Madison Square Garden unveils a completely transformed arena reopening just in time for the Knicks Pre-Season Game. October 24th, 2013 marked the completion of Madison Square Garden’s three-year, top-to-bottom Transformation, which significantly enhanced every aspect of the historic Arena, from the first row to the last. The completed Transformation, which has been designed to improve the experience of fans, partners, suite holders, athletes and entertainers, was unveiled at a star-studded, standing-room-only press event in the Garden’s re-imagined 7th Avenue entrance, Chase Square.
Featured at the event were New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, The Madison Square Garden Company’s Executive Chairman, Jim Dolan and its President and Chief Executive Officer, Hank Ratner. Also on hand for the unveiling were Knicks legend, Willis Reed and New York Rangers’ great, Mark Messier, among many others.
Madison Square Garden’s self-funded, $1 billion, comprehensive Transformation saw the Garden shut down for three consecutive off-seasons (2011, 2012, 2013,) with construction continuing behind-the-scenes during a full slate of NBA and NHL games, sold-out concerts and other sporting and entertainment events.
The newly transformed Arena boasts new additions such as First-Class food offerings, a “Defining Moments” special exhibit honoring MSG’s unparalleled history, and restoration on the corridors on the entry level of the Arena to replicate the look of the building when the doors first opened 45 years ago. The 1968 North and 1968 South corridors not only replicate the floors, walls, ceiling and lighting of the original Garden, but also feature authentic advertisements and event promotional posters from that commemorative year. New first-class culinary additions include offerings from some of the world’s greatest chefs such as Jean-Georges with Cocina Tacos. Two other restaurants to join The Garden’s unrivaled lineup of food options include La Esquina and Casa Nonna. In homage of Madison Square Garden’s illustrious 134 year history, the remaining 10 “Defining Moments presented by SAP” exhibit will feature special photo displays and memorabilia throughout the Arena that showcase some of the moments that have solidified The Garden’s position as The World’s Most Famous Arena.
An estimate of 2,851 tons of steel was used in the completion of the project. There is a 22% increase in the number of restrooms now available, as well as a 26% increase on concessions offered. The number of suites increased from 89 to 96 and both the Madison and Garden Concourses, as well as the Chase Square have more than doubled in size. Fans will see a return of the 1,000 beloved Blue Seats that were removed in 1990. For the Chase Bridges, 880 steel pieces were used for their erection and a total of 150 yards of concrete was installed. The new state-of-the-art GardenVision, the Arena’s center-hung multimedia display saw an increase from 1,120 square feet to 3,400.
In addition to signaling a new era for the celebrated venue, the Transformation of Madison Square Garden was an important source of union jobs during a difficult time in both the local and national economies. Supported by the Building and Construction Trades Council, the project created 3,700 union construction jobs and required 2.6 million man hours of labor. The project’s architect is Brisbin Brook Beynon, Construction Manager is Turner and Project Manager is JLL.