Madison Square Garden, nicknamed "The World's Most Famous Coliseum," is a huge indoor arena in Midtown Manhattan known for being the home of the New York Knicks (NBA) and the New York Rangers (NHL). Want to experience the magic of the legendary MSG?
Visit Madison Square Garden with a guided tour or buy tickets
You have two options to get to know the stadium from the inside:
Take a tour of Madison Square Garden
By booking a guided tour you will have access to Madison Square Garden and see the inside of the facility and all areas. You can purchase tickets at the Chase Square Team Store located in the MSG lobby.
Note that if you purchased one of the New York City Tourist Cards, this tour is included free of charge. So I recommend if it is within your means, buy a tourist card because with it you can visit many other attractions in New York.
Buy tickets for the Knicks (NBA) or the Rangers (NHL)
Buy a ticket for a Knicks or Rangers game to experience the atmosphere and party of the best sport on the East Coast. This way, you will be able to access the stadium and visit many of its sections, in addition to having fun watching a top-level game.
How is the tour of the Madison Square Garden?
The guided tour of MSG starts at the perimeter ring, which has multiple photographs of the history of this stadium that was born around 1874 and was torn down and rebuilt several times. The current MSG is the fourth MSG and was inaugurated in 1968.
This part of the tour is very informative because with the help of images, interactive screens and a brief review allows us to know iconic scenes from the world of sports, music or social events that have happened here.
Continuing with the visit, I really liked the giant panels on display because in addition to telling you the highlighted fact also show objects related to that particular moment. From Patrick Ewing's equipment the night of "The Dunk" to the photographs and invitations of J.F. Kennedy' s birthday where Marilyn Monroe sang happy birthday to him.
A visit to the boxes and The Bridge Level
Afterwards, we visit the skybox area where we have the opportunity to see the inside of these VIP areas for millionaires, artists and politicians. There is nothing missing! Bar, comfortable seats, buffet and privileged views of the court.
Although one of the areas I liked the most at Madison Square Garden is The Bridge Level, at the top of the stadium, which was created in 2011 and has views not suitable for those who are afraid of heights. The feeling of being on the court is barbaric.
Passing through the team locker rooms and dressing rooms
From there the group headed to the lower level of the stadium where the locker rooms are located. If you are lucky you can visit them as they are not available on game days. It is very interesting because you can go backstage of the teams and observe what most people never see. The guide explained to us that depending on the team playing they change the shields and as a superstition, neither players nor visitors are allowed to step on it.
Don't worry if the visit coincides with game day because the guide shows one of the dressing rooms where music stars prepare before going on stage. It is also very exciting to see it and hear some anecdotes.
Madison Square Garden tour and visit schedule
They are normally held daily from 9:30 AM to 3 PM and when the Knicks are playing from 12:15 PM to 3 PM but before booking a tour of Madison Square Garden I recommend that you check to see if there are any events taking place on the day you plan to tour.
Tours are offered on a first come, first served basis and are subject to availability, as changes may occur without prior notice due to events. It is recommended that you arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your scheduled tour time at Madison Square Garden. Please note that the Madison Square Garden tour will be closed from February 28 through March 14.
See the MSG arena in virtual reality
Before the end of the tour, they also show you the court. Sometimes it's a basketball court, sometimes it's an ice hockey court, sometimes it's a stage under construction - there's always the wow factor! However, they do not allow you to step on it even though you can see it perfectly from the side.
Also, during the tour of Madison Square Garden there is a very cool experience where through virtual reality glasses you can see live the shows that are held in this stadium and all the work to transform the basketball court to an ice rink or a stage.
Take a look at the souvenir store before you leave
The tour of Madison Square Garden ends where it all ends: in the gift store. Take the opportunity to pick up a jersey or cap of your favorite team so you can wear it when you return to watch an NBA or NHL game.
Where is Madison Square Garden and how to get there?
- Madison Square Garden is located in Midtown Manhattan, on 7th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets.
- The arena is located just above Penn Station and is easily accessible by public transportation. The closest subway is 34th Street - Penn Station (1, 2, 3, A, C, E).
How to buy NBA or NHL tickets at Madison Square Garden?
Buy them in advance online
If you are passionate about sports and you have included an NBA or NHL game in your trip to New York, my advice is to buy tickets online before you travel.
To get the best seat at the cheapest price the key is to buy them as soon as possible. The demand to go to an ice hockey game and especially a basketball game is extremely high so tickets usually sell out in no time.
Generally, prices increase as the date of the game approaches and the supply decreases, as happens with flights, for example. Therefore, if you wait too long to buy them, you run the risk of running out of tickets or having to pay a lot for a seat with a worse view. In addition, another advantage of buying tickets online is that you can choose the seat you like best at Madison Square Garden.
At the stadium box office
It does not seem to me the most advisable option according to my experience. Let me explain why: to start with, buying Knicks or Rangers tickets once you arrive in New York means that you will have to adapt to the box office hours, travel to the stadium and wait in a very long queue to buy them. This means that you will lose a lot of your travel time waiting in line at the gates of Madison Square Garden.
In addition, getting tickets at the Madison Square Garden box office will be months later than when you could have bought them at home, there will be fewer options and maybe even at the price of gold. Or they will be sold out because of the high demand for NBA or NHL tickets.
How do you choose a good seat for an event at Madison Square Garden?
Obviously it will depend on the budget you have, as the price of the tickets usually depends directly on how close you are to the court. The most economical correspond to the farthest and elevated seats as well as those in the corners and next to the wall while as you get closer to the court the price goes up.
At Madison Square Garden, the best sector par excellence corresponds to the sides almost at the foot of the court where you can see the game and the players almost like one more of the team although they are the most expensive seats. Where there are usually very interesting prices is also behind the baskets or goals, if what you want is to see the stars of the NBA or NHL without paying VIP amounts.
Anyway, when buying tickets online is usually displayed an image with the views from the selected sector in Madison Square Garden for a better idea of which place to choose.
How do I receive the NBA or NHL tickets I have purchased online and will they arrive on time?
The tickets will be electronic and will be sent to your email so that you can access them whenever you need them. The only thing you should know is that, for security reasons, in the United States tickets are usually issued a few days before the game, so it may take a while to receive them (but don't worry, this is normal and they always arrive on time).
Do I need to print them?
Please read the instructions you receive carefully, as it is usually not necessary to print them. However, if you have received the tickets in PDF format and you prefer to print them but you are already away from home, don't worry. Generally, the hotel will help you print them or you can look for a Staples (a stationery store) or Copy Center (Google Maps will be your ally) to print them near your hotel or the stadium.
What if I don't have internet, how do I access the tickets?
If you don't have a stable connection or you don't have data during your trip, don't worry. You can always download them at your hotel (or at the typical Starbucks) to have them ready when you get to the stadium.
When to go to the stadium on match or concert days?
The days when the Knicks or the Rangers play at Madison Square Garden are a special time in the city. You can feel it in the atmosphere and there are more people on the streets of New York than usual.
Many arrive on foot or rent a bicycle to the stadium located in the heart of Manhattan and take the opportunity to walk around the surrounding area. Others arrive by public transport so it is important that you take into account the traffic or rush hour to get to Madison Square Garden.
The day of the game I advise you to go at least an hour in advance to pass the security arch, locate the seats, experience the atmosphere before the game with the music and dances of the cheerleaders, listen to the American anthem before the game and see the players enter the court. A show in itself!
Is it possible to enter with backpacks or cameras?
According to Madison Square Garden's official recommendations, it is discouraged to bring backpacks or unnecessary large items into the arena. In addition to the fact that the space in the seat is not infinite, you will have to pass all bags through the security checkpoint and this will certainly slow down your access to the stadium.
Do children pay admission at MSG?
The sport is a very family friendly show that many parents attend with their children but to the question of whether children pay admission, the truth is that Madison Square Garden's policy says that children who have reached the age of two must have their ticket.
If you are going to the stadium with children under the age of two, bring proof of the children's age with you in case you are asked for it at the gate. Valid forms of identification are a birth certificate or passport.
Why visit Madison Square Garden
You go to New York to have fun and even if you do not like sports and specifically the NBA or the NHL, the truth is that watching a basketball or ice hockey game in the United States is a real spectacle of music, dancing, partying and, of course, sport. A great opportunity to live the experience and the atmosphere of high competition sport that you can not miss at Madison Square Garden.
With a capacity of more than 20,000 people and five floors, we are facing one of the main multipurpose pavilions of the city. Madison Square Garden is a benchmark for sports on the East Coast of the country, as both the New York Knicks (NBA) and the New York Rangers (NHL) play their home games here.
Historic events held at MSG
This venue is a living history of American sports and a New York icon. For decades it was a boxing mecca and legends such as Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Joe Frazier and Rocky Marciano fought in its ring. Although boxing matches are still held today, the most important ones take place in Las Vegas at hotels such as the MGM Grand.
However, the history of Madison Square Garden is also linked to major musical events, as throughout its history it has hosted concerts by such popular artists as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, John Lennon, Madonna, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones and Queen, among many others.
Even, its facilities have served for political meetings (such as the Republican Party convention in 2004) or religious (such as the great homily given by Pope Francis in 2015).
Other interesting options in New York
If you are thinking of attending an NBA game in New York, which I highly recommend you do, check the schedule of games that will take place during your trip ahead of time. If you are in the Big Apple between October and April, you will most likely coincide with a Knicks or Brooklyn Nets game.
So, if you want a complete experience, besides knowing the nooks and crannies of Madison Square Garden, you can also visit the Barclays Center, home stadium of the Brooklyn Nets and watch them play.
Finally, I can not fail to recommend other teams that lead the sport in New York and to see them live you will feel totally immersed in a typical American movie. These are the New York Giants who play soccer at MetLife Stadium and baseball stars like the legendary New York Yankees at their stadium in northern Manhattan.