All Access Tour of Madison Square Garden in New York City

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The “World’s Most Famous Arena”, Madison Square Garden is home to NBA and NHL franchises New York Knicks and New York Rangers, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog show, dozens of concerts, and 365 days of entertainment. 

The current location at Pennsylvania Station (there were three prior locations) opened in 1968 with a performance by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Other famous events include 1970s Knicks’ NBA Championship, 1971’s Fight of the Century between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, and the Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup win. Billy Joel has the distinct honor of hosting the most concerts (close to 140 as of late 2023, with his monthly residency expected to end in July 2024, his 150th MSG show) and PHISH with the second most concerts, and the most consecutive concerts (15) in a row without repeating a single song! 

Madison Square Garden can seat 18 thousand fans for an ice skating game, 19 thousand fans for a basketball game, 20 thousand fans for a concert, and up to 21 thousands for a comedy show. The ice rink, which creates one inch thick ice using 10 thousand gallons of water and 10 miles of pipes to freeze, sits on the lowest floor level. It takes 55 contractors three hours to lay 200 pieces of maplewood and padding on top of the ice rink to turn it into the NBA approved basketball court on the twelve days MSG hosts both an ice hockey game and basketball game on the same day

Madison Square Garden offers daily All Access tours which allows guests the chance to explore several popular areas of the arena, and a few behind the scenes spots. 

Travel Tips:

  • Tickets are available online here– we strongly suggest reserving tickets online for weekend tours and holiday weeks. Check the calendar as tour times are affected by MSG’s tour schedule.
  • Check in for the tour near the Chase Square Team Store, off Seventh Avenue. This store is also the largest gift shop and offers a wide variety of Knicks and Rangers themed gifts and apparel. 
  • There is only one restroom stop on the entire tour, about 10 minutes into the tour. There is no coat check or dining options during tours (but here is a good dining guide if you visit the Garden for an event). 
  • Check here for options for parking and here for information on public transportation stops. 
  • Tours travel throughout various floors using escalators, but elevators are available if guests need them. More information on accessibility here
  • Tours last about an hour and some of the stops involve steep steps. We would not recommend this tour for the toddler set, as they’re not likely to stay still and might want to climb up and down steps. Kids elementary age, especially basketball and hockey fans, will love the tour. 

Five Stops on the All Access Tour of MSG:

  1. The Infosys Concourse, with the Garden 366 timeline of famous games, concerts, and events. Take note of exhibits that feature famous performances and athletic events, and infamous events such as Marilyn Monroe’s birthday rendition to President John F. Kennedy. The artist who painted the event painted JFK’s wife, Jackie, into the picture even though she wasn’t there. 
  2. The Lexus Suite Level with 58 private suites. Check out the suite perks like the lounge area and dining services, and sit in one of the prime view seats. 
  3. The Chase Media Bridge, where media broadcasters and reporters sit. There are two, 230+ feet long bridges suspended from the ceiling, designed in such a way that the 400_ seats do not obstruct the seats behind them and offer unique views of the stage and athletic court and rink. Walk across the arena to the Spectator Bridge. 
  4. The Delta 360 Degree Club, where any guest with a ticket can upgrade to the Club. There is a generous buffet before each event, and the Club is located right next to the entrance to the main arena, so guests get the first look at the athletes and performers.
  5. The Knicks and Rangers locker rooms. The locker rooms may seem small, but it’s important to note that the teams play at MSG, but they do not train, so the athletes do not need as much space to prepare or clean up before or after a game. Notice the Rangers logo that is sewn into the carpet in the center of the room and protected by a carpet overlay. The Knicks chose to have a separate area rug with their logo that can be removed. Note: On the day we toured, the Dave Matthew Band was performing and the locker rooms were set up for a VIP reception. 

Looking for other adventures in New York City? See our full City Guide here, our favorite restaurants in New York City here, and our index of all of our NYC posts here– check out our post featuring the Garden’s sister property Radio City Music Hall here. And follow along on our adventures on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and X

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6 Comments

  1. I didn’t know you could try an all-access tour of Madison Square Garden in New York! It must have been such a unique experience! Thanks for sharing what the tour covered! Looks like you got access to some interesting points of the place.

  2. This tour is insane! Thank you for documenting your experience. I never knew that an all-access tour in Madison Square Garden in New York is possible.

  3. It’s flipping huge! I dread to think what the cost is of watching concerts or games in one of the 58 private suites! It is really cool you can still visit them all via the tour. 😀

  4. Such a memorable experience for sports fans! Going into those locker rooms would be incredible. Thanks for sharing the tour – it’s something my husband and I would love to do!

  5. Wow! Great info, so interesting. I was soooo impressed by MSG when I went to see Billy Joel last year. Amazing how efficiently they move so many people in and out! I didn’t realize there was a tour, but def want to check it out next time I’m there!

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