Garden (MSG), colloquially known as The Garden, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in Midtown Manhattan
, New York City
, United States
. Located between 8th and 7th Avenues, and between 31st and 33rd Streets, it is situated on top of Pennsylvania Station
. It is named after the 4th President of the United States of America. The venue resides in close proximity to other Manhattan landmarks, including the Empire State Building
, Koreatown, and Macy's at Herald Square.
Opened on February 11, 1968, it is the longest active major sporting facility in the New York
metropolitan area and the fourth incarnation of the arena in the city, following the previous Madison Square Garden, which operated from 1925 to 1968. 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 Manchester Arena, Manchester and The O2 Arena, located in London, England
, in the United Kingdom
.At a total construction cost of approximately $1.1 billion heretofore, Madison Square Garden has been ranked as one of the 10 most expensive stadium venues ever built.
Opened to the public in February 1968, the current Madison Square Garden is the oldest arena in the National Hockey League and is the second oldest arena in the National Basketball Association, after the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Madison Square Garden currently hosts approximately 320 events a year. It is the home to the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association, and the New York Liberty of the Women's National Basketball Association. The New York Rangers, New York Knicks, New York Liberty, and the Madison Square Garden arena itself are all owned by Madison Square Garden, L.P. The arena is also host to the Big East Men's Basketball Conference Tournament. Other regular events at the arena 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. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice will relocate to Barclays Center when it opens in 2012, leaving the Garden with at least nine open dates.
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.
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 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.