In baseball and around the world, Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees, is known as the most popular stadium. The same can be said about the home of the New York Knicks as Madison Square Garden is known worldwide as one of the most famous arenas. For more than 125 years there have been four different Madison Square Garden’s in New York City. The first located at Madison Avenue and 26th Street was used for track cycling between 1879 until 1890. The second Madison Square Garden was constructed in 1890 on the same location as the first. It hosted many events but was demolished in 1925. Located at 50th Street and 8th Avenue, the third Madison Square Garden became the home of the New York Rangers (NHL) in 1926 and the New York Knicks in 1946. The third Madison Square Garden was the home of the Knicks for more than 20 years.
FACTS & FIGURES
-Tenants: New York Knicks (NBA), New York Rangers (NHL)
-Cost: $123 million
-Architect: Charles Luckman Associates, Ellerbe Becket
-Address: 4 Pennslyvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001
-Former Name(s): None
By the mid 1960s a new modern arena was needed for the Knicks, Rangers and many other events that came to New York City. The fourth and current Madison Square Garden was constructed at 7th Avenue and 31st and 33rd Streets. Constructed atop of Pennsylvania Station, Madison Square Garden opened on February 14, 1968. For almost four decades Madison Square Garden has been the home of the New York Knicks. The arena has been renovated once since its opening, in 1991, when $200 million was spent renovating and adding 89 suites.
Today, Madison Square Garden has a seating capacity of 19,738 that includes 540 club seats and 89 luxury suites. It is the only single level bowl arena in the NBA. “The Garden” as it is known has hosted concerts ranging from Michael Jackson to Elvis Presley. The Knicks have won two NBA Championships and the Rangers have won four Stanley Cup Championships at Madison Square Garden. For several years officials discussed the possibility of building a fifth Madison Square Garden on the 9th Avenue side of the Farely Post Office.
However, in March 2008 the Knicks announced that they would renovate Madison Square Garden. This two year, $500 million renovation project is scheduled to begin after the 2010-11 hockey season. The majority of the renovation work will be completed during the summer and it will not change the seating capacity.
From the outside, Madison Square Garden will remain the same. Inside, some interior walls will be removed to enlarge the concourses and to give fans views of outside. A new lobby will be constructed and will include a 25foot skylight. Two new restaurants will be added and the current luxury suites will be reconfigured and put at mid or floor level. Once renovations are complete in 2011 fans attending games at Madison Square Garden will see a new High Definition video board. New seating will be installed and there will be 50% more bathrooms.