Fans Will Be Able To Check Out $1 Billion Facelift Starting Friday

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)The final phase of a three-year top-to-bottom renovation of Madison Square Garden is complete.

The World’s Most Famous Arena officially reopens Friday night for a New York Knicks preseason game.

The Garden now features two Chase Bridges that offer a unique view of the action below, a brand new, state-of-the-art GardenVision and an expanded 7th Avenue entrance area.

The $1 billion self-funded project on the 45-year-old arena also saw the restoration of the iconic ceiling.

“We wanted this to be about our fans from the first row to the last row,” MSG Chairman Jim Dolan said. “We knew that the world’s greatest fans deserved a complete state-of-the-art experience and they deserve to know that the Garden would continue to be the setting for the biggest and best events well into the future.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, along with Knicks and Rangers legends, were on hand Thursday for the unveiling of the transformed arena.

PHOTOS: Inside The Newly Renovated Madison Square Garden

“It shows the Knicks’ dedication to winning and being the best because they know New Yorkers command the best,” Knicks great Walt “Clyde” Frazier said.

“Madison Square Garden is more than a great sports and entertainment arena – it is a globally recognized landmark that is an important part of the fabric that makes New York City the greatest city in the world. The Garden serves as home to many of New York’s greatest performances and sporting experiences, with a large, diverse, and passionate fan base that draws from across our City, State, and around the globe. The completion of this Transformation will allow The Garden to offer even better service to its fans, athletes, and performers and help the venue continue to drive economic growth and job creation here in Manhattan,” said Cuomo in a statement.

The prior phases saw improved sight lines for fans, new locker rooms for players and expanded, gourmet food options, among other upgrades.

The project created 3,700 union construction jobs, according to a statement.

Some, including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, have called for the Garden to move to allow Penn Station beneath it to expand.

The New York City Council earlier this year gave MSG a 10-year permit extension.The Garden had requested to operate at the site in perpetuity. The city planning commission recommended a 15-year extension.

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