Home to the New York Rangers, New York Knicks, New York Liberty, St. John’s men’s basketball, the Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and some of the most memorable entertainment performances ever, Madison Square Garden is a staple in the New York City landscape.
Opening on February 11, 1968, it is the longest active major sporting facility in the New York Metropolitan area, and is the fourth incarnation of the arena in the city. Located in Manhattan on 7th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets, The Garden is an historical piece of sports and entertainment real estate.
If you’re planning a trip to The World’s Most Famous Arena, here is a guide to help make the most of your visit.
Coming and Going
Don’t. Driving to Madison Square Garden is not recommended, and it easier and most likely faster to use public transportation. For detailed driving directions from your point of departure, visit the mapping website of your choice and input Madison Square Garden (physical address: 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10001) as the destination address.
Madison Square Garden does not provide parking and does not have an affiliation with any local parking garages. For most events, you may purchase a pre-paid parking voucher through TicketMaster or at the Box Office. These vouchers can be redeemed at participating area garages.
Tip: Despite the name, Madison Square Garden is not located on Madison Avenue.
Madison Square Garden is located directly above Penn Station, the center of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and a western terminal of the Long Island Rail Road. PATH trains from New Jersey also stop at 33rd Street/Avenue of the Americas.
If you are arriving via Metro-North, you may take the Shuttle from Grand Central Terminal to Times Square and transfer to the downtown 1, 2, 3 trains to 34th Street/Penn Station. Or walk. Head west down 42nd St., make a left at the New York Public Library, then a right at the Empire State Building.
Madison Square Garden is also accessible by taking the 1,2,3, A, C, E trains to 34th Street/Penn Station. You may also take the B, D, F, V, N, R, Q, W trains to the 34th Street/Herald Square stop and walk one block west. More information can be found on the MTA website.
Tip: The Garden can be reached by all other lines (including the three shuttle lines) generally with a single transfer.
Take the M4, M10, M16, M34 and Q32 to Seventh Avenue/Penn Station.
Doors for Madison Square Garden Arena and Theater events open one hour prior to event start time. If you are attending a Knicks, Rangers, or Liberty game and are in possession of Club tickets, you may enter the Play by Play, The Club Bar and Grill, and The Garden Terrace two hours prior to game time.
Madison Square Garden may utilize metal detecting hand wands, walk-through metal detectors or other devices. Items that are prohibited from MSG are: weapons, oversized bags, outside food and beverage, cans, bottles, alcohol, drugs, laser pens, video cameras, monopods, tripods, audio recording devices and cameras with telephoto or zoom lenses.
Tickets for events at Madison Square Garden may be purchased at the following authorized points of purchase: in person at MSG, Radio City Music Hall or Beacon Theatre Box Office, online through thegarden.com (which will link you to TicketMaster), at a TicketMaster Outlet or by calling TicketMaster at 866-858-0008 or 866-858-0009.
Our old friends Stubhub and Craigslist are two other sources of tickets. Stubhub is secure and you won’t have to haggle or deal with anyone face-to-face. All available tickets are presented in front of you and can be sorted by price or location, but you’ll be paying some pretty high service fees.
If you put in some work, you can avoid fees and usually find deals a few days before the game on Craigslist. Ignore any posts that don’t list the price of the tickets and seem suspicious.
Tip: Check out FanSnap.com and SeatGeek.com. These two aggregators search for tickets available on all major secondary markets. Both sites also use algorithms to analyze whether each ticket is a good or bad deal. SeatGeek also offers forecasts of ticket prices based on historical transactions. It sounds complicated, but they’re doing all the work. Just sign up for an alert and buy the tickets when they tell you to.
For basketball events in the Arena, the seating capacity is 19,763 and for hockey events in the Arena, the seating capacity is 18,200. For all other events, seating capacity changes depending on the set-up of the event. For events in the Theater, the seating capacity is 5,600.
If you are looking to purchase tickets in a certain section of the arena, check out the seating chart for specific events.
Tip: The temperature inside the Arena during hockey games is maintained at approximately 65 degrees. Of course, the temperature may vary depending on your proximity to the ice surface.
If you are attending an event at MSG with a Club or Club Suite ticket, you can enter through either the North or South concierge areas located on either side of the Mall area. Club ticket holders have exclusive access to entrances on 31st Street and 33rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. Your Club ticket also allows you to visit our third floor Garden Terrace, Play By Play Restaurant, and The Club Bar and Grill during Knicks and Rangers games. For Liberty games, you will have access to the Garden Terrace and Play By Play.
Tip: Changeovers from basketball to hockey and vice versa generally take approximately 2 hours. Although rare, it is possible to host a basketball and hockey game on the same day.
Tip: Madison Square Garden does not provide an area to check coats or any other personal belongings.
At the Arena
The elevators within Madison Square Garden are not for public use, but there are escalators are available to take ticketholders to all seating levels. Disabled patrons who require the use of a mobility aid (wheelchair, walker, cane, crutches, etc.) are encouraged to use the elevators. Additionally, patrons who have limited mobility and are unable to climb stairs or use our escalators, but do not require the use of a mobility device, should contact the Disabled Services department at (212) 465-6034, for an elevator pass. Please have the date of the event as well as your section, row, and seat number available when calling.
There are merchandise stands located throughout the concourses, but there also team stores inside MSG. The Team Store is located between Gates 60 and 67, or at Gate 75, and the Double Teamed Store is located at Gate 66.
Guests without tickets for an MSG event may still see The Garden by purchasing a ticket to take the MSG All Access Tour. Tours operate every day, approximately every half-hour from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Daily tour tickets can be purchased at the South concierge entrance in the building’s Seventh Avenue Mall, at 7th Ave. and West 32nd St.
*The All Access Tour is temporarily closed due to The Garden Transformation. It will reopen the winter of 2010.
A retired jersey number is the highest honor a player can achieve at Madison Square Garden. When a number is retired, it will forever hang from The Garden rafters and can never be worn by another player from that franchise again.
Retired Knicks jersey numbers are: 10 (Walt Frazier), 12 (Dick Barnett), 15 (Earl Monroe and Dick McGuire), 19 (Willis Reed), 22 (Dave DeBusschere), 24 (Bill Bradley), 33 (Patrick Ewing), and 613 (Red Holtzman. The 613 signifies the number of wins attained as head coach of the Knicks).
Retired Rangers jersey numbers are: 1 (Eddie Giacomin), 2 (Brian Leetch), 3 (Harry Howell), 9 (Andy Bathgate and Adam Graves) 7 (Rod Gilbert), 11 (Mark Messier) and 35 (Mike Richter).
Furthermore, 526 (Lou Carnesecca-signifying the number of wins as head coach of St. John’s University) hangs only during college basketball events. Steffi Graf (5 Time Virginia Slims/Chase Championships Champion) and Martina Navratilova (8 Time Virginia Slims/Chase Championships Champion) also have banners hung only during tennis events.
In addition, the number 12 hangs to celebrate Billy Joel’s record breaking 12 sold out nights in the Arena (Feb-April, 2006) and the number 60 in honor of Elton John’s 60th performance at The Garden on his 60th birthday (March 25, 2007).
Walk of Fame
In 1992, Madison Square Garden designated the walkway leading to the arena as the “Walk of Fame,” the spot to recognize performers, athletes, announcers, and coaches who demonstrated excellence at their craft in The Garden at various times throughout their extraordinary careers. Each person is honored with a plaque that designates the performance category in which his or her contributions have been made.
The Club Bar & Grill
If you want the best in fine dining and exemplary service, amidst elegant ambiance without leaving Madison Square Garden, The Club Bar & Grill is the ideal setting. Located on the Club Terrace, this exclusive restaurant is the perfect way to begin your evening before the event starts. In addition to our extensive ala carte options, we offer a full Chef’s table, several salads, pastas and desserts. Meet celebrities, team alumni, friends and clients at our finely appointed bar. The Club Bar and Grill is located between Gates 60 and 67.
Other Restaurants in MSG
The All-Star Bar is located at Gate 60.
The End Court Bar is located between Gates 63 and 64.
Food courts are located at Gates 61, 65, 71 and 76.
Additional Restaurants Outside of MSG
Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen (Deli/Kosher) – 209 West 38th Street and 7th Avenue
Cafe 31 (Italian/Bar) – 220 West 31st Street between 7th and 8th Avenue
Harrington’s (American) – 370 West 7th Avenue and 30th Street
Local West (American/Bar) – 33rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenue
Lugo Caffe (Italian/Steakhouse) – 33rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenue
Mustang Harry’s (American) – 352 7th Avenue at 29th Street
Mustang Sally’s (American) – 324 7th Avenue at 28th Street
Nick and Stef’s Steakhouse (Steakhouse) – 350 7th Avenue at 29th Street
Seven (American, Tapas) – 350 7th Avenue at 29th Street
Stage Door Deli (Deli) – 8th Ave. between 33rd and 34th Streets
Stout (Irish/Bar) – 133 West 33rd between 6th and 7th Avenue
Tir Na Nog (Irish/Bar) – 8th Ave. between 33rd and 34th Streets