Visiting Madison Square Garden: What You Need to Know

Madison Square Garden, the home of our beloved New York Rangers, is an iconic arena that has hosted countless historic events, from championship sports to sold-out concerts. It is the “World’s Most Famous Arena” and a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the excitement and energy of New York City.

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Where is Madison Square Garden?

Madison Square Garden is located in New York City, specifically in Manhattan’s Midtown neighborhood, at the intersection of 7th Avenue and 32nd Street.

Visiting Madison Square Garden arena
Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Does Madison Square Garden have parking?

Madison Square Garden does not have its own parking lot, but there are several parking options available in the vicinity. A few private parking garages are located within walking distance of the arena and many of them offer advanced reservations.

What is the best place to park near Madison Square Garden?

The ideal parking location depends on a variety of factors, including availability, cost, and proximity to the venue. Several parking garages situated near Madison Square Garden are:

It is always wise to research prices, availability, and customer reviews for various parking options in order to make an informed decision. Alternatively, you may want to consider utilizing public transportation, as Madison Square Garden is well-connected to numerous subway lines, buses, and even NJ Transit and the Long Island Rail Road.

What train goes to Madison Square Garden?

Madison Square Garden boasts a prime location with easy access to numerous subway lines. The following lines have stops either in MSG or in close proximity to the arena:

  • 1, 2, 3: The 34th Street-Penn Station stop, situated directly below Madison Square Garden, serves these lines.
  • A, C, E: The 34th Street-Penn Station stop caters to the A, C, and E trains as well.
  • B, D, F, M, N, Q, R, and W: The 34th Street-Herald Square stop, roughly three blocks east of Madison Square Garden, accommodates the B, D, F, M, N, Q, R, and W trains.
  • 7: Just one block west of Madison Square Garden, the 34th Street-Hudson Yards stop is served by the 7 train.

Check out the full subway map of New York City here. Moreover, both the Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit run out of Penn Station, conveniently located directly beneath Madison Square Garden.

What airport is closest to Madison Square Garden?

The following three airports are situated at varying distances from Madison Square Garden:

  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA), positioned in Queens, is approximately 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) northeast of Madison Square Garden. Although it is the nearest airport to the city, its smaller size can lead to congestion and a chaotic atmosphere.
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) can be found in Queens, roughly 17 miles (27 kilometers) southeast of Madison Square Garden. As New York City’s busiest airport, JFK provides a greater number of flight options compared to LaGuardia.
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), located in Newark, New Jersey, is around 16 miles (25.7 kilometers) southwest of Madison Square Garden. While it is the most distant from Manhattan, it may offer lower fares and a more relaxed airport experience.

All three airports can be reached via public transportation, taxi, or shuttle services, offering various options for travelers.

What are the best hotels near Madison Square Garden?

An Iconic Midtown Manhattan Hotel | The New Yorker Hotel

There are several well-regarded hotels in close proximity to Madison Square Garden. Some of these include:

  1. The New Yorker, A Wyndham Hotel: This iconic, Art Deco-style hotel offers a convenient location and a variety of amenities, including dining options and a fitness center.
  2. Moxy NYC Chelsea: This trendy, boutique hotel is known for its stylish design and offers a rooftop bar with great views of the city.
  3. Stewart Hotel: This contemporary hotel features spacious rooms and suites, making it an excellent option for families and groups.
  4. Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New York Manhattan/Chelsea: This hotel provides a comfortable stay with a complimentary breakfast and is just a short walk from Madison Square Garden.
  5. Holiday Inn Express New York City – Chelsea: This budget-friendly hotel offers clean, comfortable rooms and includes a complimentary breakfast.
  6. Kimpton Hotel Eventi: A luxury boutique hotel with a modern design, on-site dining options, and a full-service spa.
  7. Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan/Herald Square: Located near Herald Square, this hotel offers contemporary rooms and amenities, including a fitness center and on-site dining.

Remember to check reviews, prices, and availability before making a reservation, as these factors can vary. It’s always a good idea to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons or when events are taking place at Madison Square Garden.

The best restaurants near Madison Square Garden?

The area surrounding Madison Square Garden offers a wide range of dining options, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants. Some popular choices include:

  1. Keens Steakhouse: A classic, historic steakhouse with an extensive menu featuring prime steaks and chops, as well as an impressive wine list.
  2. L’Amico: An Italian-inspired restaurant with a modern twist, serving wood-fired pizza, pasta, and other contemporary dishes.
  3. Haymaker Bar and Kitchen: A gastropub with a relaxed atmosphere, offering a diverse menu of comfort food, craft beer, and cocktails.
  4. Tavola: A cozy Italian eatery, specializing in homemade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and classic Italian dishes.
  5. Friedman’s: A popular spot for brunch and casual dining, with a focus on locally-sourced ingredients and gluten-free options.
  6. Mustang Harry’s: This Irish pub is right around the corner from MSG and known for their pub food and happy hour deals. It’s great for a quick bite of a burger or shepherd’s pie before the game. They even host meet & greets with players.
  7. Skylight Diner: A casual, yet retro-themed diner is perfect for an affordable and filling meal before a big game. The menu is extensive with everything from breakfast to Greek food.
  8. Lucy’s Catina Royale: Mexican-inspired cuisine is available right across from MSG between 7th and 8th Avenue. It’s a fun atmosphere and on a nice day, they have a rooftop and tons of outdoor seating.
  9. Stout Penn Station: Located just one block from MSG, Stout is the perfect meeting spot for fans who want a down-to-earth atmosphere. It has a long beer list, tons of seating, and an abundance of TVs so that you can watch any game.
  10. Feile: Located in Herald Town, in the middle of Midtown, Feile is a true Irish pub with fantastic food options. They even offer special gameday and theme menus depending on the time of year.

It’s a good idea to check for the latest information on dining options and reviews before planning your visit.

What to eat in Madison Square Garden?

When visiting Madison Square Garden, there are also a wide variety of food and beverage options in the arena that suit different tastes and preferences. While the available options might change depending on the event, some popular choices include:

  1. Burgers and Sandwiches: Classic concession fare like burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches can be found at various stands throughout the arena.
  2. Pizza: Enjoy a slice or two of New York-style pizza from one of the pizza stands.
  3. Tacos and Nachos: Look for stands offering Mexican-inspired options, such as tacos, nachos, and burritos.
  4. Asian Cuisine: You may find options like sushi, stir-fry, or noodle dishes at certain concession stands.
  5. Vegetarian and Vegan Options: Madison Square Garden offers a variety of plant-based options, including salads, wraps, and veggie burgers.
  6. Snacks: Classic arena snacks like pretzels, popcorn, and nachos are available, as well as more unique options such as gourmet popcorn and artisanal soft pretzels.
  7. Desserts: Treat yourself to a variety of sweets, such as ice cream, cookies, or pastries.
  8. Beverages: Non-alcoholic beverages, including soft drinks, bottled water, and coffee, are available throughout the venue. Alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, and cocktails, can be found at designated bars and concession stands.

Remember that food and beverage options may vary depending on the event and availability. It is also essential to keep in mind that prices inside the venue tend to be higher than outside. You can check out their concessions page here.

What is the Madison Square Garden bag policy?

Madison Square Garden encourages visitors to arrive ahead of time and minimize the items they bring along. While bags are not required to be transparent, they must be small enough to fit under your seat comfortably. Oversized bags exceeding 22″ x 14″ x 9″ are not allowed.

Please note that there is no designated area for checking bags, coats, or other personal items at the venue. If you or someone in your group has special requirements, contact the arena ahead of your visit.

What can you bring to Madison Square Garden?

When attending an event at Madison Square Garden, it’s important to know what items are permitted inside the venue. Generally, the following items are allowed:

  1. Small bags and purses: Bags that fit comfortably under your seat (typically no larger than 22″ x 14″ x 9″) are permitted. Keep in mind that security may search your bag upon entry.
  2. Personal belongings: Wallets, keys, and mobile phones are allowed.
  3. Non-professional cameras: Small, non-professional cameras without detachable lenses are typically permitted for most events, but this may vary depending on the specific event policy.
  4. Small umbrellas: Collapsible umbrellas that fit inside a bag may be allowed, but larger umbrellas are generally prohibited.
  5. Medical necessities: Items such as EpiPens, inhalers, and medications are allowed, but it is recommended that you bring a doctor’s note or prescription as proof.
  6. Assistive devices: Guests with disabilities may bring in necessary items, such as wheelchairs, walkers, and service animals. They have a services and contact page here.

Please note that these guidelines may change depending on the event or artist’s requirements. It is always a good idea to check the specific event page on Madison Square Garden’s website or contact Guest Relations for the most up-to-date information.

Items typically prohibited include professional cameras and recording equipment, outside food and beverages, large bags, weapons, and laser pointers.

What time does Madison Square Garden open?

The opening time for Madison Square Garden typically depends on the specific event being held. Generally, the doors open about one hour before the scheduled event start time for most concerts and sporting events. However, this can vary depending on the nature of the event or any special requirements.

To confirm the opening time for a particular event, it is advisable to check the event details on Madison Square Garden’s official website or contact the venue directly. This will help ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Madison Square Garden Seating Chart

Madison Square Garden Seating Chart
Credit: TicketMaster

Madison Square Garden FAQ

What teams play at Madison Square Garden?

Madison Square Garden is home to two professional sports teams, the New York Rangers and New York Knicks. It was also the home of the New York Liberty up to the 2021 WNBA season.

The Rangers and Knicks have called Madison Square Garden their home since the current venue opened in 1968.

In addition to these teams, Madison Square Garden has hosted games for other sports teams and leagues on a less frequent basis, such as college basketball tournaments and exhibition games.

How many seats are in Madison Square Garden?

Madison Square Garden has a seating capacity that varies depending on the type of event being held.

For hockey games, like those featuring the New York Rangers, the capacity is around 18,006. For basketball games, such as those played by the New York Knicks, the capacity is approximately 19,800.

For concerts and other events, the seating capacity can range from 18,000 to 20,000, depending on the stage setup and configuration.

How big is Madison Square Garden?

Madison Square Garden occupies an area of 820,000 square feet (76,180 square meters). However, the dimensions of the arena itself are not publicly available, as they may vary depending on the specific event setup, such as stage or playing surface configuration.

The Garden is a multi-purpose arena, and its size and layout can be adjusted to accommodate various types of events, including basketball and hockey games, concerts, boxing matches, and other performances.

How old is Madison Square Garden?

The current Madison Square Garden, which is the fourth venue to bear the name, opened on February 11, 1968. As of April 13, 2023, Madison Square Garden is 55 years old. The previous three versions of Madison Square Garden were located at different sites in Manhattan, with the first one opening in 1879.

Why is it called Madison Square Garden?

The name “Madison Square Garden” originates from the location of the first venue bearing this name. The original Madison Square Garden, which opened in 1879, was situated at Madison Square, an intersection in Manhattan at 26th Street and Madison Avenue. The square itself was named after James Madison, the fourth President of the United States.

Although the current Madison Square Garden is no longer situated at its original location, the name has been retained due to its historical significance and association with the famous arena.

Why is Madison Square Garden so famous?

Several factors contribute to Madison Square Garden’s continued significance in the world of sports and entertainment. The venue has been the site for numerous high-profile events, including historic boxing matches, political conventions, award shows, and performances by world-renowned artists. Additionally, MSG’s unique design features a distinctive, circular layout with a cable-suspended roof, making it an architectural standout. The combination of these elements has solidified Madison Square Garden’s fame and its position as an iconic venue in the global entertainment landscape.

Who owns Madison Square Garden?

Madison Square Garden is owned by Madison Square Garden Sports Corp., which is a publicly-traded company. The company was previously a part of the Madison Square Garden Company before it was spun off into two separate entities in April 2020. Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. focuses on sports teams and franchises, including the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), and the New York Liberty (WNBA), as well as the management of their home arena, Madison Square Garden.

Who has sold out Madison Square Garden?

Some notable artists who have sold out the venue include:

Billy Joel: With a record for the most performances by any artist at MSG, Billy Joel has sold out the venue multiple times.

Elton John: Another iconic performer, Elton John has sold out Madison Square Garden on numerous occasions during his career.

Bruce Springsteen: As one of the most popular American rock artists, Bruce Springsteen has also sold out MSG multiple times.

The Rolling Stones: This legendary British rock band has sold out Madison Square Garden several times throughout their long career.

Madonna: The Queen of Pop has played to packed houses at MSG on multiple occasions.

Lady Gaga: The pop superstar has sold out Madison Square Garden during her various tours.

Taylor Swift: As one of the most successful contemporary pop artists, Taylor Swift has sold out MSG during her concert tours.

Justin Timberlake: The former NSYNC member turned solo superstar has also sold out the arena.

Many other artists and performers have achieved this milestone. Selling out Madison Square Garden is often seen as a significant accomplishment in an artist’s career due to the venue’s iconic status and large seating capacity.

How much does it cost to rent out Madison Square Garden?

The cost to rent out Madison Square Garden can vary significantly depending on various factors, such as the type and scale of the event, the duration, and additional services required, such as staffing, security, and technical support. Specific rental fees and associated costs are not publicly disclosed, as they are often negotiated on a case-by-case basis between the event organizers and the venue management.