They came for a Knicks game and stayed for the unique bird's-eye view.
The much-anticipated Chase Bridges -- Madison Square Garden's newest addition after a three-year, $1-billion renovation -- were a hit with Knicks fans during Friday night's 85-83 preseason loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.
It was the first public event at the Garden since the bridges, a series of 300-level seats suspended over the north and south sides of the arena, were constructed. Fans sitting in the section had nothing but praise for their new seats.
"We were excited about the bridges since we first heard about them," said Dan Wood, 46, of Manhattan's East Village, who sat in section 312 on Friday night and has attended Knicks games since 1994. "It's a great perspective. It's basically a TV perspective, but slightly higher up."
The bridges, which are on the 10th floor of the Garden, connect the western concourse and the upper-level suites and range in price from $110 to $150 per seat. The North Bridge is devoted entirely to fan seating; the South Bridge is split between media and fans.
The seats provide for views of the entire court, the giant video boards directly in front of them and the fans sitting in the seats below and behind them.
Michael Durante, 53 -- a self-proclaimed "Knicks fan since I was about 7" -- and wife Sue, 50, of Brewster, N.Y, said they didn't know what to expect when they purchased their ticket plan for section 314. Even though they were relocated to section 301 -- the opposite bridge -- for Friday night, they came away pleasantly surprised.
"I could have sat down there and gotten seats cheaper," said Michael Durante, pointing down to the 200-level seats. "But with the bar stools and the bridge, I thought it was worth the extra couple of bucks."
Colleen Hogan, 33, a Sound Beach native who currently resides in Nags Head, N.C., and husband Kelly, 43, were at the game for their 10th wedding anniversary. Sitting on their bar stools in Section 315, Colleen said she enjoyed the overall atmosphere that came with their seats.
"It's like being at a bar," she said, "but you're at a basketball game."
The Dolan family owns
controlling interests in the Knicks, Rangers, Madison Square Garden and Cablevision.
Cablevision owns Newsday.