Madison Square Garden
This article is about the current New York arena, opened since 1968.
For other uses, see Madison Square Garden (disambiguation).
For other uses, see MSG (disambiguation).
|Address||4 Pennsylvania Plaza|
|Location||New York, New York|
|Public transit||Metropolitan_Transportation_Authority New York City Subway:|
|Owner||Madison Square Garden Entertainment|
|Field size||820,000 sq ft (76,000 m)|
|Broke ground||October 29, 1964|
|Opened||Former locations: 1879, 1890, 1925
Current location: February 11, 1968
|Construction cost||$123 million
Renovation: 1991: $200 million Total cost: $1.19 billion in 2020
|Architect||Charles Luckman Associates
Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects
|Structural engineer||Severud Associates|
|Services engineer||Syska & Hennessy, Inc.|
|General contractor||Turner/Del E. Webb|
Madison Square Garden, colloquially known as The Garden or in initials as MSG, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in New York City.
It is the fourth venue to bear the name "Madison Square Garden"; the first two (1879 and 1890) were located on Madison Square, on East 26th Street and Madison Avenue, with the third Madison Square Garden (1925) further uptown at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street.
The Garden is used for professional ice hockey and basketball, as well as boxing, concerts, ice shows, circuses, professional wrestling and other forms of sports and entertainment.
It is home to the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL), the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and was home to the New York Liberty (WNBA) from 1997 to 2017.
Originally called Madison Square Garden Center, the Garden opened on February 11, 1968, and is the oldest major sporting facility in the New York metropolitan area.
In 2016, MSG was the second-busiest music arena in the world in terms of ticket sales, behind The O2 Arena in London.
Including two major renovations, its total construction cost is approximately $1.1 billion, and it has been ranked as one of the 10 most expensive stadium venues ever built.
It is part of the Pennsylvania Plaza office and retail complex, named for the railway station.
Several other operating entities related to the Garden share its name.
The first Garden, leased to P. , had no roof and was inconvenient to use during inclement weather, so it was demolished after 11 years. T. Barnum
Madison Square Garden II was designed by noted architect Stanford White.
White gave them a Beaux-Arts structure with a Moorish feel, including a minaret-like tower modeled after Giralda, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville – soaring 32 stories – the city's second tallest building at the time – dominating Madison Square Park.
It was 200 feet (61 m) by 485 feet (148 m), and the main hall, which was the largest in the world, measured 200 feet (61 m) by 350 feet (110 m), with permanent seating for 8,000 people and floor space for thousands more.
It had a 1,200-seat theatre, a concert hall with a capacity of 1,500, the largest restaurant in the city and a roof garden cabaret.
The building cost $3 million.
Madison Square Garden II was unsuccessful like the first Garden, and the New York Life Insurance Company, which held the mortgage on it, decided to tear it down in 1925 to make way for a new headquarters building, which would become the landmark Cass Gilbert-designed New York Life Building.
Groundbreaking on the third Madison Square Garden took place on January 9, 1925.
The arena was 200 feet (61 m) by 375 feet (114 m), with seating on three levels, and a maximum capacity of 18,496 spectators for boxing.
Demolition commenced in 1968 after the opening of the current Garden, and was completed in early 1969.
The site is now the location of One Worldwide Plaza.
In February 1959, Graham-Paige purchased a 40% interest in the Madison Square Garden for $4 million and later gained control.
To build the new facility, the above-ground portions of the original Pennsylvania Station were torn down.
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.
The venue opened on February 11, 1968.
Comparing the new and the old Penn Station, Yale architectural historian Vincent Scully wrote, "One entered the city like a god; one scuttles in now like a rat."
In 1977, the arena was sold to Gulf and Western Industries.
Felt's efforts fueled controversy between the Garden and New York City over real estate taxes.
The disagreement again flared in 1980 when the Garden again challenged its tax bill.
The arena, since the 1980s, has since enjoyed tax-free status, under the condition that all Knicks and Rangers home games must be hosted at MSG, lest it lose this exemption.
As such, when the Rangers have played neutral-site games—even those in New York City, such as the 2018 NHL Winter Classic, they have always been designated as the visiting team.
Garden owners spent $200 million in 1991 to renovate facilities and add 89 suites in place of hundreds of upper-tier seats.
The project was designed by Ellerbe Becket.
Cablevision then announced plans to raze the Garden, replace it with high-rise commercial buildings, and build a new Garden one block away at the site of the James Farley Post Office.
Meanwhile, a new project to renovate and modernize the Garden completed phase one in time for the Rangers and Knicks' 2011–12 seasons, though the vice president of the Garden says he remains committed to the installation of an extension of Penn Station at the Farley Post Office site.
Madison Square Garden is the last of the NBA and NHL arenas to not be named after a corporate sponsor.
Joe Louis Plaza
In 1984, the four streets immediately surrounding the Garden were designated as Joe Louis Plaza, in honor of boxer Joe Louis, who had made eight successful title defenses in the previous Madison Square Garden.
Madison Square Garden's $1 billion second renovation took place mainly over three offseasons.
It was set to begin after the 2009–10 hockey/basketball seasons, but was delayed until after the 2010–11 seasons.
Renovation was done in phases with the majority of the work done in the summer months to minimize disruptions to the NHL and NBA seasons.
New features include a larger entrance with 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.
The lower bowl concourse, called the Madison Concourse, remains on the 6th floor.
The upper bowl concourse was relocated to the 8th floor and it is known as the Garden Concourse.
The 7th floor houses the new Madison Suites and the Madison Club.
The upper bowl was built on top of these suites.
The rebuilt concourses are wider than their predecessors, and include large windows that offer views of the city streets around the Garden.
Construction of the lower bowl (Phase 1) was completed for the 2011–12 NHL season and the 2011–12 NBA lockout shortened season.
An extended off-season for the Garden permitted some advanced work to begin on the new upper bowl, which was completed in time for the 2012–13 NBA season and the 2012–13 NHL lockout-shortened NHL season.
This advance work included the West Balcony on the 10th floor, taking the place of sky-boxes, and new end-ice 300 level seating.
The construction of the upper bowl along with the Madison Suites and the Madison Club (Phase 2) were completed for the 2012–13 NHL and NBA seasons.
The construction of the new lobby known as Chase Square, along with the Chase Bridges and the new scoreboard (Phase 3) were completed for the 2013–14 NHL and NBA seasons.
Penn Station renovation controversy
Madison Square Garden is seen as an obstacle in the renovation and future expansion of Penn Station, which is already expanding through the James Farley Post Office, and some have proposed moving MSG to other sites in western Manhattan.
On February 15, 2013, Manhattan Community Board 5 voted 36–0 against granting a renewal to MSG's operating permit in perpetuity and proposed a 10-year limit instead in order to build a new Penn Station where the arena is currently standing.
Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer said, "Moving the arena is an important first step to improving Penn Station."
The Madison Square Garden Company responded by saying that "[i]t is incongruous to think that M.S.G.
would be considering moving."
SHoP Architects recommended moving Madison Square Garden to the Morgan Postal Facility a few blocks southwest, as well as removing 2 Penn Plaza and redeveloping other towers, and an extension of the High Line to Penn Station.
Meanwhile, SOM proposed moving Madison Square Garden to the area just south of the James Farley Post Office, and redeveloping the area above Penn Station as a mixed-use development with commercial, residential, and recreational space.
H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture wanted to move the arena to a new pier west of Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, four blocks west of the current station and arena.
Then, according to H3's plan, four skyscrapers would be built, one at each of the four corners of the new Penn Station superblock, with a roof garden on top of the station; the Farley Post Office would become an education center.
Finally, Diller Scofidio + Renfro proposed a mixed-use development on the site, with spas, theaters, a cascading park, a pool, and restaurants; Madison Square Garden would be moved two blocks west, next to the post office.
DS+F also proposed high-tech features in the station, such as train arrival and departure boards on the floor, and apps that would inform waiting passengers of ways to occupy their time until they board their trains.
Madison Square Garden rejected the notion that it would be relocated, and called the plans "pie-in-the-sky".
In June 2013, the New York City Council Committee on Land Use voted unanimously to give the Garden a ten-year permit, at the end of which period the owners will either have to relocate, or go back through the permission process.
On July 24, the City Council voted to give the Garden a 10-year operating permit by a vote of 47–1.
"This is the first step in finding a new home for Madison Square Garden and building a new Penn Station that is as great as New York and suitable for the 21st century," said City Council speaker Christine Quinn.
"This is an opportunity to reimagine and redevelop Penn Station as a world-class transportation destination."
In October 2014, the Morgan facility was selected as the ideal area for Madison Square Garden to be moved, following the 2014 MAS Summit in New York City.
More plans for the station were discussed.
Then, in January 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a redevelopment plan for Penn Station that would involve the removal of The Theater at Madison Square Garden, but would otherwise leave the arena intact.
Main article: List of events at Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden hosts approximately 320 events a year.
The New York Rangers, New York Knicks, and the Madison Square Garden arena itself are all owned by the Madison Square Garden Company.
It also hosts selected home games for the St. John's men's Red Storm (college basketball), 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.
The Garden was home of the NBA Draft and NIT Season Tip-Off, as well as the former New York City home of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice; all four events are now held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Many of boxing's biggest fights were held at Madison Square Garden, including the Roberto Durán–Ken Buchanan affair, the first Muhammad Ali – Joe Frazier bout and the US debut of Anthony Joshua that ended in a huge upset.
The original 18 ⁄2 ft × 18 ⁄2 ft (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 ft × 20 ft (6.1 m × 6.1 m) ring replaced it beginning on October 6 of that same year.
Madison Square Garden has been considered the mecca for professional wrestling and the home of World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly WWF and WWWF).
A year later it was announced that New Japan Pro-Wrestling would return to Madison Square Garden alone on August 22, 2020 for NJPW Wrestle Dynasty.
In May 2020, NJPW announced that the Wrestle Dynasty show would be postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19.
Madison Square Garden hosts more high-profile concert events than any other venue in New York City.
It has been the venue for Michael Jackson's Bad World Tour, George Harrison's The Concert for Bangladesh, The Concert for New York City following the September 11 attacks, John Lennon's final concert appearance (during an Elton John concert on Thanksgiving Night, 1974) before his murder in 1980, and Elvis Presley, who gave four sold-out performances in 1972, his first and last ever in New York City.
Parliament-Funkadelic headlined numerous sold-out shows in 1977 and 1978.
Kiss, who were formed in the arena's city and three of whose members were city-born, did four shows at the arena in 1977 (their first ever there on February 18 and three more returning ones on December 14–16 the same year), and another two shows for a decade-ender in 1979 (July 24–25).
Billy Joel, another city-born and fellow 1970's pop star, played his first Garden show on December 14, 1978.
The Police played their final show of their reunion tour at the Garden in 2008.
In the summer of 2017, Phish performed 13 consecutive concerts at the venue, which the Garden commemorated by adding a Phish themed banner to the rafters.
With their first MSG show taking place on December 30, 1994 the "Bakers' Dozen" brought the total number of Phish shows there to 52.
An additional 12 shows since (4 for each of Phish's annual New Year's Eve runs) brings their total MSG performances to 64.
At one point, Elton John held the all-time record for greatest number of appearances at the Garden with 64 shows.
In a 2009 press release, John was quoted as saying "Madison Square Garden is my favorite venue in the whole world.
I chose to have my 60th birthday concert there, because of all the incredible memories I've had playing the venue."
Billy Joel, who broke the record, stated "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.
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."
Grateful Dead have performed in the venue 53 times from 1979 to 1994 with the first show being held on September 7, 1979 and the last being on October 19, 1994.
Their longest run being done in September 1991.
Madonna performed at this venue a total of 31 concerts, the first two being during her 1985 Virgin Tour, on June 10 and 11, and the most recent being the two-nights stay during her Rebel Heart Tour on September 16 and 17, 2015.
Bruce Springsteen has performed 47 concerts at this venue, many with the E Street Band, including a 10-night string of sold-out concerts out between June 12 and July 1, 2000 at the end of the E Street Reunion tour.
The second and the third were on September 28 and 29, 1987 during their Joshua Tree Tour, in front of 39,510 people.
The fourth was on March 20, 1992 during their Zoo TV Tour, in front of a crowd of 18,179 people.
The fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth was on June 17 and 19 and October 24, 25, and 27, 2001 during their Elevation Tour, in front of 91,787 people.
The 10th, through 17th took place between May 21 and November 22, 2005 during their Vertigo Tour, in front of a total sold-out crowd of 149,004 people.
The Who have headlined at the venue 32 times, including a four night stand in 1974, a five night stand in 1979, a six night stand in 1996, and four night stands in 2000 and 2002.
They also performed at The Concert for New York City in 2001.
On March 10, 2020 a 50th anniversary celebration of The Allman Brothers Band entitled 'The Brothers' took place featuring founding and surviving members of the band Jai Johanny Johanson and Chuck Leavell.
Dickey Betts was invited to participate but his health precluded him from traveling.
The concert was the last event to take place at The Garden before the coronavirus pandemic in North America forced the shutdown of major gatherings.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madison Square Garden.