Madison Square Garden is one of New York City’s most distinctive venues. Located in Manhattan between 31st and 33rd streets, Madison Square Garden has reflected the city’s eclectic atmosphere since it opened in 1968. Madison Square Garden, also known as The Garden or abbreviated to MSG, was one of the first buildings built over an operating railroad station. The Garden was built in the place of the above ground portions of the historic Pennsylvania Station.
Madison Square Garden has been renovated through the years, and continues to evolve as a New York City icon. The Garden is currently transforming into a more modern venue with interactive kiosks and distinctive design elements. Especially intriguing are the Chase Bridges, which will be suspended above the action, giving visitors a unique view and an incomparable experience. The Garden has played a role in a variety of events. Well known for its place in boxing history, Madison Square Garden hosted the first Joe Frazier-Mohammed Ali bout in 1971, which has been dubbed, “The Fight of the Century.” The original boxing ring remained in service for 82 years before being replaced in 2007. Upon retirement, the ring was donated to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Madison Square Garden is home to several of New York City’s finest sports teams. The New York Rangers call The Garden home as they represent the city in the National Hockey League. The New York Knicks and the New York Liberty are also owned by Madison Square Garden’s parent company as they play in the National Basketball Association and the Women’s National Basketball Association, respectively.
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In addition to its prestigious place in history in regard to sports, The Garden has had a tremendous impact in the world of music. John Lennon made his final concert appearance at Madison Square Garden. Elton John holds the record for the most concert appearances at this venue, having performed there 62 times. In 2001, Michael Jackson recorded Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special at The Garden. Madison Square Garden has played a role in cultural and political events as well. The Democratic and Republican parties have both held their national conventions at The Garden. Pope John Paul II made a stop at Madison Square Garden in 1979. Following the September 11th attacks, the Concert for New York was held at The Garden to raise funds for the families of heroic rescue workers and began the long process of healing for the nation’s largest city.
Madison Square Garden can accommodate 18,200 seats for a hockey game, 19, 763 seats for a basketball game, and up to 20,000 seats for a concert. In addition to the arena, The Garden also offers a theater style venue aptly named The Theater at Madison Square Garden. The theater can seat up to 5,600 and has hosted such events as the Survivor: All Stars finale episode and the NFL and NBA drafts. The Garden also offers an Expo Center, a terrace, and several restaurants. The Ainsworth Prime is a gastropub offering high end beer and food to patrons during certain events, and is most accessible to club seat holders at Rangers and Knicks games. The Garden offers many other independently owned dining options, ranging from delicatessen to steakhouse.
As one of the most recognized venues in the United States, Madison Square Garden signifies more than entertainment. The Garden typifies the variety of New York City. From the ferocity of athletic competition to the beauty of the world’s finest music, and even through its constant transformation, Madison Square Garden encompasses the heart of the city that it has represented since 1968.