See Madison Square Garden Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

See Madison Square Garden Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

I think it’s a bit bonkers that my very first time inside of Madison Square Garden, I got to see inside the Rangers and Knicks/Liberty locker rooms, as well as see the arena itself from The Chase Bridge, suite-level and from the floor.

You totally can too as part of the Madison Square Garden All Access Tour!

Locker room set up for the New York Liberty (©Katie Labovitz)

While the entire group I was on the tour with were tourists from all over the world, the Madison Square Garden All Access Tour really is for anyone who appreciates New York sports and entertainment history, as well as fancies themselves a gander behind the scenes at The World’s Most Famous Arena®.

Even if you’ve seen a sports match or attended a concert at The Garden, you haven’t actually seen the whole building. On the tour, we got to see the Delta Sky360° Club lounge area where VIPs get to hang out and got a chance to really take in the Garden 366 retrospective—a series of 366 gorgeous photographs with a special moment or performance representing every single day of a Leap Year over the course of The Garden’s history.

Defining Moments exhibit featuring Wayne Gretzky (©Katie Labovitz)

I really loved the Defining Moments exhibits—museum-quality displays of 20 of the biggest moments at Madison Square Garden. Two of my favorite displays were “The Great One Retires,” which was about Wayne Gretzky retiring on April 18,1999. I didn’t grow up watching hockey on the regular, but everyone knew Gretzky and how much of a mark he left on that sport. It was so cool to see his jersey and stick, as well as the invitation to his retirement party. We also saw one about “The Fight of the Century”—when undefeated boxers Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali went 15 rounds for the heavyweight title and Frazier won, handing Ali quite a left hook and his first professional loss. Their signed boxing gloves were on display, as were tickets to the fight and magazines with front-page stories, among other mementos.

Getting to sit inside the arena was also neat. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a location with that many seats before—The Garden can seat up to 20,000 people—nor somewhere that big that has a concave ceiling.

Inside The Garden—They were setting up for a music performance that night. (©Katie Labovitz)

Did you know that this Madison Square Garden is actually the fourth Madison Square Garden? I didn’t. I also wasn’t aware that it recently underwent a $1 billion three-year renovation. (In my defense, I wasn't living in NYC yet during part of that time.) From the stories our amazing tour guide, Alex, was telling us, the upgrades are very impressive and this is surely the most state-of-the-art arena I've ever been to.

With about 260 events per year—ranging from concerts to hockey to basketball to tennis and more—Madison Square Garden truly does have something for everyone.

For tickets for the Madison Square Garden All Access Tour, click here. For more the schedule of what you can see at Madison Square Garden, click here.

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