Exciting, historic, expressive, energetic, a melting pot—all of these words have been used to characterize the great city of New York. Yet as you’ll hopefully find out, these words also perfectly describe the city’s world-famous arena MSG (Madison Square Garden).
To attend a sporting event in New York City is to engage with the raw passion and dedication of lifelong, diehard fans who expect as much out of their players as the players do of themselves. And these fans aren’t afraid to make their voices heard and hold their teams to account—through all the booing, cheering, the fanfare and the spectacle, New York sports are at their best when the drama is turned up to eleven and players and fans of all different backgrounds come together to create something magical. And nowhere does this happen more often than the legendary Madison Square Garden.
Home to the NBA’s New York Knicks, WNBA’s Liberty, and NHL’s Rangers, Madison Square Garden stands at the crossroads of New York sports and culture. Located in the heart of Manhattan, the most current version of the arena (there were several earlier buildings) has been around since 1968. It’s fame has led to endearing nicknames like “The World’s Most Famous Arena” and “The Mecca.”
When the average New Yorker thinks of Madison Square Garden, basketball is the first thing that will likely pop into their thoughts. Basketball’s importance to the city cannot be overstated, as generations of fans have grown up playing the game of basketball casually and following the Knicks seriously. Hockey also has generations of rabid fans and the Rangers have a storied history of their own.
The NBA regular season typically runs from October through June and each team plays 82 games, 41 of which are ‘home’ games. Coincidentally, the NHL season also runs 82 games long, from October through April. So yes, with the NBA and NHL seasons running mostly concurrently, schedules are staggered so that both the Knicks and the Rangers can share Madison Square Garden and play all their home games. Finally, the WNBA season runs from May to September. So whether you prefer men’s basketball, women’s basketball, or hockey, there is always something to catch year-round at the Garden.
How to Get Tickets
Tickets to Madison Square Garden events can be elusive depending on the team, the opponent quality, and time of year. Knicks tickets are in the highest demand, but you should still find something available at the reliable Ticketmaster or StubHub. If the opposing team is sub-par, ticket prices can fall—for an extra tip, check reseller sites the day of a game, where even ‘sold-out’ events can see availability and prices drop to €20 or less. You can also visit the Knicks official site for tickets, or you can go straight to the box office on game day.
These same suggestions apply to Rangers hockey games as well. For New York’s WNBA team, the Liberty, you should be able to get tickets for even cheaper and afford better seating. While the WNBA features a different style of basketball game, it is arguably more tactical and more fundamental.
Madison Square Garden Tours
You can dive even deeper into the atmosphere and history of the arena by participating in a tour. Hosted by Madison Square Garden, these tours run daily from morning to afternoon. While tours are subject to availability, the prices are very reasonable. Pricing for adults is less than €25, and children and senior citizens get in for even less. Tours are booked straight from the Garden’s website at msg.com.
A tour followed by a game would be the perfect way to absorb just about everything Madison Square Garden has to offer. You’ll gain a greater appreciation for what makes MSG one of the most famous and recognizable sporting venues in the world.
Additional Events at MSG
Finally, Madison Square Garden encompasses far more than the three major sports teams it hosts. World Championship Boxing matches, wrestling, concerts, entertainers, and other special events are held at MSG throughout the year.
In fact, MSG has been home to some of the biggest cultural events in modern history. MSG hosted the “Fight of the Century,” an epic 14-round heavyweight boxing match between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, ending in an Ali knockout. It has been the stage for cultural icons like Elton John, Elvis Presley, and John Lennon (including his final concert appearance) as they spread their art and influenced a world.
And today the beat goes on at MSG, as modern culture continues to collide with the legendary arena in new ways. Whether to enjoy a Knicks game, participate in a tour, or catch a Billy Joel concert, any holiday to New York should include a trip to “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” Madison Square Garden.