Final Phase of Historic, Three-Year Transformation Adds Dramatic New Elements Throughout Venue
Arena Officially Reopens Tomorrow with Knicks Pre-Season Game
New York, NY, October 24, 2013 – Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ: MSG) today marked the completion of its 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, suiteholders, 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.
The event featured New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, The Madison Square Garden Company’s Executive Chairman, Jim Dolan and its President and Chief Executive Officer, Hank Ratner, and CEO of Chase Consumer and Community Banking, Gordon Smith, as well as Knicks legend Willis Reed and Rangers great Mark Messier. The new Arena officially reopens tomorrow with a New York Knicks pre-season contest.
"Madison Square Garden is more than a great sports and entertainment arena – it is a globally recognized landmark that is an important part of the fabric that makes New York City the greatest city in the world. The Garden serves as home to many of New York's greatest performances and sporting experiences, with a large, diverse, and passionate fan base that draws from across our City, State, and around the globe. The completion of this Transformation will allow The Garden to offer even better service to its fans, athletes, and performers and help the venue continue to drive economic growth and job creation here in Manhattan," said Governor Cuomo.
“Madison Square Garden is uniquely beloved by both the fans in the seats and the athletes and performers they’ve come to see - and we are pleased to transform it for the next generation,” said Mr. Dolan. “We knew that the world’s greatest fans in the world’s greatest city deserved a complete, state-of-the-art experience, and the certainty that The Garden would continue to be the setting for the biggest and best events well into the future. We believe we’ve succeeded in making this a truly unforgettable place for everyone, ensuring The Garden’s future is as bright as its celebrated past.”
“Our goal with the Transformation has always been to give our fans, partners, athletes and entertainers a venue that will continue to set the standard by which all others are measured,” said Mr. Ratner. “To do that, during our planning process we spent a lot of time getting their feedback to understand what they wanted to experience in a transformed Garden. And we’re extremely proud that - today - we’re effectively unveiling an entirely new Madison Square Garden Arena – one that we know will continue to be the site of unforgettable, enduring moments for generations to come.”
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. During this period, Madison Square Garden continued to be among the busiest Arenas in the country.
New elements from the third and final phase of construction, which took place during the summer months, include:
- A transformed Chase Square 7th Avenue entrance that is nearly double in size, featuring a brand new merchandise store, Garden of Dreams area, box office and the addition of a broadcast location, as well as two 600 square foot ceiling video screens featuring ground-breaking content
- Two spectacular new Chase Bridges with one-of-a-kind views of the action
- An EIGHTEEN/76 Balcony on the Bridge level, offering a selection of new food and beverage options and unique lounge seating with direct views into the Arena bowl
- A state-of-the-art GardenVision center-hung multimedia display
- A Signature Suite Level featuring 18 completely transformed suites with “center stage” views for concerts
- The restoration of the iconic Garden ceiling
These most recent upgrades add to the significant enhancements completed during the Transformation’s previous two phases, which debuted in time for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, respectively. Highlights of each phase include:
Phase I Transformation highlights (completed in time for the 2011-12 seasons):
- New Lower Bowl seating with larger, more comfortable seats
- An expanded SAP Madison Concourse
- 20 new Nespresso Event Level Suites
- New, exclusive Delta Sky360 Club and 1879 Club presented by J.P. Morgan
- New Knicks and Rangers locker rooms and star dressing rooms
Phase II Transformation highlights (completed in time for the 2012-13 seasons:
- New Upper Bowl seating with significantly enhanced sightlines
- An expanded Garden Concourse
- A new Lexus Madison Suite Level with 58 new Madison Suites
- A new all-inclusive Madison Club presented by Foxwoods
- The return of the beloved Blue Seats
One of the most important facets of the transformed Arena is its extensive commitment to honoring Madison Square Garden’s unparalleled history. Special tributes that appear throughout the building include: Madison Square Garden’s 20 “Defining Moments,” where each moment is commemorated with a special exhibit that features photos and memorabilia; “Garden 366,” a visual retrospective wrapping the circumference of the Madison Concourse, featuring one moment in Garden history for every day of the year, and several special photo exhibits in the Nespresso Event Level Suite and Lexus Madison Suite Level hallways, as well as several compelling visual displays throughout the new Chase Square Lobby.
Additionally, the corridors on the entry level of the Arena have been restored to replicate the look of the building when its 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.
The Transformation project also included the addition of enhanced food offerings throughout the Arena, which now feature diverse fare from some of the world’s greatest chefs and restauranteurs, including Jeremy Marshall, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Phil Suarez, Andrew Carmellini, Luke Ostrom and Drew Nieporent, as well as the popular Carnegie Deli, Hill Country Barbeque, La Esquina and Casa Nonna.
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.