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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.

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 a sports fan could want and much more. It has all of the basic stadium food covered. Popcorn, peanuts, pretzels, hot dogs, nachos are all well represented. Madison Square Garden serves Coca-Cola products, including Gold Peak iced tea. For a soda it will cost $5.50 for a medium, $5.75 for a large, and $7.00 for a Rangers souvenir cup.

Beer is not cheap at the Garden. Bud Light goes for $10.50 and Amstel Light goes for $11.00. There are numerous food options however. You can find chicken tenders and fries for $10.75, as well as a kid's meal of chicken tender, fries, apples, and milk for $13.25.

There is also a sushi stand, and a New York favorite, the Carnegie Deli. The deli serves up great sandwiches of corned beef and pastrami. One of my personal favorites is the Sausage Boss by Andrew Carmellini. This stand serves some great sausage sandwiches. They serve a beef sausage with caramelized onions and gruyere cheese, as well as a traditional pork sausage with marinara and sautéed peppers.

For those looking for healthier options, there are salads and gluten free items at the Garden.

Atmosphere    4

The Rangers do not need to do much to make the atmosphere great at Madison Square Garden. The history and tradition of the Garden are felt as soon as you enter the arena. There are pictures of some of the great moments that have happened at this historic venue. From Willis Reed, to Wayne Gretzky, the moments and legends are well chronicled at MSG.

This is a beautiful venue, and provides a great place to kick back and watch a game. From the lower bowl to the balcony level, you will not be disappointed in Madison Square Garden. Madison Square Garden's location in downtown Manhattan attracts many celebrities.

Neighborhood    5

Madison Square Garden is in the heart of Manhattan. If you walk a few blocks north, you will be in Times Square where there are many things to do. There are countless things to do in Manhattan from the Empire State Building, to museums, to 5 star restaurants. There are great restaurants around the Garden, but if you want to save some money, check out some of the places underneath Madison Square Garden. Madison Square Garden is located on top of New York Penn Station. There you will find numerous options, from Mexican to pizza to a TGI Friday's.

Fans    5

The fans at Madison Square Garden know their hockey. This is an original 6 franchise and the fans certainly embody that. The passion and knowledge of Rangers fans is immense. These fans know their team and the great history that surrounds it.

The fans are passionate and knowledgeable, but also very respectful. There were many people wearing opposing jerseys, and they were not heckled or given a hard time.

During a lull in the action you may here Rangers fans whistle and then yell "Potvin Sucks!". This is in reference to the former New York Islanders defenseman.

Access    4

Madison Square Garden is located above New York Penn Station. The station houses many different forms of public transportation. From New Jersey Transit, to the Long Island Railroad, to Amtrak, to the subway, no matter where you are there is a way to get to MSG. Once inside New York Penn Station, just follow the signs to get to Madison Square Garden. The lines can get extremely long to get into the Garden however, despite the best efforts of security to keep the lines moving.

Once the game is over, there is a long line to get out especially if you are in the upper levels. With the escalators shut off, people must walk down them and face a lengthy wait depending on the crowd that day.

This being New York City, there are not many places to park a car. A few blocks away from the Garden there is a lot that charges $30 for any 6 hours. It is located at 9 W. 31st Street.

There is a good view from wherever you sit at the Garden. From the lower levels to the Chase Bridge level, you will not be disappointed.

Return on Investment    4

Rangers tickets are not cheap. For example, the cheapest ticket for an upcoming game is $143 dollars. Depending on the opponent, the prices can fluctuate, but it is one of the most expensive tickets in all of the NHL. If you plan on getting a ticket to see the Rangers take on the Flyers or the Islanders, be prepared to pay some high prices.

The price is certainly worth the experience you get at the Garden however. The high quality hockey, great food, and beautiful surroundings really make for a great experience.

Extras    4

One star goes to the tremendous scoreboard that the Garden has. It has all the usual information, and is crystal clear. There are also smaller scoreboards under the large board, for those people sitting close to the glass.

A second star is awarded for the free WIFI that the Rangers offer. It is very fast and is a great perk.

Third star goes to the iconic moments that are showcased around the arena. The Garden certainly does not forget its history.

A final star goes to the beautiful concourse and how spacious and easy the Garden is to navigate.

Final Thoughts

The New York Rangers are one of the most historic franchises in the NHL. Madison Square Garden provides a perfect backdrop to this historic franchise. With the recent upgrades and renovations, the Garden is a work of art. Any fan of hockey should put Madison Square Garden on their bucket list. You will see why they call it, "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.

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