they were not the first hockey club to play there, as the expansion New York Americans spent their inaugural season in 1925-26 at the Garden, the year it was opened. Located on 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, this modern venue was the third to bear the now iconic name, despite being two miles away from the actual Madison Square. The first Garden opened in 1879 right above Madison Square and a newer venue was constructed in the same location in 1890, where it stood for 35 years.

Finally, Garden President Tex Rickard, seeking larger audiences, built a new Garden and allowed the Americans to become the first hockey club to play there. He had promised them that no other hockey team would be allowed to use the facility, but after seeing the success the Amerks had, he petitioned the NHL for a new franchise and was granted one in April 1926. The team became known as Tex’s Rangers and they soon eclipsed the Americans as the city’s hockey team, becoming the Broadway Blueshirts in the process. The Americans eventually folded in 1942, perhaps cursing the Rangers in the process as they went 54 years between Stanley Cups.

Despite being home to two teams for much of its existence, MSG was actually poorly designed for hockey, with terrible sight lines and obstructed views throughout much of the balcony. The arena was also poorly ventilated and in those days smoking was allowed, so there was often a haze in the upper portions. By 1964, it was clear a new venue was needed, and so construction began above Penn Station, which had removed its surface structure to allow the fourth Garden to be built. It was a challenge to create an entirely new arena above an active railroad station, but it succeeded brilliantly and MSG became known as the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” hosting the Rangers and New York Knicks, as well as hundreds of other events every year. Of course, with all that use the Garden aged quickly, and there was a renovation in the early 1990s, but by 2010, it was in dire need of a more thorough overhaul.

Beginning in 2011, MSG began a 3-year, billion dollar makeover that is being referred to as a "Transformation." The Transformation was self-funded by MSG, a publicly traded company, and it has certainly changed every aspect of the venue. The Garden was shut down for three consecutive off-seasons (2011, 2012, 2013), with construction continuing behind-the-scenes during the NHL and NBA campaigns. The finishing touches were applied during the third and final phase of construction, which took place during the summer months in 2013 and the grand re-opening took place in October with a Knicks pre-season game.

The World's Most Famous Arena

Total Score: 4.43

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

The original Madison Square Garden opened in New York City in 1879 but was demolished 11 years later. The second incarnation of Madison Square Garden opened in 1890. The third version was built in 1925. The current Madison Square Garden opened in 1968. Since the opening in 1968 it has seen a few renovations, the most recent coming from 2011-2013. At a cost of 1 billion dollars, the renovations included larger entrances, concourses, and new seats. Madison Square Garden is the home of the New York Rangers and the New York Knicks as well as certain St. John’s men’s basketball games.

Most recently, MSG underwent renovations that took place over 3 summers, from 2011 to 2013. The renovations included larger entrances with interactive kiosks, larger concourses, and new lighting and LED video systems with HDTV. The renovations also included additional walkways, as well as new dining options. The loge 100 and 200 level were combined to create the lower bowl. The 300 and 400 levels were combined to create the upper bowl. The Chase Bridges were completed for the 2013-2014 season. There have been talks to move Madison Square Garden to make room for an expansion of Penn Station. There is no timetable for the arena to be moved at the moment. Overall, the price tag for these renovations was 1 billion dollars.

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