Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden: home of the Knicks (NBA) and Rangers (NHL), are two of the most popular teams in American sports.
In fact, the tour is very complete and explanatory, with the arena guides explaining each place where we stop. In fact, a comment on whether or not the Knicks and Rangers locker room tour is “complete” depends on whether or not they play. The name of the tour is All Access Tour and costs $35 (29 euros).
Anyway, even if there is no game, you don’t enter the locker rooms, you just look at the door, which is isolated by a lane, the ones you use for queues in airports and banks.
A curious thing about the Knicks locker room is how superstition is present in American sports. Even though the team plays outside of New York, they take care to cover the Rangers’ shield. They think it brings bad luck to the team if someone steps on their badge.
In addition to the dressing room, which you may or may not visit, depending on whether or not it is a game day, the tour takes you to other areas of the arena that you would probably not have access to under normal conditions. On the way to each of these games, a little bit of history of Madison Square Garden, which has already hosted mega-events of all kinds of entertainment, with games, fights, musical concerts, etc.
The corridors form a museum. They are not just photos and posters, they are relics, like the gloves autographed by Frazier and Ali, two of the greatest heavyweights in the history of boxing!
In the corridors, of course, basketball is also the highlight. More specifically, the New York Knicks. The articles are also very varied. They range from the obvious, such as T-shirts, sneakers and championship rings.
The tour also takes us to part of the bleachers and part of the bridges. The bridges, as you can deduce, are suspended structures, above the bleachers, with chairs and an excellent view of the grandstand.
A curiosity is that the bridges cover the view that a part of the bleachers would have of the main partition, that of the first image of this post. Thus, behind each bridge, a specific score for this area of the stands. Detail: the bridge only covers the scoreboard, leaving the view of the field free to all the fans present at Madison Square Garden.
From the bleachers and bridges, it is also possible to observe banners that recall the main moments of each of the teams using Madison Square Garden. On the one hand, the number of retirees and the main achievements of the Rangers. On the other hand, the immortalized glories and numbers of the Knicks, who share the space with St. John’s (NCAA) and Liberty (WNBA).
During the tour, you will also get to know the booths and other VIP areas of the arena. All the booths are well equipped, with waiter service and neat decoration, like the pictures of the old Madison Square Garden, but they still have access to bars and restaurants.
The tour is on foot and takes about an hour and a half.
History Madison Square Garden
The present Madison Square Garden is the fourth building with this name. The first two Madison Square Gardens were located on Madison Square and this name is – despite the fact that the new buildings are located elsewhere in Manhattan – preserved.
The first Madison Square Garden was opened in 1879 at the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and 26th Street. In 1871, P. T. Barnum leased the land from Cornelius Vanderbilt and rebuilt the old train station on the site into a kind of circus arena called the Hippodrome de Barnum. After the lease expired in 1879, Vanderbilt changed the name of the building to Madison Square Garden. The building quickly became very popular due to the many events that took place there.
The second Madison Square Garden was built in 1889 on the site of the old one. The renovated Madison Square Garden included a concert hall, a theater and a roof terrace. On top of the building was a tower, after the Giralda Tower in Seville, with a naked statue of the goddess Diana.
In 1925, the second Madison Square Garden was demolished and the complex was moved to 8th Avenue on 49th Street. This building was mainly used for boxing matches.
Today’s Madison Square Garden opened in 1968 on the new site near Penn Station. This fourth version of Madison Square Garden is also presented as “the world’s most famous arena”. The building has a cylindrical shape and is made of concrete.
How to visit Madison Square Garden
Price: US$35 (29 euros)
Tours are held daily from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 12:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Knicks days and last approximately 75 minutes.
How to get there by subway: 34 St / Penn Station (lines 1, 2, 3, A, C and E) and 34 St / Herald Sq. (B, D, F, M, N, Q and R).
4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001, USA
7th Avenue between W. 31st and W. 33rd Streets