Did you know that you can take a tour of Madison Square Garden? We did it recently, and we thought it was great.
We saw a lot of things at the Garden. When we got to main floor we saw that the upper walls were covered with photos for every day of the year and the special events that have taken place at MSG, from a Knicks championship win to great hockey, wrestling, boxing and concert photos.
We saw a machine that was once used to smooth the hockey rink ice. When you first look at it, you might think it was a cannon.
Another highlight was when we went to the highest point of MSG. The view of the court below is amazing. We then checked out the luxury suites. After that, we went to the locker rooms and saw the very bench where Wayne Gretzky hung up his ice skates for his last game. They have the bench under glass.
They have a special hangout place for people who purchase a lot of tickets: a private concession stand. Their concession stand was next to the Rangers' and Knicks' locker rooms. It was also next to where people are interviewed after a game. If you are lucky enough to get to that area on the day of a game, you could be standing right next to an NBA or NHL player.
They also had games that we could play. It was a virtual reality game that had a concert, basketball game and hockey game. We also saw the place where other TV channels work, commentating for the games. MSG owns two teams: the Rangers and the New York Knicks.
We learned about how the first WrestleMania was held at MSG. We learned that there were two earlier versions of Madison Square Garden before the one we were in that day.
We really liked checking out the wall of accomplishments. They had a wall honoring Wayne Gretzky, who played for the Rangers the last three years of his career (1997-1999). They also honored Knicks star Willis Reed when he won championships with the team. They had other memorabilia for WrestleMania such as Roddy Piper boats and Hulk Hogan trunks, boats, belt, headband and shirt.
There were banners for music stars Billy Joel, Elton John and Phish for all the concerts they have played at MSG. We found out that about 20,000 fans can fit in the stadium for a basketball game and 18,000 people for a hockey game because the ice rink is so big.
Overall, we thought it was a fun time. We learned a lot of new things about the Garden that we never knew, such as that there is a section for news reporters to interview the players. The Rangers have a superstition that the floor that has their logo has to be covered with a carpet that has their logo. The locker room has a stick compartment for the hockey players, and the goalies have a bigger locker for their hockey sticks. We also went to the gift shop.
We recommend the tour to basketball or hockey fans. The tour lasts 75 minutes. To find out more, go to msg.com.