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Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG, known
colloquially simply as The Garden, has been the
name of four arenas in New York City, United States.
It is also the name of the entity which owns the
arena and several of the professional sports franchises
which play there. There have been four incarnations
of the arena. The first two were located at the
Northeast corner of Madison Square (Madison Ave.
& 26th St.) from which the arena derived its
name. Subsequently a new 17,000-seat Garden (opened
December 15, 1925) was built at 50th Street and
8th Avenue, and the current Garden (opened February
14, 1968) is at 7th Avenue between 31st and 33rd
Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.
arena lends its name to the Madison Square Garden
Network, a cable television network that broadcasts
most sporting events that are held in the Garden,
as well as concerts and entertainment events that
have taken place at the venue.
is controlled by the Madison Square Garden, L.P.
subsidiary of Cablevision.
Square Garden derives its name from the park where
the first two gardens were located (Madison Square)
on Madison Avenue at 26th Street. As the venue
moved to new locations the name still stuck, although
since 1925 Madison Square Garden has been neither
a garden nor on Madison Square.
location of the first Madison Square Garden (now
known as Madison Square Garden I), was at 26th
Street and Madison Avenue. The site was formerly
occupied by the passenger depot of the New York
and Harlem Railroad. When the depot was moved
to what is now the site of Grand Central Terminal
in 1871, the old depot was sold to P.T. Barnum
who converted it into "Barnum's Monster Classical
and Geological Hippodrome." In 1876 Barnum's
was converted into "Gilmore's Garden,"
an open air arena named in honor of Patrick Gilmore.
Gilmore was America's most well-known bandmaster
at the time. His most famous composition was "When
Johnny Comes Marching Home."
Gilmore's Garden was renamed "Madison Square
Garden" by William Henry Vanderbilt and the
facility was reopened to the public on May 31,
1879. The first Garden was originally designed
for the sport of track cycling. This is still
remembered in the name of the Madison event.
second Madison Square Garden (now known as Madison
Square Garden II), also located at 26th and Madison
Avenue was designed by Stanford White, who would
later be killed at the Garden's rooftop restaurant.
White kept an apartment, site of the famous red
velvet swing, in the building.
new structure was 200 feet by 485 feet of Moorish
architecture with a minaret-like tower soaring
32 stories over Madison Square Park and was the
city's second tallest building. The Garden's main
hall, was the largest in the world, measured 200
by 350 feet with permanent seating for 8,000 people
and floor space for thousands more.
the garden was a statue of Diana, by Augustus
Saint-Gaudens. The original bronze statue was
18 ft. tall and weighed 1,800 lbs., but spun with
the wind. It was placed on top of the tower in
1891, but was soon thought to be too large by
Saint-Gaudens and White, the architect. (It was
removed and placed on top of a building at The
World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago - the
bottom half was destroyed by a fire after the
close of the Exhibition, and the top half was
lost.) In 1893 a guilded, hollow copper, 2nd version
of Diana, replaced the original on top of the
Garden tower. This 2nd version was 13 ft. tall
and is now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art,
and a copy is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Saint-Gaudens made several smaller variants in
bronze, one of which was on display in the entryway
of Madison Square Garden III, and also in a similar
location in the current Garden, MSG IV.
hosted the 1924 Democratic National Convention,
which nominated John W. Davis after 103 ballots.
Afterwards, it was torn down to make way for the
landmark New York Life Insurance Building.
was a member of the architecture firm McKim, Mead
and White which designed Pennsylvania Station
which was torn down to make way for MSG IV. The
firm also designed the James Farley Post Office
which is being proposed as the anchor for the
proposed new Pennsylvania Station as well as the
proposed MSG V.
third garden, now known as Madison Square Garden
III, was built on 50th Street and Eighth Avenue
by boxing promoter Tex Rickard and was dubbed
"The House That Tex Built." The New
York Rangers got their name in a wordplay on Tex's
name (e.g., Tex's Rangers). It was built in 249
days on the site of the city's street car barns.
However, the Rangers were not the first NHL team
to play at the Garden. The New York Americans
had begun play in 1925 and were so wildly successful
at the gate that Rickard wanted his own team also.
The Rangers were founded in 1926 and both teams
played at the Garden until the Americans folded
in 1942, the Rangers having stolen their commercial
success with their own success on the ice (winning
3 Stanley Cups between 1928 and 1940). This was
the basis for the "Curse" that supposedly
prevented the Rangers from winning the Stanley
Cup again until 1994.
the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
had debuted at the Garden in 1919, the third garden
saw large numbers of performances. The circus
was so important to the Garden that when the Rangers
played in the 1928 Stanley Cup Finals, the team
was forced to play all games on the road (the
Rangers won the series anyway). The circus would
continue to perform as often as three times daily,
repeatedly knocking the Rangers out of the Garden
at playoff time, throughout the life of the third
Garden. Even at the fourth Garden, games would
have to begin as late as 9:00 p.m. to accommodate
the circus. The Circus Acrobatics were very dramatic
including acts in the Rings as well as on the
high wire and trapeze. One dramatic act which
was only performed in the Garden, and not taken
on the road with the traveling Circus, involved
Blinc Candlin, a Hudson, New York fireman, who
rode his (already antique) 1880s High Wheel bicycle
on the high wire every season for over 2 decades
starting in the 1910s and running well through
1928 Rickard built "Boston Madison Square
Garden." The name got clipped to Boston Garden.
was Madison Square Garden III's principal claim
to fame. The building exterior in contrast to
the ornate towers of the first two Garden was
a simple box. Its most distinctive feature was
its ornate marquee that was above the main entrance,
with its seemingly endless abbreviations (Tomw.,
V/S, Rgrs, Tonite, Thru, etc.) Even the name was
abbreviated: Madison Sq. Garden. On January 17,
1941, 23,190 people witnessed Fritzie Zivic successful
welterweight defense against Henry Armstrong.
That is the biggest attendance record of any of
the Gardens. MSG III was featured prominently
in the 2005 Ron Howard film Cinderella Man (although
exterior montage shots glorified it by placing
it against the Times Square signs on Broadway
when it was in fact one block west).
hosted the only indoor bout in the career of Jack
Dempsey. It cost $4.75 million to build; this
one hosted seven NCAA men's basketball championships
between 1943 and 1950.
College of New York (CCNY) was one of the first
schools banned from playing at MSG due to the
1951 CCNY Point Shaving Scandal.
also hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 1954 and
1955. Ironically one type of event that was never
held in the 50th St. MSG (except in the movies)
was a national Democratic or Republican nominating
convention as neither of these parties met in
New York to select their candidates for President
and Vice President of the United States between
1924 and 1976.
third Garden had poor sightlines, especially for
hockey, and fans sitting in the upper deck could
count on having some portion of the ice obstructed,
unless they sat in the first row. The fact that
there was poor ventilation and that smoking was
permitted often led to a haze in the upper portions
of the Garden.
it was torn down, there was a proposal to build
the world's tallest building on its site prompting
a major battle in its Hell's Kitchen neighborhood
that ultimately resulted in strict height restrictions.
The space remained a parking lot though until
1989 when Worldwide Plaza designed by David Childs
of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill opened.
Madison Square Garden Bowl
Madison Square Garden Bowl (a.k.a. Long Island
City Bowl) on June 21, 1932. The occasion is Jack
Sharkey vs. Max Schmeling. Final paid attendance:
Madison Square Garden Bowl (a.k.a. Long Island
City Bowl) on June 21, 1932. The occasion is Jack
Sharkey vs. Max Schmeling. Final paid attendance:
Square built an open air arena, the Madison Square
Garden Bowl at 48th and Northern Boulevard in
Long Island City in 1932 that could seat 72,000.
This was the site where James Braddock defeated
Max Baer for the World Heavyweight title on June
13, 1935 that was dramatized in the film Cinderella
Man. Braddock was born on West 48th Street in
Hell's Kitchen just a few blocks from the West
49th Street location of MSGIII. Braddock's first
come back fight against John "Corn"
Griffin was also in the venue. Jack Sharkey and
Primo Carnera also captured the heavyweight crown
in the 1930s at the Madison Square Garden Bowl.
bowl was torn down after World War II to make
way for U.S. Steel and Ronzoni Macaroni Company
factories. They in turn were torn down and the
area is now home to a series of car dealerships.
February 11, 1968 Madison Square Garden IV opened
after the Pennsylvania Railroad tore down Pennsylvania
Station (New York City) and continued railway
traffic underneath. The new structure was one
of the first of its kind to be built above an
active railroad system. It was an engineering
feat constructed by R.E. McKee of El Paso, Texas.
outcry over the demolished Beaux-Arts structure
led to the creation of the New York City Landmarks
current Garden is the hub of Madison Square Garden
Center in the office and entertainment complex
formally addressed as Pennsylvania Plaza and commonly
known as "Penn Plaza" for the railroad
station atop which the complex is located.
1972, the Garden's Chairman, Irving Mitchell Felt,
suggested moving the Knicks and the Rangers to
what was a proposed venue in the New Jersey Meadows
(now completed and known as Meadowlands Sports
Complex or Izod Center.) This location now hosts
its own NBA team (New Jersey Nets) and from 1981-2007,
the NHL's New Jersey Devils. The NFL's New York
Giants were the only established New York-named
team that actually did move there, and they were
later joined by the Jets. Felt's efforts fueled
controversy between the Garden and New York City
over Real Estate Tax. The scenario again flared
in 1980 when a reported threat by the Garden supposed
a similar move of popular sports teams in an effort
to again challenge property tax. Efforts were
ignored by city leaders.
1991, Garden owners spent $200 million to renovate
facilities and add 89 suites. The process involved
hundreds of upper-tier seats removed to make way.
2004-2005 Cablevision (the Garden's owner) battled
with the City of New York over proposed West Side
Stadium which would compete with the Garden. New
stadium proposals halted; and Cablevision announced
its own plans to raze the Garden, replace it with
high-rise commercial buildings and build a new
of September 2007, the Garden's current owner,
Cablevision, has plans to build a fifth Garden.
If the project moves forward, a new Garden would
be built at the western end of the James Farley
Post Office/ Farley Annex, on 33rd Street and
Ninth Avenue across the street, which is also
eyed for a western expansion of Pennsylvania Station.
The James Farley Post Office is a National Historic
Landmark and is named in honor of former Postmaster
General and New York State Athletic/Boxing Commissioner
James Farley. The Farley Garden, which would remain
home to the Rangers and the Knicks, would feature
wide concourses with stores and restaurants, luxury
boxes with better sight lines for basketball and
hockey games, a museum, and a hall of fame. The
current Garden would be torn down to be replaced
with office buildings and perhaps a new Penn Station
The Garden during "Mark Messier Night",
January 12, 2006.
The Garden during "Mark Messier Night",
January 12, 2006.
present Garden hosts approximately 320 events
a year but it is best known as the home of the
New York Knicks of the NBA and New York Rangers
of the NHL. The aforementioned professional sports
teams play their home games in the arena and are
owned by the Garden itself. It also hosts New
York Liberty (WNBA) home games (also owned by
the Garden), the Ringling Brothers and Barnum
and Bailey Circus when it comes to New York City
(although Continental Airlines Arena and Nassau
Coliseum also host the circus each year), selected
home games for the St. John's men's Red Storm
(college basketball), the Big East Men's Basketball
Conference Tournament, the annual pre and postseason
NIT tournaments, the NBA Draft, the Millrose Games
athletics meet, and almost any other kind of indoor
activity that draws large audiences, such as the
2004 Republican National Convention. It has previously
hosted the 1976, 1980 and 1992 Democratic National
Conventions, and hosted the NFL Draft for many
years (now held at Garden-leased Radio City Music
Hall). In 2008, all eight home games for the New
York Titans will be played at the garden.
hosted the 1994 NHL All-Star Game and 1998 NBA
All-Star Game, three WNBA All-Star Games (1999,
2003 and 2006), and a portion of the 1996 World
Cup of Hockey.
World Wrestling Entertainment considers it a home
arena as well, due to the fact that all generations
of the McMahon family, including Vince McMahon's
father and grandfather, have promoted shows at
the Garden. MSG has hosted several WrestleMania
and SummerSlam events, two Survivor Series events
and the 2000 Royal Rumble. More WWE Championships
have been won at MSG than any other arena. WWE's
strong relationship with Madison Square Garden
prevented competitor World Championship Wrestling
(WCW) from ever having a show at the Garden. In
2005, WWE severed business ties with the arena
because WWE felt that increased rental costs would
prevent them from making a profit in the building.
However, over a year later, World Wrestling Entertainment
temporarily patched things up with MSG and the
hiatus ended with a September 11, 2006 edition
of WWE Raw. Though they pulled the 20th installment
of SummerSlam, which would have been held at the
Garden on August 26, 2007. (It was held at the
Continental Airlines Arena) WWE continues to make
occasional appearances at MSG, and will return
next for the 2008 Royal Rumble in January.
is also known for its place in the history of
boxing. Many of boxing's biggest fights were held
at Madison Square Garden, including many of Joe
Louis, the Roberto Duran-Ken Buchanan affair,
and the first and second Joe Frazier-Muhammad
Ali bouts. In March 1947, Herbie Kronowitz of
Brooklyn and Artie Levine of Cleveland thrilled
a crowd of 12,000 during a 10-round battle between
the two Jewish fighters. Levine won the decision,
although Kronowitz claimed that while Levine "won
the decision. There was no question that I won
the fight." Before promoters such as Don
King and Bob Arum moved boxing to Las Vegas, Madison
Square Garden was considered the mecca of boxing.
The original 18½' × 18½' ring,
which was brought from the second and third generation
of the Garden, was officially retired on September
19, 2007 and donated to the International Boxing
Hall of Fame after 82 years of service. A 20'
× 20' ring replaced it beginning on October
6 of that same year.
large popular-music concerts in New York City
take place in Madison Square Garden. Particularly
famous ones include The Concert for New York City
following the September 11 attacks and John Lennon's
final concert appearance before his murder in
1980. The Garden usually hosts a concert each
year on New Years Eve, with the Knicks and Rangers
usually playing on the road.
musical acts released seminal live albums recorded
at MSG, including Led Zeppelin, Fania All Stars,
Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel,
Phish, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Madonna, Mary
J Blige, U2, The Rolling Stones, Britney Spears,
Shakira, Justin Timberlake, NSYNC, Cher, Christina
Aguilera, Spice Girls The Who, Beyonce, Enrique
Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Barbra Streisand.
Other artists, such as Pearl Jam, Mariah Carey,
and O.A.R. and Marc Anthony have released DVDs
showing their live performances at the Garden.
Some of these releases, such as by Cream and Michael
Jackson, show special anniversary or reunion concerts
at the venue. An extensive list of live performances
played at the venue is included below.
arena is also used for other special events, including
Tennis, Circus, and Wrestling events. The New
York Police Academy, New York University and Yeshiva
University also hold their annual graduation ceremonies
at Madison Square Garden. It has become the New
York site of the annual Grammy Awards (which are
normally held in Los Angeles) and hosted the 2005
Country Music Association Awards (normally held
Big East Conference men's basketball tournament
has been held at MSG every year since 1983 making
it the longest period a conference tournament
has been held at a single location.
in the present Madison Square Garden is arranged
in six ascending levels. The first level, available
for basketball games and concerts, but not for
hockey games, is the "floor" or "court-side"
seating. Next above this is the loge seating,
followed by the 100-level and 200-level promenades,
the 300-level promenade, and the 400-level or
mezzanine. The seats of these levels originally
bore the colors red, orange, yellow, green, and
blue, respectively; however, this color scheme
has since been changed, mainly because the "blue
seats" had become synonymous with rowdy behavior
by fans, particularly those attending New York
Rangers hockey games. It was a common sight for
Rangers fans to set fire to the jerseys of fans
from visiting teams, especially those from the
New York Islanders, Boston Bruins, and the Philadelphia
Flyers. Rangers fans in the blue seats would defend
their home from the invading hordes of visiting
teams' fans at all costs. Fights were constantly
occurring, and ushers would often let Rangers
fans get their last punches or kicks in before
hauling away the opposing fan. Today, the Garden
is not as hostile for opposing fans to visit.
The 400 level known as the "blue seats"
still consists of many diehard fans and they are
just as passionate as they were when the seats
were colored. Tickets for events at MSG are hard
to come by, especially for the New York Rangers
who sell out nearly every single game. For hockey,
the Garden seats 18,200; for basketball, 19,763;
and for concerts 20,000 center stage, 19,522 end-stage.
The arena features 20,976 square feet (1949 m²)
of arena floor space.
all of the seats, except the 400 level, are in
one monolithic grandstand, distance from the arena
floor is significant from the ends of the arena.
Also, the rows rise much more gradually than other
North American arenas, which can cause impaired
sightlines, especially when sitting behind tall
spectators or one of the concourses.
Madison Square Garden is more than just the arena.
Other venues at the Garden include:
* The WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden, which
seats between 2,000 and 5,600 for concerts and
can also be used for meetings, stage shows, and
graduation ceremonies, and was also the traditional
home of the NFL Draft until 2005, when it moved
to the Jacob Javits Convention Center after MSG
management opposed a new stadium for the New York
Jets. It also occasionally hosts major boxing
matches on nights when the main arena is unavailable.
No seat is more than 177 feet (54 m) from the
30-foot-by-64-foot stage. There is an 8,000-square-foot
lobby at the theater. When the current Garden
opened in 1968, the Theater was known as the Felt
Forum, in honor of then president Irving Felt.
In the early 1990s, it was renamed the Paramount,
after Paramount Communications (which had previously
been known as Gulf & Western), which then
owned the Garden (and, at the time, Paramount
Pictures.) The theater received its next name
of The Theater at Madison Square Garden in the
mid-90s, after Viacom bought Paramount, and sold
the MSG properties to a group consisting of ITT
and Cablevision, which each owned 50% of the Garden.
In 1997, ITT sold their share to Cablevision,
giving the cable company full control of the venue.
On May 17, 2007, the theater received its current
name due to a naming rights deal with Washington
* The 36,000-square-foot Expo Center (formerly
known as "The Rotunda") is used for
trade shows, cat shows, stamp shows, often in
combination with the arena, banquets, and receptions.
* A 9,500-square-foot terrace and two restaurants:
the Garden Club and the Play-by-Play.
Other corporate operations
addition to the Garden itself, Madison Square
Garden, L.P. also operates two theaters in Manhattan:
Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater.
Past Corporate Operations
Square Garden also used to operate the Hartford
Civic Center and Rentschler Field under contract
with the state of Connecticut until the 2007 season
when it was replaced by Northland/Anschutz Entertainment
Hartford Civic Center, an indoor arena in Hartford,
Connecticut, is home to the Rangers AHL affiliate,
the Hartford Wolf Pack. The arena also serves
as the part-time home of the men's and women's
basketball teams of the University of Connecticut.
Field, a stadium in East Hartford, hosts UConn's
college football team. It was built for the University
of Connecticut after a plan to build a larger
stadium that would have accommodated both the
Huskies and New England Patriots fell through.
It also hosts various concerts and soccer matches.
* February 12, 1879 - The first artificial ice
rink in North America opens at the Garden.
* 1902 - The first indoor professional American
football game is played.
* 1934 - The first college basketball game at
the Garden is played, between the University of
Notre Dame and New York University.
* February 28, 1940 - Basketball is televised
for the first time (Fordham University vs. the
University of Pittsburgh).
* March 19, 1954 - Joey Giardello knocks out Willie
Tory in round seven at the Garden in the first
televised prize boxing fight shown in color.
* February 8, 10, 11, 1979 - The Challenge Cup,
a three-game series between the All-Stars of the
National Hockey League and the Soviet National
Team took place at the Garden. The Soviets won,
two games to one.
* March 31, 1985 - The World Wrestling Federation
(now known as World Wrestling Entertainment or
WWE), presents the inaugural WrestleMania. The
annual event would return to Madison Square Garden
in 1994 and 2004 for WrestleMania X and WrestleMania
XX, celebrating the 10th and 20th anniversaries
* August 29, 1988 - The WWE presents the first
SummerSlam event. The annual events would return
to Madison Square Garden for SummerSlam 1991 and
* June 14, 1994 - After 54 years, the New York
Rangers win the Stanley Cup at Madison Square
Garden. It is the first time that a Stanley Cup
has been won by the Rangers at the Garden.
* June 29, 1997 - The New York Liberty professional
women's basketball team plays its first home game
- the first WNBA game to be played at Madison
* March 1, 2003 - Quinnipiac University defeats
the University of Connecticut 4-3 in the first
college hockey game played at Madison Square Garden
* July 13-15, 2007 - Popular Boston-based indie
band Dispatch, sold out MSG for three nights in
a row and became the first independent band to
either headline, or sell out MSG.
Political and other events
its long history, the Garden has been involved
in its share of historical events. These events
have included famous political rallies and celebrations.
* The 1924, 1976, 1980, and 1992 Democratic National
Conventions were held at MSG.
* On February 20, 1939, A large German-American
Bund convention was held prompting riots and protests
in and around the arena by American Jews.
* Former Republican Party presidential candidate
Wendell Willkie led 20,000 African-Americans on
June 7, 1943, the largest Civil Rights rally of
its time, in demanding equal rights and victory
in the war against Hitler.
* President John F. Kennedy's 45th birthday celebration
took place at the Garden on May 19, 1962. During
it, Marilyn Monroe sang her now infamous Happy
Birthday, Mr. President.
* On July 1, 1982 Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon
held a Blessing Ceremony in the Garden for 2075
couples. This event attracted a lot of public
and media attention (including a story in Life
Magazine), often being called a "mass wedding."
* The 2004 Republican National Convention at MSG
marked the first time that the Republican party
held their convention in New York City.
Concerts and live performances
1968, Madison Square Garden has been host to a
number of concerts and live performances.
in chronological order with name of artist and
date of performance
* In August, 1969, the Jackson 5 made their first
television appearance, singing The Isley Brothers'
"It's Your Thing" at the Miss Black
America Pageant at MSG.
* The Rolling Stones 1970 live album Get Yer Ya
Ya's Out was made with the Stones performances
at MSG on November 27 and 28th 1969, during their
legendary 1969 North American Tour.
* A twelve-act show dubbed the Winter Festival
for Peace took place at MSG on January 28, 1970.
* On August 1, 1971, George Harrison held his
Concert For Bangladesh. This historic event was
the first special benefit concert to raise funds
for charity (in this case, the country of Bangladesh,
which was at that time in a severe and desperate
state). There were two concerts held that day,
with one taking place at 2:30pm and the other
at 7:00pm. The show featured artists such as Harrison,
Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr,
Billy Preston, and Klaus Voormann, to name a few.
A live album of the concert was released in 1972.
* In June of 1972, Elvis Presley made his first
and only appearances in New York City at the Garden.
Elvis played four shows to 80,000 people, which
at the time was a record for the venue. A week
after the shows an album of the Saturday evening
performance was rushed to release making it the
fastest turnaround between a live performance
and its recorded release. To mark the 25th anniversary
of Elvis' Garden shows, a recording of the Saturday
afternoon performance was released entitled An
Afternoon in the Garden.
* John Lennon performed a concert at The Garden
on 30 August 1972 which was professionally recorded
and posthumously released on the 1986 album Live
in New York City.
* English rock band Led Zeppelin filmed and recorded
their live album, and for many years, only live
album and accompanying concert film, The Song
Remains the Same, at The Garden during their 1973
U.S. tour. Additional footage from these concerts
was released in 2003 on the Led Zeppelin DVD.
* In October 1974, to cap his comeback after his
retirement in 1971 Frank Sinatra played in front
of 20,000 fans at the Garden in a show dubbed
"The Main Event" that was broadcast
nationally and internationally.
* On November 28, 1974, John Lennon made a surprise
guest appearance at an Elton John concert - Lennon's
last ever concert appearance. They sang together
as a duet on "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds",
"Whatever Gets You Thru the Night" and
"I Saw Her Standing There". The concert
was released as the "There" portion
of John's 1976 live album Here and There.
* In June 1977 Led Zeppelin performed six sold
out concerts at The Garden. The band spent no
money on advertising for the gigs, relying on
street demand to sell out the shows. Enough ticket
applications were received to sell out a further
two nights, had time permitted.
* In July 1977, English rock band Pink Floyd performed
at MSG for the first time in their then ten year
recording career, playing four consecutive sold
out nights from July 1 through July 4 on the final
North American dates on their Animals tour. The
show on July 1 saw problems between the band and
local lighting technicians, whom they had to use
instead of their own lighting crew due to union
technicalities, and on July 3 when fans lit off
fireworks which disrupted the Pink Floyd's performance.
The band (minus Roger Waters) would not play the
venue again until the 1987 A Momentary Lapse of
Reason tour, when the shows ran a lot more smoothly.
* On June 17, 1978 reggae superstar Bob Marley
raised the profile of reggae music in America
with his performance at the Garden. In 1980 Marley
played two concerts at the venue as the opener
of The Commodores; the performances were sold
out, but the Garden was almost empty after Marley's
show. The day after Marley, already fatally ill,
collapsed while jogging in Central Park and performed
one last concert in Pittsburgh before canceling
the tour. Marley died months later of cancer.
* On July 29 1978 Genesis made their second appearance
at the venue. Although now without guitarist Steve
Hackett, original front man Peter Gabriel did
attend the show and joined the band for an encore
of their seminal hit single, "I Know What
I Like". Genesis played this venue again
on all subsequent US tours except for the 1992
We Can't Dance tour.
* In October 1978 Jethro Tull filmed a concert
at this venue on their Bursting Out tour which
aired on television. Some parts were released
on the re-issued Thick as a Brick album and various
concert videos. These concerts were of note as
Tull's leader Ian Anderson's friend Tony Williams
filled in for then-Tull bass player John Glascock,
who was suffering from ailing health (Glascock
would pass away in 1979).*
During Queen's show in November of 1978 the band
had numerous naked women on stage riding bicycles
during their song "Bicycle Race" This
stunt attracted considerable media attention.
* Woodstock '79: a rock concert in honor of the
10th Anniversary of the original Woodstock Festival.
* In May 1981 Rush performed at MSG for the first
time in their then seven year career on their
Moving Pictures tour. The band would subsequently
perform here again in 1982 (two shows on their
Signals tour), 1984, 1988, 1991, 1994 (two shows
on their Counterparts tour), 2002 and as recent
as September of 2007.
* On New Year's Eve, 1982 Billy Joel played his
first sold out new year's eve concert as well
as ended his Nylon Curtain tour on the same night
at The Garden.
* On May 14, 1988, the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary
celebrations were held at The Garden, consisting
of a non-stop concert lasting almost 13 hours.
Those performing included Led Zeppelin, Yes, Genesis,
Iron Butterfly, The Rascals, Crosby, Stills &
Nash, Foreigner, Paul Rodgers, Bob Geldof, Booker
T. Jones, Wilson Pickett, The Coasters, The Spinners,
Peabo Bryson, Dan Aykroyd, Roberta Flack, Manhattan
Transfer, Debbie Gibson, The Bee Gees, Ruth Brown,
LaVern Baker, Ben E. King, and Vanilla Fudge.
* Comedian Andrew Dice Clay became the first comic
to do two sold out shows in a row in 1991 in a
film entitled Dice Rules.
In 1993 Luis Miguel became the first Latin artist
to sell out at the Garden and received a special
recognition during the middle of the show.
* On 10 October, 1995, Mariah Carey performed
at The Garden, which was filmed and released on
the DVD/Home Video Fantasy: Mariah Carey at Madison
* On December 31st, 1995, rock band Phish performed
for a sellout crowd and played a show that was
later called one of "the Greatest Concerts
of the 90s" by Rolling Stone magazine. It
was recorded and released on December, 20th 2005
to commemorate the show's 10th anniversary as
a three disc set entitled: Phish: New Year's Eve
1995 - Live at Madison Square Garden
On July 16th, 1998 Page and Plant performed a
concert at The Garden.
* On Sunday, October 11, 1998, Janet Jackson performed
her Velvet Rope concert live on HBO. R&B artist
Usher was her opening act, hip-hop star Q-Tip
made a guest performance, and former Secretary
of State General Colin Powell made a special appearance.
* Billy Joel played a four-hour concert for New
Year's 1999, dubbed 'The Night of Two Thousand
Years." Two songs from this concert were
broadcast live on ABC-TV as part of the ABC 2000
news program. Highlights from the show were also
used for the live album 2000 Years: The Millennium
* New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen sold out
a then-record 10-night stand at the Garden in
June and July 2000. Highlights of the show were
used for his live CD/DVD Live In New York City.
* Barbra Streisand set the highest grossing event
at MSG with her two "farewell" concerts
on September 27-28, 2000.
* Elton John recorded a live performance and MSG
called Elton John One Night Only - The Greatest
Hits. The album was recorded on October 20, and
21, 2000, an extended version was also released
as a DVD.
* The Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special
took place on September 7th and 10th, 2001. Including
various artists from Usher to Whitney Houston.
Notable for the performance of the Jackson 5 *
On October 20, 2001 The Garden played host to
"The Concert for New York City" after
the September 11, 2001 attacks. The benefit was
as famous for its emotional performances by Billy
Joel and The Who as it was for the crowd booing
Richard Gere and serenading Hillary Rodham Clinton
with chants of "Hitlery! Hitlery!" (the
nickname given to her by conservative pundit Neal
Boortz), and fireman Mike Moran telling Osama
Bin Laden to "kiss my royal Irish ass".
* On October 24, 2002 Canadian rock band Rush
sold out Madison Square Garden the band's first
tour in nearly six years. The band was awarded
on stage from the Recording Industry Association
of American for shipments of 25 million in the
United States of America.
On October 28, 2002 Latin American Mexican rock
band Maná performed here for there Revolución
de Amor Tour. They also played here the following
year on October 13, 2003 for the same tour.
* on December 31, 2002 legendary jamband, Phish
made their triumphant return to the stage after
a 2 year hiatus to a loving MSG crowd. This would
be their last performance at the garden after
the band called it quits in the summer of 2004
* Pearl Jam's 2003 live DVD Live at the Garden
was recorded on July 8, 2003 at The Garden.
* On November 25, 2003, Jay-Z held a concert at
the Garden, which would later be the focus of
his film Fade to Black. This concert was his "retirement
party." All proceeds went to charity. Other
performers included collaborators like The Roots
(in the form of his backing band), Missy Elliott,
Memphis Bleek, Beanie Siegel, Freeway, Mary J.
Blige, Beyoncé, Twista, Ghostface Killah,
Foxy Brown, Pharrell and R. Kelly with special
appearances by Voletta Wallace and Afeni Shakur;
the mothers of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur
* March 14, 2004 witnessed the 20th anniversary
of World Wrestling Entertainment's WrestleMania
PPV in front of 20,000 fans. The return to MSG
for WrestleMania generated more than $2.4 million
USD in ticket sales.
* June 22, 2005 witnessed British rock band Oasis
make their long awaited debut at the Garden, some
10 years into their career. The concert sold out
in record time and was later praised by many critics
as one of Oasis finest moments.
* In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the Garden
played host to yet another charity concert. From
the Big Apple to the Big Easy, was an event held
on September 20, 2005. It has since been referred
to as "Apple Easy". The funds raised
went to helping rebuild New Orleans after the
devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
* From October 24-26, 2005, Cream played at MSG
for their United States reunion. The shows were
marred by some controversy in regards to tickets:
the show's promoters had made a deal with credit
card company American Express to make tickets
available to American Express customers only in
an unprecedented week-long pre-sale. Ticket scalpers
charged high prices for tickets. Nevertheless,
the shows were a financial success and received
* In 2006, Billy Joel set a record with a string
of 12 sold-out performances, breaking the record
of 10 set by Bruce Springsteen in 2000. On night
12 of the stand, MSG raised a #12 to the rafters
on top of the Garden to join the numbers of Rangers
and Knicks players that have had their numbers
retired by their respective teams, making Joel
the first ever non-sports individual to have his
"number" retired at The Garden. The
concerts were released as the album 12 Gardens
Live in 2006.
* On November 12, 2006, comedian Dane Cook performed
two sold out shows in one night.
* On December 1, 2006, comedy rock band Tenacious
D, featuring actors Jack Black and Kyle Gass performed
at MSG in their first headlining concert at a
major American arena, with comedian Neil Hamburger
the unlikely opener.
* On March 14 and March 15, 2007 Latin American
Mexican rock band Maná performed here for
there Amar es Combatir Tour.
* On March 24, 2007, soca artist Machel Montano
performed two sold out shows in one night.
* On March 25, 2007, Elton John celebrated his
60th birthday and 60th Sold Out concert at Madison
Square Garden. In honor of this achievement an
Elton John #60 banner was raised to the rafters.
* On May 30, 2007, Roger Waters played for the
second time at MSG in a year.
* On August 4 & August 5, 2007 R&B singer
Beyoncé performed 2 sold-out shows part
of her 2007 World Tour "The Beyoncé
* In 2007, Dispatch reunited at MSG and sold out
shows on the nights of July 13th, 14th, and 15th.
There was originally supposed to be only one show,
but after selling out the first scheduled concert
in 15 minutes, the band added another show that
sold out in 24 hours, then added a third night
on the 15th. These shows were all 100% concerts.
Dispatch became the first unsigned band to ever
sell out Madison Square Garden.
On August 15 & August 16, 2007 Justin Timberlake
Performed 2 sold-out Shows on his FutureSex/LoveSounds
Tour. A combination of the two dates were made
into an HBO Concert of the same name.
* On October 9, 2007 Latin American Mexican rock
band Maná came back performed here for
the second time this year for there Amar es Combatir
Regular performances and concert records
Madison Square Garden hosts a concert on New Year's
Eve. The Knicks and Rangers usually play on the
road that evening. Recent NYE performances include
multiple performances by the band Phish (1995,
1997, 1998, 2002), Billy Joel (1982, 1999), Blues
Traveler (1996), Marc Anthony (2000), Wilco &
The Flaming Lips (2004), The Black Crowes &
Trey Anastasio (2005) and Chris Rock in 2007.
A planned 2003 New Years show by Jane's Addiction
and Marilyn Manson was cancelled due to low ticket
sales. No show was booked for December 31, 2006.
1985, Irish band U2 has performed 17 shows at
the Garden, more than at any other venue, including
a combined 8 sold out shows on the 1st and 3rd
legs of their most recent Vertigo Tour. Their
two performances on the Elevation Tour in October
2001 were considered by many not only among their
best concerts ever, but among the best ever at
the Garden, with emotions running high after September
11, and Bono inviting dozens of firemen and emergency
workers onstage at the end of the performance.
single artist holding the all-time record for
the greatest number of appearances at the Garden
is Elton John who has played the arena 60 times.
For this feat he has had a banner stating "60"
raised up to the ceiling in the arena for his
record and age. The band that played more dates
in the Garden than any other is The Grateful Dead,
performing at the arena 52 times from 1979 through
Film and television appearances
an iconic figure, Madison Square Garden has made
various appearances in film and television programs.
It was featured in the 1979 Robert Redford film
The Electric Horseman. Madison Square Garden is
featured in the opening scenes of Highlander (1986),
which included footage of former tag team The
Fabulous Freebirds. (It is worth noting, however,
that only the exterior was used; the interior
shots were from Continental Airlines Arena.) The
Garden's marquee is seen in the 1984 comedy film,
Top Secret! advertising a concert by the protagonist,
Nick Rivers. In 1988 it featured scenes in the
cult comedy hit Coming to America.
Square Garden was the "nest" for the
carnivorous Godzilla babies and was later destroyed
by F/A-18 Fighter/bombers in the Americanized
version of Godzilla (1998). Madison Square Garden
was featured in the film Glitter, Forget Paris,
Finding Forrester, and the Adam Sandler remake
of Mr. Deeds. In Paternity, Burt Reynolds plays
the manager of the Garden. The famous scene from
Citizen Kane with Orson Welles standing in front
of his giant picture took place in the third Garden.
Garden was briefly featured in the film Saw II
in a photo.
American sitcom Friends has used shots of Madison
Square Garden several times. In the episode The
One with George Stephanopoulos, Chandler, Joey,
and Ross go to see a Rangers game, in The One
with the Late Thanksgiving, Joey and Ross are
late to Thanksgiving dinner because they go to
see a Rangers game and in The One Where Rachel's
Sister Baby-Sits Mike proposes to Phoebe on the
big screen during a Knicks game.
arena has also made various appearances on television.
The television series Futurama, set in the year
3000, features "Madison Cube Garden"
which appears like a cube standing on one partially-buried
garden's front rail was frontside boardslided
by skateboarder Brian Anderson in Girl Skateboards'
of the concert venues in the video game Rock Band
is a fictitious New York concert hall called "Empire
Square Gardens", a clear reference to The
the anime Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, the character
Ryohei Sasagawa, obsessed with boxing said he
always saw stars and the Madison Square Garden,
even when it was the afternoon. (Credit:
Man Australia Entertainment News