Madison Square GardenEdit profile
Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG and known colloquially as The Garden and/or The World's Most Famous Arena, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the New York City borough of Manhattan and located at 8th Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.
Opened on February 11, 1968, it is the longest active major sporting facility in the New York metropolitan area, and is the fourth incarnation of the arena in the city. One Penn Plaza stands at its side. Several other operating entities related to the venue share its name.
Madison Square Garden is the third busiest music arena in the world in terms of ticket sales, behind M.E.N. Arena, Manchester and The O2 Arena, London, both in the United Kingdom.
As of the start of the 2010–11 NHL season and 2010-11 NBA season, Madison Square Garden is the oldest arena in the NHL, and the second oldest in the NBA, following Oracle Arena, in Oakland.History
On February 11, 1968, the current Madison Square Garden (sometimes referred to as Madison Square Garden IV) opened after the Pennsylvania Railroad tore down the above-ground portions of Pennsylvania Station and continued railway traffic underneath. 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 feat constructed by Robert E. McKee of El Paso, Texas. Public outcry over the demolished Pennsylvania Station structure—an outstanding example of Beaux-Arts architecture--led to the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The current Garden is the hub of Madison Square Garden Center in the office and entertainment complex formally addressed as Pennsylvania Plaza and commonly known as Penn Plaza for the railroad station atop which the complex is located.
In 1972, the Garden's Chairman, Irving Mitchell Felt, suggested moving the Rangers and the Knicks to a proposed venue in the New Jersey Meadows (now completed and known as Meadowlands Sports Complex or Izod Center). This location would eventually host its own NBA and NHL teams (the New Jersey Nets, and the New Jersey Devils respectively). The NFL's New York Giants and Jets also relocated there. Felt's efforts fueled controversy between the Garden and New York City over real estate taxes. The scenario again flared in 1980 when a reported threat by the Garden supposed a similar move of popular sports teams in an effort to again challenge property taxes. Efforts were ignored by city leaders.
MSG was the home arena for the NY Raiders/NY Golden Blades of the World Hockey Association.
In 1991, Garden owners spent $200 million to renovate facilities and add 89 suites. The process involved hundreds of upper-tier seats being removed to make way. The project was designed by Ellerbe Becket.
In 2004–2005, Cablevision battled with the City of New York over the proposed West Side Stadium, which would compete with the Garden. New stadium proposals halted; and Cablevision announced its own plans to raze the Garden, replace it with high-rise commercial buildings and build a new Garden one block away at the James Farley again renovate and modernize the current Garden in time for the Knicks and Rangers' 2011–12 seasons, though the vice president of the Garden says he remains committed to the original Moynihan project - the installation of an extension of Penn Station in the Farley Post Office. While the Knicks and Rangers will not be displaced, the Liberty will play at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey during the renovation.Present operations
The present Garden hosts approximately 320 events a year. It is the home of the New York Rangers of the NHL, the New York Knicks of the NBA, and the New York Liberty of the WNBA, which are, like the arena itself, owned by Madison Square Garden, L.P. The arena is also host to the Big East Men's Basketball Conference Tournament. Other regular events include the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus when it comes to New York City (although the Izod Center and Nassau Coliseum also host the circus each year), selected home games for the St. John's men's Red Storm (college basketball), the annual pre and postseason NIT tournaments, the NBA Draft, the Millrose Games track and field meet, and almost any other kind of indoor activity that draws large audiences, such as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the 2004 Republican National Convention. It has previously hosted the 1976, 1980 and 1992 Democratic National Conventions, and hosted the NFL Draft for many years (now held at Garden-leased Radio City Music Hall). In 2007, over 13,000 fans enjoyed the National Lacrosse League's New York Titans inaugural home opener at Madison Square Garden. In 2008, the Titans played five home games at the Garden.
MSG is also known for its place in the history of boxing. Many of boxing's biggest fights were held at Madison Square Garden, including the Roberto Durán-Ken Buchanan affair, and the first Joe Frazier – Muhammad Ali bout. Before promoters such as Don King and Bob Arum moved boxing to Las Vegas, Madison Square Garden was considered the mecca of boxing. The original 18½' × 18½' (5.6 m × 5.6 m) ring, which was brought from the second and third generation of the Garden, was officially retired on September 19, 2007 and donated to the International Boxing Hall of Fame after 82 years of service. A 20' × 20' (6 m × 6 m) ring replaced it beginning on October 6 of that same year.
Many large popular-music concerts in New York City take place in Madison Square Garden. Particularly famous ones include George Harrison's Concert For Bangladesh, The Concert for New York City following the September 11 attacks and John Lennon's final concert appearance (during an Elton John concert on Thanksgiving Night, 1974) before his murder in 1980. A 1971 rock and roll revival concert at the Garden, featuring Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Ricky Nelson, during Nelson was reportedly booed when he tried to play newer material, is thought to have been the inspiration for his 1972 hit single "Garden Party" The Garden usually hosts a concert each year on New Year's Eve, with the Knicks and Rangers usually playing on the road. The Police played their final show of their reunion tour at the Garden in 2008. To this day, Elton John currently holds the all-time record for greatest number of appearances at The Garden with 62 shows (the 60th occurring on his 60th birthday, March 25, 2007), and Billy Joel set his own record in 2006 during his 12 performance run, achieving the title “Longest Run of a Single Artist.” In an interview (MSG Press Release, published by Business Wire, Dec. 21, 2009), the two piano men spoke about their affinity for playing concerts at the Garden. “Madison Square Garden is my favorite venue in the whole world,” said Elton John. “I chose to have my 60th birthday concert there, because of all the incredible memories I’ve had playing the venue.”
“Madison Square Garden is the center of the universe as far as I'm concerned. It has the best acoustics, the best audiences, the best reputation, and the best history of great artists who have played there," said Billy Joel. “It is the iconic, holy temple of Rock and Roll for most touring acts and being a New Yorker, it holds a special significance to me. I'm honored to hold the record for Most Consecutive Nights Ever Sold at this world famous venue."
In 2010, Madison Square Garden chose Michael Jackson's 1988 concert during the Bad World Tour as the greatest concert ever held at its venue.
The arena is also used for other special events, including tennis and circus events. The New York Police Academy, Baruch College/CUNY and Yeshiva University also hold their annual graduation ceremonies at Madison Square Garden. It hosted the Grammy Awards in 1972, 1997 and 2003 (which are normally held in Los Angeles) as well as the Latin Grammy Awards in 2006. The Garden also hosted the 2005 Country Music Association Awards (normally held in Nashville).
The Big East Conference men's basketball tournament has been held at MSG every year since 1983 making it the longest period a conference tournament has been held at a single location. The PBR has even made annual stops each year since 2007, when its inaugural Built Ford Tough Series event was won by J. B. Mauney.Seating
Seating in the present Madison Square Garden is arranged in six ascending levels. The first level, which is only available for basketball games and concerts, but not for hockey games and ice shows, is the "floor" or "court-side" seating. Next above this is the loge seating, followed by the 100-level and 200-level promenades, the 300-level promenade, and the 400-level or mezzanine. The seats of these levels originally bore the colors red, orange, yellow, green, and blue, respectively. For hockey, the Garden seats 18,200; for basketball, 19,763; and for concerts 20,000 center stage, 19,522 end-stage. The arena features 20,976 square feet (1949 m²) of arena floor space.
Because all of the seats, except the 400 level, are in one monolithic grandstand, horizontal distance from the arena floor is significant from the ends of the arena. Also, the rows rise much more gradually than other North American arenas, which can cause impaired sight lines, especially when sitting behind tall spectators or one of the concourses.
This arrangement, however, also creates a significant advantage over newer arenas in that seats have a significantly lower vertical distance from the arena floor.Other venues
Today's Madison Square Garden is more than just the arena. Other venues at the Garden include:
The Theater at Madison Square Garden seats between 2,000 and 5,600 for concerts and can also be used for meetings, stage shows, and graduation ceremonies, was also the traditional home of the NFL Draft until 2005, when it moved to the Jacob Javits Convention Center after MSG management opposed a new stadium for the New York Jets. It also occasionally hosts major boxing matches on nights when the main arena is unavailable. No seat is more than 177 feet (54 m) from the 30' × 64' stage. The theatre has a relatively low 20-foot (6.1 m) ceiling at stage level and all of its seating except for boxes on the two side walls is on one level slanted back from the stage. There is an 8,000-square-foot (740 m2) lobby at the theater.
When the current Garden opened in 1968, the Theater was known as the Felt Forum, in honor of then president Irving Felt. In the early 1990s, at the bequest of Garden owner Paramount Communications (formerly Gulf+Western), the theater was renamed the Paramount after the Paramount Theatre in Times Square had been converted to an office tower (the name was a reference to film studio and sister company at the time Paramount Pictures). The theater received its next name of The Theater at Madison Square Garden in the mid-90s, after Viacom bought Paramount, and sold the MSG properties to a group consisting of ITT and Cablevision, which each owned 50% of the Garden. In 1997, ITT sold their share to Cablevision, giving the cable company full control of the venue.
The fall 1999 Jeopardy! Teen Tournament as well as a Celebrity Jeopardy! competition were held at the theater. In 2004, it was the venue of the Survivor: All Stars finale. On May 17, 2007, the theater was renamed the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden, due to a naming rights deal with Washington Mutual. Since Washington Mutual is no longer a bank after being seized by the Office of Thrift Supervision and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and sold to JP Morgan Chase, the WaMu name was dropped in 2009, reverting to The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Since 2001, the Theater has been the site of the NBA Draft.
- The 36,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) Expo Center (formerly known as "The Rotunda") is used for trade shows, car shows, stamp shows, often in combination with the arena, banquets, and receptions.
- A 9,500-square-foot (880 m2) terrace and two restaurants: the Garden Club and the Play-by-Play.
Madison Square Garden's $850 million second renovation will take place mainly over three offseasons. The more significant portion of it was set to begin after the 2009-10 hockey/basketball seasons, but was delayed until after the 2010-11 seasons. New features include a larger entrance that will include interactive kiosks, retail, climate controlled space, and broadcast studio; larger concourses; new lighting and LED video systems with HDTV; new seating; two new pedestrian walkways suspended from the ceiling to allow fans to look directly down onto the games being played below; more dining options; and improved dressing rooms, locker rooms, green rooms, upgraded roof, and production offices, among other upgrades.
The in-arena walkways will be eliminated, and portals will be installed between each section. The lower bowl concourse (to be known as the Madison Concourse) will remain on the 6th floor. The upper bowl concourse will be relocated to the 8th floor, and will be known as the Garden Concourse. The seventh floor will house the new Madison Suites. The upper bowl will be built on top of these suites. Existing 300 and 400 level seating will be combined to create the new upper bowl.
The new lower bowl is currently expected to be ready for the 2011–2012 seasons, the new upper bowl for the 2012–2013 seasons. Plans are underway to relocate systems in the periphery of the arena to permit city views. Renovation will be done in phases with the majority done in the summer months to minimize disruptions and will remain operational throughout the NHL and NBA seasons. While the Knicks and Rangers will not be displaced, the summer-competing Liberty will play at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey during the renovation.Notable firsts and significant events
The Garden hosted the Stanley Cup Finals and NBA Finals simultaneously on two occasions: in 1972 and 1994.
MSG hosted the following All-Star Games:
- 1973 NHL All-Star Game
- 1994 NHL All-Star Game
- 1998 NBA All-Star Game
- WNBA All-Star Games in 1999, 2003, and 2006
MSG hosted the following championship rounds:
- NBA Finals:
- 1970: The Knicks won their championship at Madison Square Garden.
- 1999: The San Antonio Spurs won their championship at Madison Square Garden.
- Stanley Cup Finals:
- 1972: The Boston Bruins won their championship at Madison Square Garden.
- 1994: The Rangers won their championship at Madison Square Garden.
- The Rolling Stones performed at The Garden a total of 24 times between the years 1969 and 2006. Most of the live performance segments of the 1970 film, "Gimme Shelter" were filmed there, and a concert on the "Licks Tour" in 2003 was broadcast live on HBO and later released on DVD. Their concert on July 26, 1972 was the final show of their legendary 1972 North American Tour to promote the classic album, "Exile On Main Street."
- Elton John has performed a record breaking 62 sold-out performances at the garden as of 2011. He performed his 60th performance for his 60th birthday on March 25, 2007.
- Lynn Anderson was the first female country artist to headline and sell-out The Garden in 1974.
- The Spice Girls performed twice at The Garden. First time, July 1, 1998 during their Spiceworld Tour, selling out the venue in 12 minutes, the first band to do that. Then, they performed again on February 18, 2008, during their Return of the Spice Girls Tour.
- Michael Jackson performed here twice on September 7, 2001 and September 10, 2001 for his 30th Anniversary Special. The shows sold out in just five hours.
- Pearl Jam have performed two-night stands at the Garden in September 1998, July 2003, June 2008 and May 2010.
- Bon Jovi: Have played the venue seven times since 2005.
- Metallica: Performed one of their three S&M shows at Madison Square Garden with the orchestra of St. Lukes on November 23, 1999.
- Billy Joel played a record of twelve sold-out concerts at The Garden which were recorded on his 12 Gardens Live album.
- Avril Lavigne played at the Garden on December 14, 2007 during her Best Damn Thing Promotional Tour, it was her first time playing at the arena.
- Rammstein: The bands first performance in America in 10 years as part of their Liebe ist für alle da Tour on December 11, 2010. Tickets were sold out in less than 30 minutes.
- The Beatles: The Garden is the only venue that each of the four former members of The Beatles played solo concerts after the breakup of the band - although not at the same time.
- Led Zeppelin: Sold out the venue three consecutive nights in the summer of 1973.
- The Grateful Dead: Played 56 concerts including four in the Felt Forum in 1971.
- Queen: The bands first concert at the Garden in February 1977 sold out within moments.
- Slipknot: The Grammy-award winning hard rockers played at Madison Square Garden for the first time on February 5, 2009 for the 10th anniversary of their first studio album
- The Black Eyed Peas: concert on the 24th of February 2010 for their tour The E.N.D. World Tour
- Guns N Roses: Played three nights at Madison Square Garden during the Use Your Illusion Tour on December 9, 10, and 13 1991. And they played again during the Chinese Democracy Tour in 2002 and 2006. All of these shows were sold out.
- RBD: The Mexican band was one of the few Latin bands who sold out the Garden. On July 15, 2006 RBD gave a show in this venue as part of their "Tour Generación RBD"
- Dave Matthews Band: Has played The Garden 17 times since 1996, most recently on November 12 and 13, 2010.
- Coldplay: Played a free show to a sold-out crowd June 23, 2008.
- Jethro Tull: Have played Madison Square Garden a total of seven times, the first being in 1971, and the last being in 1980. Their 1978 show at Madison Square Garden was the first concert to be broadcast live via satellite across the Atlantic Ocean. The same show was also released as a live album and live DVD in 2009.
- AC/DC : Played there during their Black Ice world tour.
- Linkin Park: Played there twice. Once in 2008 for their Minutes to Midnight Tour, and once in 2011 for the A Thousand Suns Tour.
- The Jonas Brothers: This notable band gave three consecutive shows at Madison Square Garden as part of their Burnin' Up Tour in August 2008, selling out the three days. "Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience" was filmed there. They featured artist such as Demi Lovato, Robert Schwartzman and Taylor Swift. These famous brothers sold out the three performances in less than 1 hours, each performance was sold out in 10 minutes. They became the youngest band to sell out the Garden.
- Taylor Swift: The teen country singer sold out the Garden in August 2009 at her Fearless Tour. She sold out it in a record of 1 minute.
- Gorillaz: Played Madison Square Garden for the first time on October 8, 2010.
- P!nk: The American pop star sold out The Garden on October 5, 2009 on her first North American arena tour. Apart of the Funhouse Tour.
- My Prerogative
- Lucas Tuquet
- Lady Gaga: Played Madison Square Garden 5 times (July 6, 7, 9, 2010 and February 21 and 22, 2011) as part of her Monster Ball Tour. Both February dates were filmed for an HBO special that aired May 7th, 2011.
- Phish: Is known for their New Year's Eve Concerts at The Garden in '95, '97, '98, '02, and most recently in 2010. Has played the Garden a total of 19 times since 1994.
- LCD Soundsystem: Played their last show ever to a sold-out crowd on April 2, 2011. The band played for over 3 hours and invited several guests on stage.
- Justin Bieber: The youngest person to ever sell out the garden. He featured notable artist such as Boyz II Men, Miley Cyrus, Jaden Smith, Usher and Sean Kingston. "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" his new movie was filmed there. It took 22 minutes for Justin Bieber to sell out the Garden.
- Yes: Selling-out their record 16th consecutive concert at Madison Square Garden during their 1980 Drama Tour, the ground-breaking British progressive rock band surpassed Led Zeppelin for that honor. The "most consecutive sold-out concerts at MSG" title was later won by the Grateful Dead in the late '80s.
- Parliament-Funkadelic performed numerous sold out shows at the Garden between 1976 and 1979.
- Jay-Z: Jay-z performed at the Garden on November 23, 2003 in what was billed as his "retirement party." The concert at the venue was later featured in his Fade to Black documentary.
- Jacky Cheung: First Chinese artist performed at the Garden during his Yau Hok Yau" (友學友), literally a pun of "friendship Jacky Cheung" world tour in 1995.
- Oasis: Played Madison Square Garden for the first time on June 22, 2005. The last time was on December 17, 2008 during the Dig Out Your Soul world tour.
On August 27, 2009, country-pop singer, Taylor Swift, sold out Madison Square Garden in a record setting 60 seconds. The concert was part of her first headlining tour, Fearless Tour. Other music legends like Madonna, Shakira, Britney Spears, Depeche Mode, U2, Elton John, The Killers, Pink Floyd and Deep Purple, performed many times at the venue. Teen sensations such as Justin Bieber sold out the venue in 22 minutes despite doubts from critics. This was as part of the 2010 'My World' Tour which was his first North American Tour; and The Jonas Brothers sold out their three consecutive shows as part of their Burnin' Up Tour 2008.WWE at The Garden
MSG has hosted many WWE events over the years including the very 1st WrestleMania in 1985, WrestleMania X in 1994, and WrestleMania XX in 2004. Other events include the first SummerSlam in 1988 along with SummerSlam 1991 & 1998, three Survivor Series events in (1996, 2002, 2011) and the 2000 and 2008 Royal Rumble. More WWE Championships have been won at MSG than any other arena. In 2005, WWE severed business ties with the arena because WWE felt that increased rental costs would prevent them from making a profit in the building. However, over a year later, World Wrestling Entertainment temporarily patched things up with MSG and the hiatus ended with a September 11, 2006 edition of Raw, ECW and HEAT. Though they pulled the 20th Annual SummerSlam, which would have been held at the Garden on August 26, 2007 (it was held at the Continental Airlines Arena instead), WWE continues to make appearances at MSG, and returned for the 2008 Royal Rumble in January. RAW returned to the MSG on November 16, 2009 and WWE held a Raw house show there on June 19, 2010. WWE held a SmackDown house show on September 25, 2010 that featured the MSG return of Bret Hart. The venue is set to host its third Survivor Series event at the Garden on November 20, 2011. Both Vince McMahon Sr. and Jr. were inducted in to the Madison Square Garden walk of fame. Four generation of the McMahon family has promoted pro wrestling at MSG as said on the November 16, 2009 edition of Monday Night Raw by Michael Cole. And it's also rumored, that the 30th annual WrestleMania is scheduled to take place at the Garden around March/April 2014.Film, television and popular culture
In 2010 Dominican American Bachata Group from the Bronx Aventura sold out Madison Square Garden four nights in a row registering a world record.
As an iconic figure, Madison Square Garden has made various appearances in film and television programs. It was featured in the 1979 Robert Redford film The Electric Horseman. Madison Square Garden is featured in the opening scenes of Highlander (1986), which included footage of former tag team The Fabulous Freebirds. (It is worth noting, however, that only the exterior was used; the interior shots were from the then Brendan Byrne Arena). The Garden's marquee is seen in the 1984 comedy film, Top Secret! advertising a concert by the protagonist, Nick Rivers. In 1988 it featured scenes in the comedy hit Coming to America.
A boxing scene in Batman: The Animated Series takes place in a venue called "Gotham Square Garden".
Madison Square Garden is often mentioned in episodes of I Love Lucy. However, it is the third incarnation of the building since the current building did not open until 1968 and the series ran from October 1951 to May 1957 in first-run episodes.
Madison Square Garden was the "nest" for the carnivorous Godzilla babies and was later destroyed by F/A-18s in the Americanized version of Godzilla (1998). Madison Square Garden was featured in the films Glitter, Forget Paris, Finding Forrester, and the Adam Sandler remake of Mr. Deeds. In Paternity, Burt Reynolds plays the manager of the Garden. In Forget Paris, Billy Crystal (Himself a New Yorker) pays an NBA Referee who works a game at the Garden.
In the movie Rocky III, the rematch between Clubber Lang and Rocky Balboa is in the Garden.
Pearl Jam recorded their July 8, 2003 performance at the Garden and released it as the Live at the Garden DVD.
The Wings song, "Rock Show" mentions the arena in the chorus of its lyrics. (If there's a rock show at The Concertgebouw/They've got long hair at the Madison Square...)
Led Zeppelin's 1976 concert movie The Song Remains The Same was filmed during the band's three-night concert series at Madison Square Garden in 1973, which also provided the soundtrack to the film.
The American sitcom Friends has used shots of Madison Square Garden several times. In the episode The One with George Stephanopoulos, Chandler, Joey, and Ross go to see a Rangers game, in The One with the Late Thanksgiving, Joey and Ross are late to Thanksgiving dinner because they go to see a Rangers game and in The One Where Rachel's Sister Baby-Sits Mike proposes to Phoebe on the big screen during a Knicks game. The Garden was also frequently featured on Seinfeld, as characters sporadically attended Rangers or Knicks games; David Puddy's face-painting as a fan of the New Jersey Devils features the infamous Blue seats.
The 1996 film Eddie starring Whoopi Goldberg, in which die hard Knicks fan Edwina Franklin (Goldberg) becomes the coach of the team, takes place at Madison Square Garden. Interior scenes were filmed inside the Charlotte Coliseum, which was re-dressed to look like the MSG interior.
The arena has also made various appearances on television. The television series Futurama, set in the year 3000, features "Madison Cube Garden" which appears like a cube standing on one partially-buried corner.
One of the concert venues in the video game Rock Band is a fictitious New York concert hall called "Empire Square Garden", a clear reference to The Garden.
In the anime Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, the character Ryohei Sasagawa, obsessed with boxing said he always saw stars and the Madison Square Garden, even when it was the afternoon.
Madison Square Garden was also featured in Madonna's 2006 CD/DVD I'm Going to Tell You a Secret. The DVD is a documentary that follows Madonna on her 2004 Re Invention Tour. It was also featured in Madonna's 2009 CD/DVD/BLU-RAY disc Sticky & Sweet Tour.
The demolition of Penn Station to make way for Madison Square Garden was featured in the Mad Men Season 3 episode "Love Among the Ruins".
A scene in the romantic comedy Hitch takes place at Madison Square Garden during a Knicks basketball game.
The Garden was also featured in the Spider-Man 2 video game where the player is allowed in temporarily to complete an obstacle course.
A scene from the pilot episode of the CBS series Blue Bloods was filmed inside and outside of the Garden during Jamie's graduation ceremony.
In Adam Sandler's Little Nicky the Harlem Globetrotters play at the Garden and the referee is Nicky's brother.
The Madison Square Garden marquee is world famous in its own right as it is featured on television coverage of sporting events played inside.
In the ending of the film Lemonade Mouth the band is shown playing in Madison Square Garden.
The Garden was the location of the teen sensations' films The Jonas Brothers and Justin Bieber.
In early 2011 Lady Gaga filmed a 'fly on the wall' documentary for HBO following her life and featured a performance at MSG of her Monster Ball Tour.