History of Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden in New York is considered one of the most well-known sports venues in the world and is also known as The Garden or simple MSG. It a multi-sport complex in the city which holds important matches from boxing to basketball to hockey. The MSG has been built 4 times : it was first constructed as a circus arena in 1880 before being demolished and reconstructed in 1890 due to the industrialization in the area. It was then moved a bit further north in 1928 and then again in 1963 to the place where it now stands on the tracks of Penn Station.
What is there at Madison Square Garden?
Nowadays Madison Square Garden is home to a conference center, a cinema, a theater and a sports ground, an 880m2 terrace and 2 restaurants. It is not only the oldest sports hall in the city but is also the most used and the most important in New York. Each year around 320 events take place here including dog shows! In terms of ticket sales it is the 3rd highest grossing stage in the city and one the 10 most expensive sites ever constructed with a total building cost of $1.1billion.
Sport at Madison Square Garden
The MSG holds all of the New York Knicks basketball team´s home games as well as those of the New York Rangers hockey team and the women’s basketball team- New York Liberty. The basketball court has 19,763 seats for its spectators, the ice hockey rink has an 18,200 seater capacity and concerts can be held for up to 20,000 spectators.
The theater can hold an audience between 2,000 and 5,000 and can be used for assemblies and graduation presentations. If the main ground is not being used there are occasional boxing matches which take place. Moreover the ground can be rented privately to individuals or to companies like when it was rented out for the Republican Party Convention in 2004.
The Garden has also seen many historical boxing matches take place on the premises including “the fight of the century” between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. It is also the venue for many WWE events (the World Wrestling Entertainment) including the first Wrestlemania which took place in 1985. This show launched the career of Hulk Hogan who took part in the first fight with Mr T.
Celebrities, films and concerts at Madison Square Garden
The MSG also held John F. Kennedy´s birthday gala in 1962 during which Marylin Monroe so famously sung “Happy Birthday Mr President”. The Garden has also served as the set during the production of many films and television series. Godzilla destroyed the stadium to find her eggs and it was the set for the revenge fight between Clubber Lang and Rocky Balboa in Rocky III.
Many famous concerts have also taken place here including the Concert for Bangladesh by George Harrison and the Concert for New York City after September the 11th. It was also here that John Lenon took to the stage for the last time before being assassinated. Elton John frequently sung here and Michael Jackson celebrated his 30 years as an singer in the stage with record ticket pricing, the most expensive of which included diner with the star and dedicated poster- costing a whopping 5000€! Madonna, Elvis Presley and Billy Joel have also played here.
LocalNomad‘s recommendation: You can visit the backstage areas of New York’s Madison Square Garden with the All Access Tour. This pass allows you to visit the changing room and discover just how the basketball court can be covered in in ice in record timing!