Appreciating all that makes America special

Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden, www.greatamericanthings.net

Madison Square Garden hosts the NHL Rangers and the NBA Knicks. It’s the oldest arena in the NHL and the second-oldest in the NBA. Uploaded by nbahungary.hu.

To basketball fans, MSG has nothing to do with a food additive. And the Garden isn’t a place where flowers are grown. No, for hoops fans there’s only one arena that merits true shrine status, and that’s Madison Square Garden in the heart of Manhattan.

Let’s get one thing out of the way right here. The building isn’t square. It just happened to be located on Madison Square in NYC. The current building isn’t even the first to hold the name – it’s the fourth. The first MSG was built in 1879, and didn’t have a roof. As you can imagine it got just a teeeeeensy bit cold in the winter, so it was torn down and another built on the same site in 1890. It stayed around until 1925, when a new MSG went up, this one located away from Madison Square. MSG III had a good long run, finally being shut down in 1968.

Which brings us now to the current building located on 8th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets. It’s the third-busiest arena in the world in terms of ticket sales (no wonder, with some 320 events scheduled annually), and is the home of the NHL’s New York Rangers and the NBA’s New York Knicks.

While it holds a special place in the basketball world, it has also hosted some of the signature concert events of recent memory, including George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh, the revival concert in which Ricky Nelson was booed and became the inspiration for his song “Garden Party,” 29 concerts by Bruce Springsteen, 24 by the Rolling Stones, and some memorable New Year’s Eve shows by Phish.

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