Thursday, May 6, 2010

Garden Renovation Update

May 6, 2010

We wanted to share with you some exciting news on the upcoming renovation of the "World's Most Famous Arena." As you know, we are planning a dramatic transformation of Madison Square Garden that will take place in phases. The building will be transformed into a state-of-the-art facility that lives up to its iconic stature, while preserving The Garden's great history and distinctive architecture.

The ultimate goal of the renovation is to dramatically enhance the experience for all of our guests, reinforcing The Garden's place as the leading sports and entertainment venue in the world. Some of the many significant upgrades will include: a brand new 7th Avenue entrance, significantly wider concourses, several new first-class food and entertainment amenities, improved sightlines, more comfortable seating, a dynamic new scoreboard, new suites, clubs and hospitality areas, and views of the city from several areas of the building.

At the conclusion of the Knicks and Rangers 2010-11 seasons, The Garden will be closed for three consecutive summers to complete work on this project. The Arena will be open for the Knicks and Rangers seasons each year, along with our roster of world-class events during this timeframe. While there will be construction-related activity ongoing during the seasons, including work on the concourses, certain suites, concessions and restrooms, we are taking all possible steps to minimize disruption to fans. Below is a description of The Garden transformation phases that are planned to be completed over the next three summers (some areas will debut during the Knicks and Rangers seasons):

2011-12 Season

*Lower Bowl seating area with larger, more comfortable seats
*Expanded Lower Concourse with city views, enhanced concession stands featuring Coca-Cola products, more restrooms and additional retail locations
*20 new Event Level Suites offering a sophisticated atmosphere and the best seats in the house
*New Delta SKY360 Event Level Club offering exclusive dining options and views of athletes entering and exiting the locker room area

2012-13 Season
*Upper Bowl seating area with larger, more comfortable seats and significantly improved sightlines
*Expanded Upper Concourse with city views, enhanced concession stands featuring Coca-Cola products, more restrooms and additional retail locations
*58 new Lower Level Suites that are larger and half the distance to the court/ice with bowl seating
*New all-inclusive Super Club with seating in the arena and exclusive club space available for corporations and individuals looking to entertain at Knicks and Rangers games

2013-14 Season
*New 7th Avenue Entrance featuring interactive kiosks, retail locations and a broadcast area
*Two spectacular new Bridges that will be suspended above the court/ice for a one-of-a-kind view of the action
*New 10th floor Party Decks offering a selection of new food and beverage options and a unique social gathering space with direct views into the arena bowl
*New state-of-the-art GardenVision center-hung scoreboard
*18 completely remodeled 9th floor Suites

We are dedicated to providing you, our most loyal customers, with a transformed Garden that will meet your greatest expectations for the "World's Most Famous Arena." We hope that you share our excitement for the new Madison Square Garden and the role it will play in creating defining moments and great traditions for New Yorkers and fans around the world. This transformation is important to New York given that The Garden, much like the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and Central Park, is part of the fabric of New York. We are pleased that our construction manager, Turner Construction, has advised us that the renovation will involve more than 2.6 million man hours of union labor, the equivalent of at least 1,300 full-time equivalent jobs, and will create as many as 3,700 union construction jobs.

Moving forward we will offer you a host of resources, including regular communications, informational events and interactive online tools regarding the highly anticipated renovation of The Garden to ensure that you are fully informed as progress continues. If you go to, select renderings of the transformed Garden are available to view.

Thank you for your support and commitment to the New York Rangers, we look forward to seeing you at The Garden in the fall.


Hank Ratner
President & CEO
Madison Square Garden
Quick analysis: Garden brass doesn't realize that the best way to maximize revenues is to improve the performance of the teams that are the main attraction. Those teams are the main attraction, NOT the building they play in - no matter how much you tout how famous it is. Most fans would come down to watch the Rangers play in a barn or the Knicks play in a cage - location doesn't matter, the team does. Typical corporate thinking by them, missing the big picture as always.


Anonymous said...

Garden management will use this as an excuse/justification for raising ticket prices for the next three years.

Pete said...

That's not entirely true. Look at the Mausoleum. I went to one concert there. The place is a trash bin. I'd never go to another event there ever, even a Rangers game, unless it was a cup finals game.

Ultimately, the hardcore fans will go no matter what. But it's always been apparent that Ratner isn't concerned with the hardcore fan. It's about converting other people into revenue. So, in order to keep the product marketable, they are updating it a bit.

You and I have had the conversation on numerous nights about the fact that the sky boxes are practically always empty. And while I agree that the empty sky box offers a great charity opportunity that more often than not went wasted, I can see the wisdom in moving the boxes down low. I've actually had the opportunity of seeing two games in the skybox seats and, quite frankly, if they weren't free, I wouldn't have done it. The view is terrible. Which probably never occurs to the regular denizens of those areas. But I would imagine that corportate box sales and even revenues for boxes that are reserved for parties and special events will increase when those boxes have a better view.

And, I know you prefer to stand at the games, but I think the change to a more comfortable seat is a win for all the fans. The current seats had my back shot after 3 periods.

I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with the thought process behind the renovation, and I do think it winds up being a win for all fans, barring the 3 year inconvenience...and the price hike to boot. But, like any other product, proper marketing is a necessity, and conversions on new ticket holders can actually keep your prices down in the long run.

And, at least the didn't decide to build a new stadium in some god-forsaken part of Brooklyn, or some such. So, there is that.

Anonymous said...

Unless Mike Bloomberg and NYC approve construction there will be no renovation.

Rangers could be the next team to leave NYC.