Definitions

Madison_Square_Garden

Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG, and known colloquially as The Garden, has been the name of four arenas in New York City. It is also the name of the entity which owns the arena and several of the professional sports franchises which play there. There have been four incarnations of the arena. The first two were located at the Northeast corner of Madison Square (Madison Ave. & 26th St.) from which the arena derived its name. Subsequently a new 17,000-seat Garden (opened December 15, 1925) was built at 50th Street and 8th Avenue, and the current Garden (opened February 14, 1968) is at 7th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.

The arena lends its name to the Madison Square Garden Network, and sister channel MSG Plus, two cable television networks that broadcast most sporting events that are held in the Garden, as well as concerts and entertainment events that have taken place at the venue.

It is controlled by the Madison Square Garden, L.P. subsidiary of Cablevision.

Madison Square Garden calls itself "The World's Most Famous Arena".

History

Madison Square Garden derives its name from the park where the first two gardens were located (Madison Square) on Madison Avenue at 26th Street. As the venue moved to new locations the name still stuck, although since 1925 Madison Square Garden has been neither a garden nor on Madison Square.

1879–1890

The location of the first Madison Square Garden (now known as Madison Square Garden I), was at 26th Street and Madison Avenue. The site was formerly occupied by the passenger depot of the New York and Harlem Railroad. When the depot was moved to what is now the site of Grand Central Terminal in 1871, the old depot was sold to P.T. Barnum who converted it into "Barnum's Monster Classical and Geological Hippodrome." In 1876 Barnum's was converted into "Gilmore's Garden," an open air arena named in honor of Patrick Gilmore. Gilmore was America's most well-known bandmaster at the time. His most famous composition was "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."

Finally, Gilmore's Garden was renamed "Madison Square Garden" by William Henry Vanderbilt and the facility was reopened to the public on May 31, 1879. The first Garden was originally designed for the sport of track cycling. This is still remembered in the name of the Madison event.

1890–1925

The second Madison Square Garden (now known as Madison Square Garden II), also located at 26th and Madison Avenue was designed by Stanford White, who would later be killed at the Garden's rooftop restaurant. White kept an apartment in the tower; there are conflicting accounts of whether the famous "red velvet swing" was located there, or in a nearby building on 24th Street.

The new structure was by of Moorish architecture with a minaret-like tower soaring 32 stories over Madison Square Park and was the city's second tallest building. The Garden's main hall, which was the largest in the world, measured 200 by with permanent seating for 8,000 people and floor space for thousands more.

Topping the garden was a statue of Diana, by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The original bronze statue was . tall and weighed ., but spun with the wind. It was placed on top of the tower in 1891, but was soon thought to be too large by Saint-Gaudens and White, the architect. (It was removed and placed on top of a building at The World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago - the bottom half was destroyed by a fire after the close of the Exhibition, and the top half was lost.) In 1893 a gilded, hollow copper, 2nd version of Diana, replaced the original on top of the Garden tower. This 2nd version was . tall and is now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and a copy is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Saint-Gaudens made several smaller variants in bronze, one of which was on display in the entryway of Madison Square Garden III, and also in a similar location in the current Garden, MSG IV.

It hosted the 1924 Democratic National Convention, which nominated John W. Davis after 103 ballots. Afterwards, it was torn down to make way for the landmark New York Life Insurance Building.

White was a member of the architecture firm McKim, Mead and White which designed Pennsylvania Station which was torn down to make way for MSG IV. The firm also designed the James Farley Post Office which is being proposed as the anchor for the proposed new Pennsylvania Station. The New York Life Insurance Company decided to demolish Madison Square Garden.

1925–1968

The third garden, now known as Madison Square Garden III, was built on 50th Street and Eighth Avenue by boxing promoter Tex Rickard and was dubbed "The House That Tex Built." The New York Rangers, owned by Rickard, got their name from a wordplay on his name (Tex's Rangers). It was built in 249 days on the site of the city's streetcar barns. However, the Rangers were not the first NHL team to play at the Garden; the New York Americans had begun play in 1925 and were so wildly successful at the gate that Rickard wanted his own team as well. The Rangers were founded in 1926 and both teams played at the Garden until the Americans folded in 1942, the Rangers having stolen their commercial success with their own success on the ice (winning three Stanley Cups between 1928 and 1940). This was the basis for the Curse of 1940 that supposedly prevented the Rangers from winning the Stanley Cup again until 1994.

While the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus had debuted at the Garden in 1919, the third Garden saw large numbers of performances. The circus was so important to the Garden that when the Rangers played in the 1928 Stanley Cup Finals, the team was forced to play all games on the road (the Rangers won the series anyway). The circus would continue to perform as often as three times daily, repeatedly knocking the Rangers out of the Garden at playoff time, throughout the life of the third Garden. Even at the fourth Garden, games would have to begin as late as 9:00 p.m. to accommodate the circus. The Circus Acrobatics were very dramatic including acts in the Rings as well as on the high wire and trapeze. One dramatic act which was only performed in the Garden, and not taken on the road with the traveling Circus, involved Blinc Candlin, a Hudson, New York fireman, who rode his (already antique) 1880s High Wheel bicycle on the high wire every season for over 2 decades starting in the 1910s and running well through the 1930s.

Boxing was Madison Square Garden III's principal claim to fame. The building exterior in contrast to the ornate towers of the first two Garden was a simple box. Its most distinctive feature was its ornate marquee that was above the main entrance, with its seemingly endless abbreviations (Tomw., V/S, Rgrs, Tonite, Thru, etc.) Even the name was abbreviated: Madison Sq. Garden. On January 17, 1941, 23,190 people witnessed Fritzie Zivic successful welterweight defense against Henry Armstrong. That is the biggest attendance record of any of the Gardens. MSG III was featured prominently in the 2005 Ron Howard film Cinderella Man (although exterior montage shots glorified it by placing it against the Times Square signs on Broadway when it was in fact one block west).

It hosted the only indoor bout in the career of Jack Dempsey. It cost $4.75 million to build; this one hosted seven NCAA men's basketball championships between 1943 and 1950.

City College of New York (CCNY) was one of the first schools banned from playing at MSG due to the 1951 CCNY Point Shaving Scandal.

It also hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 1954 and 1955. Ironically one type of event that was never held in the 50th St. MSG (except in the movies) was a national Democratic or Republican nominating convention as neither of these parties met in New York to select their candidates for President and Vice President of the United States between 1924 and 1976.

The third Garden had poor sightlines, especially for hockey, and fans sitting in the upper deck could count on having some portion of the ice obstructed, unless they sat in the first row. The fact that there was poor ventilation and that smoking was permitted often led to a haze in the upper portions of the Garden.

When it was torn down, there was a proposal to build the world's tallest building on its site prompting a major battle in its Hell's Kitchen neighborhood that ultimately resulted in strict height restrictions. The space remained a parking lot though until 1989 when Worldwide Plaza designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill opened.

Madison Square Garden Bowl

Madison Square built an open air arena, the Madison Square Garden Bowl at 48th and Northern Boulevard in Long Island City in 1932 that could seat 72,000. This was the site where James Braddock defeated Max Baer for the World Heavyweight title on June 13, 1935 that was dramatized in the film Cinderella Man. Braddock was born on West 48th Street in Hell's Kitchen just a few blocks from the West 49th Street location of MSG III. Braddock's first comeback fight against John "Corn" Griffin was also in the venue. Jack Sharkey and Primo Carnera also captured the heavyweight crown in the 1930s at the Madison Square Garden Bowl.

The bowl was torn down after World War II to make way for U.S. Steel and Ronzoni Macaroni Company factories. They in turn were torn down and the area is now home to a shopping center.

1968–present

On February 11, 1968 Madison Square Garden IV opened after the Pennsylvania Railroad tore down the above-ground portions of Pennsylvania Station and continued railway traffic underneath. The new structure was one of the first of its kind to be built above an active railroad system and the platforms of an active railroad station. It was an engineering feat constructed by R.E. McKee of El Paso, Texas.

Public outcry over the demolished Beaux-Arts structure led to the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The current Garden is the hub of Madison Square Garden Center in the office and entertainment complex formally addressed as Pennsylvania Plaza and commonly known as "Penn Plaza" for the railroad station atop which the complex is located.

In 1972, the Garden's Chairman, Irving Mitchell Felt, suggested moving the Knicks and the Rangers to what was a proposed venue in the New Jersey Meadows (now completed and known as Meadowlands Sports Complex or Izod Center.) This location now hosts its own NBA team (New Jersey Nets) and from 1981–2007, the NHL's New Jersey Devils. The NFL's New York Giants were the only established New York-named team that actually did move there, and they were later joined by the Jets. Felt's efforts fueled controversy between the Garden and New York City over Real Estate Tax. The scenario again flared in 1980 when a reported threat by the Garden supposed a similar move of popular sports teams in an effort to again challenge property tax. Efforts were ignored by city leaders.

MSG was the home arena for the NY Raiders/NY Golden Blades of the World Hockey Association.

In 1991, Garden owners spent $200 million to renovate facilities and add 89 suites. The process involved hundreds of upper-tier seats being removed to make way. The project was designed by Ellerbe Becket.

In 2004–2005 Cablevision (the Garden's owner) battled with the City of New York over proposed West Side Stadium which would compete with the Garden. New stadium proposals halted; and Cablevision announced its own plans to raze the Garden, replace it with high-rise commercial buildings and build a new Garden one block away at the James Farley Post Office site in conjunction with the Moynihan Station project. However, on April 3, 2008 MSG executives announced plans to once again renovate and modernize the current Garden in time for the Knicks and Rangers' 2011–12 seasons, though the vice president of the Garden says he remains committed to the original Moynihan project - the installation of an extension of Penn Station in the Farley Post Office.

Present operations

The present Garden hosts approximately 320 events a year but it is best known as the home of the New York Rangers of the NHL; the New York Knicks of the NBA and their sister operation the New York Liberty of the WNBA. The aforementioned professional sports teams play their home games in the arena and are owned by the Garden itself. It also hosts the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus when it comes to New York City (although the Izod Center and Nassau Coliseum also host the circus each year), selected home games for the St. John's men's Red Storm (college basketball), the Big East Men's Basketball Conference Tournament, the annual pre and postseason NIT tournaments, the NBA Draft, the Millrose Games athletics meet, and almost any other kind of indoor activity that draws large audiences, such as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the 2004 Republican National Convention. It has previously hosted the 1976, 1980 and 1992 Democratic National Conventions, and hosted the NFL Draft for many years (now held at Garden-leased Radio City Music Hall). In 2008, all five home games for the New York Titans will be played at the Garden. The "sixth" home game will be at Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, New Jersey. The other two games were lost to the Buffalo Bandits and the Toronto Rock due to scheduling difficulties following the cancellation and subsequent resurrection of the 2008 NLL Season.

MSG hosted the 1994 NHL All-Star Game and 1998 NBA All-Star Game, three WNBA All-Star Games (1999, 2003 and 2006), and a portion of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

Connecticut-based World Wrestling Entertainment considers it a home arena as well, due to the fact that all generations of the McMahon family, including Vince McMahon's father and grandfather, have promoted shows at the Garden. MSG has hosted several WrestleMania and SummerSlam events, two Survivor Series events and the 2000 and 2008 Royal Rumble. More WWE Championships have been won at MSG than any other arena. WWE's strong relationship with Madison Square Garden prevented competitor World Championship Wrestling (WCW) from ever having a show at the Garden. In 2005, WWE severed business ties with the arena because WWE felt that increased rental costs would prevent them from making a profit in the building. However, over a year later, World Wrestling Entertainment temporarily patched things up with MSG and the hiatus ended with a September 11, 2006 edition of Raw and HEAT. Though they pulled the 20th installment of SummerSlam, which would have been held at the Garden on August 26 2007. (It was held at the Continental Airlines Arena) WWE continues to make occasional appearances at MSG, and returned for the 2008 Royal Rumble in January.

MSG is also known for its place in the history of boxing. Many of boxing's biggest fights were held at Madison Square Garden, including many of Joe Louis, the Roberto Duran-Ken Buchanan affair, and the first Joe FrazierMuhammad Ali bout. In March 1947, Herbie Kronowitz of Brooklyn and Artie Levine of Cleveland thrilled a crowd of 12,000 during a 10-round battle between the two Jewish fighters. Levine won the decision, although Kronowitz claimed that while Levine "won the decision. There was no question that I won the fight." Before promoters such as Don King and Bob Arum moved boxing to Las Vegas, Madison Square Garden was considered the mecca of boxing. The original 18½' × 18½' ring, which was brought from the second and third generation of the Garden, was officially retired on September 19, 2007 and donated to the International Boxing Hall of Fame after 82 years of service. A 20' × 20' ring replaced it beginning on October 6 of that same year.

Many large popular-music concerts in New York City take place in Madison Square Garden. Particularly famous ones include George Harrison's Concert For Bangladesh, The Concert for New York City following the September 11 attacks and John Lennon's final concert appearance before his murder in 1980. The Garden usually hosts a concert each year on New Years Eve, with the Knicks and Rangers usually playing on the road.

Many musical acts released seminal live albums recorded at MSG, including, Paul McCartney, Luis Miguel, Shania Twain, Jay-Z, Led Zeppelin, Fania All Stars, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Joel, Phish, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Madonna, Mary J Blige, U2, The Rolling Stones, Britney Spears, Shakira, Slayer, Kelly Rowland, Gareth Gates, Justin Timberlake, NSYNC, Cher, Christina Aguilera, Spice Girls, The Who, Beyonce, Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin, Barbra Streisand, RBD, and Se7en. Other artists, yet including Led Zeppelin and others such as Janet Jackson, Pearl Jam, Mariah Carey, O.A.R., Marc Anthony and Victor Manuelle have released DVDs showing their live performances at the Garden. Some of these releases, such as by Cream and Michael Jackson, show special anniversary or reunion concerts at the venue. An extensive list of live performances played at the venue is included below.

The arena is also used for other special events, including tennis and circus events. The New York Police Academy, New York University, Baruch College/CUNY and Yeshiva University also hold their annual graduation ceremonies at Madison Square Garden. It has become the New York site of the annual Grammy Awards (which are normally held in Los Angeles) and hosted the 2005 Country Music Association Awards (normally held in Nashville).

The Big East Conference men's basketball tournament has been held at MSG every year since 1983 making it the longest period a conference tournament has been held at a single location.

Seating

Seating in the present Madison Square Garden is arranged in six ascending levels. The first level, available for basketball games and concerts, but not for hockey games, is the "floor" or "court-side" seating. Next above this is the loge seating, followed by the 100-level and 200-level promenades, the 300-level promenade, and the 400-level or mezzanine. The seats of these levels originally bore the colors red, orange, yellow, green, and blue, respectively. For hockey, the Garden seats 18,200; for basketball, 19,763; and for concerts 20,000 center stage, 19,522 end-stage. The arena features 20,976 square feet (1949 m²) of arena floor space.

Because all of the seats, except the 400 level, are in one monolithic grandstand, distance from the arena floor is significant from the ends of the arena. Also, the rows rise much more gradually than other North American arenas, which can cause impaired sightlines, especially when sitting behind tall spectators or one of the concourses.

Other venues

Today's Madison Square Garden is more than just the arena. Other venues at the Garden include:

  • The WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden, which seats between 2,000 and 5,600 for concerts and can also be used for meetings, stage shows, and graduation ceremonies, and was also the traditional home of the NFL Draft until 2005, when it moved to the Jacob Javits Convention Center after MSG management opposed a new stadium for the New York Jets. It also occasionally hosts major boxing matches on nights when the main arena is unavailable. No seat is more than 177 feet (54 m) from the -by-64-foot stage. The theatre has a relatively low ceiling at stage level and all of its seating except for boxes on the two side walls is on one level slanted back from the stage. There is an lobby at the theater. When the current Garden opened in 1968, the Theater was known as the Felt Forum, in honor of then president Irving Felt. In the early 1990s, it was renamed the Paramount to be the successor to the Paramount Theater (New York City) in Times Square which had been converted to an office tower (the name change being due to the fact that Paramount Communications (which had previously been known as Gulf+Western) owned the Garden during this period). The theater received its next name of The Theater at Madison Square Garden in the mid-90s, after Viacom bought Paramount, and sold the MSG properties to a group consisting of ITT and Cablevision, which each owned 50% of the Garden. In 1997, ITT sold their share to Cablevision, giving the cable company full control of the venue. The fall 1999 Jeopardy! Teen Tournament as well as a Celebrity Jeopardy! competition were held at the theater. In 2004, it was the venue of the Survivor: All Stars finale. On May 17, 2007, the theater received its current name due to a naming rights deal with Washington Mutual. Since Washington Mutual is no longer a bank after being seized by the Office of Thrift Supervision and FDIC and sold to JP Morgan Chase, it is currently unknown as to the fate of the name WaMu Theater.
  • The Expo Center (formerly known as "The Rotunda") is used for trade shows, cat shows, stamp shows, often in combination with the arena, banquets, and receptions.
  • A terrace and two restaurants: the Garden Club and the Play-by-Play.

Other corporate operations

In addition to the Garden itself, Madison Square Garden, L.P. also operates two theaters in Manhattan: Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater. In 2008, they took over operations of the Chicago Theatre, marking the first time MSG has operated a facility outside New York City area.

Past Corporate Operations

Madison Square Garden also used to operate the XL Center (formerly known as the Hartford Civic Center) and Rentschler Field under contract with the state of Connecticut until the 2007 season when it was replaced by Northland/Anschutz Entertainment Group.

The XL Center, an indoor arena in Hartford, Connecticut, is home to the Rangers AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack. The arena also serves as the part-time home of the men's and women's basketball teams of the University of Connecticut.

Rentschler Field, a stadium in East Hartford, hosts UConn's college football team. It was built for the University of Connecticut after a plan to build a larger stadium that would have accommodated both the Huskies and New England Patriots fell through. It also hosts various concerts and soccer matches.

Notable firsts

Historic events

Political and social events

Throughout its long history, the Garden has been involved in its share of historical events. These events have included famous political rallies and celebrations.

Concerts and live performances

Since 1968, Madison Square Garden has been host to a number of concerts and live performances. Listed in chronological order with name of artist and date of performance

1960s

1970s

  • English rock band Led Zeppelin performed three consecutive, sold-out performances which were filmed and recorded on their live album, and for many years, only live album and accompanying concert film, The Song Remains the Same, at The Garden during their 1973 U.S. tour. Additional footage from these concerts was released in 2003 on the Led Zeppelin DVD.
  • In June 1974 The Who played 4 sold-out dates. A single radio announcement during a December 1973 radio broadcast was enough to sell out the shows in a matter of hours.
  • In October 13, 1974, to cap his comeback after his retirement in 1971 Frank Sinatra played in front of 20,000 fans at the Garden in a show dubbed "The Main Event" that was broadcast nationally and internationally. The concert was recorded and released along with other concerts as The Main Event – Live
  • On November 28, 1974, John Lennon made a surprise guest appearance at an Elton John concert - Lennon's last ever concert appearance. They sang together as a duet on "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night" and "I Saw Her Standing There". The concert was released as the "There" portion of John's 1976 live album Here and There. Elton John's song "Empty Garden", a beautiful tribute to John Lennon, clearly refers to The Garden.
  • In December 1976, The Bee Gees performed at MSG during their Children of the World tour and donated the proceeds to the New York Police Athletic League.
  • On February 18, 1977, New York-based rock band Kiss made their Madison Square Garden debut, as part of a world tour supporting their fifth studio album Rock And Roll Over. Kiss have since made The Garden a regular stop on nearly every tour they have made, most notably a four-night sellout in July 1996.
  • That same month, English rock band Queen made their Madison Square Garden debut, as part of a world tour supporting their fifth studio album A Day at the Races with opening act Thin Lizzy. Queen would make The Garden a regular stop on every subsequent US tour they would make with their classic lineup (1982's Hot Space tour would be the last tour the original lineup of Queen would play America), most notably a four-night sellout in September 1980.
  • Earlier that month, fellow English band Genesis made their Madison Square Garden debut, as part of a world tour supporting their eighth studio album Wind and Wuthering (which was their last tour with guitarist Steve Hackett). Genesis would make The Garden a regular stop on every subsequent US tour they would make (save the 1992 We Can't Dance tour), most notably ex-lead singer Peter Gabriel joining the band for an encore in July 1978.
  • In June 1977, Led Zeppelin performed six sold out concerts at The Garden. The band spent no money on advertising for the gigs, relying on street demand to sell out the shows. Enough ticket applications were received to sell out a further two nights, had time permitted.
  • In July 1977, English rock band Pink Floyd performed at MSG for the first time in their then ten year recording career, playing four consecutive sold out nights from July 1 through July 4 on the final North American dates on their Animals tour. The show on July 1 saw problems between the band and local lighting technicians, whom they had to use instead of their own lighting crew due to union technicalities, and on July 3 when fans lit off fireworks which disrupted the Pink Floyd's performance. The band (minus Roger Waters) would not play the venue again until the 1987 A Momentary Lapse of Reason tour, when the shows ran a lot more smoothly.
  • On June 17 1978 reggae superstar Bob Marley raised the profile of reggae music in America with his performance at the Garden. In 1980 Marley played two concerts at the venue as the opener of The Commodores; the performances were sold out, but the Garden was almost empty after Marley's show. The day after Marley, already fatally ill, collapsed while jogging in Central Park and performed one last concert in Pittsburgh before canceling the tour. Marley died months later of cancer.
  • In October 1978 Jethro Tull filmed a concert at this venue on their Bursting Out tour which aired on television. Some parts were released on the re-issued Thick as a Brick album and various concert videos. These concerts were of note as Tull's leader Ian Anderson's friend Tony Williams filled in for then-Tull bass player John Glascock, who was suffering from ailing health (Glascock would pass away in 1979).
  • During Queen's show in November 1978 the band had numerous naked women on stage riding bicycles during their song "Bicycle Race" This stunt attracted considerable media attention.
  • The same year, Chicago based rockers Styx performed here for the first time on their Pieces of Eight tour. They would play there again on the Grand Decathlon and Paradise Theatre tours in 1979 and 1981.
  • In September 1979, Musicians United for Safe Energy (a.k.a. MUSE) held a series of five No Nukes concerts at the Garden. Performers included Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, The Doobie Brothers, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Chaka Khan, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash. The concerts were documented in an album, No Nukes: The MUSE Concerts For a Non-Nuclear Future, and a 1980 feature film titled No Nukes.
  • Woodstock '79: a rock concert in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the original Woodstock Festival.
  • Also, Supertramp would play here on their Breakfast in America tour in 1979 (at the time they played their album was at #1 in the US) and would subsequently play there on their ...Famous Last Words... tour in 1983.

1980s

1990s

2000s

WrestleMania

Madison Square Garden hosted three WrestleMania events. It hosted the first WrestleMania in 1985. The event became an annual event and is the biggest event in Sports-Entertainment and in the WWE. It then hosted WrestleMania X and returned for WrestleMania XX which gave $2.4 million USD.

WWE

Madison Square Garden hosted other various WWE events. It has already hosted Raw, SmackDown!,ECW and Saturday Night's Main Event and the other four big WWE pay-per-views (Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble, Survivor Series and SummerSlam) while it also hosted the first ever Elimination Chamber match at the 2002 Survivor Series . It recently hosted the Royal Rumble 2008, and it set to host Night of Champions in 2009.

Regular performances and concert records

Traditionally, Madison Square Garden hosts a concert on New Year's Eve. The Knicks and Rangers usually play on the road that evening. Recent NYE performances include multiple performances by the band Phish (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002), Billy Joel (1982, 1999), Blues Traveler (1996), Marc Anthony (2000), Wilco & The Flaming Lips (2004), The Black Crowes & Trey Anastasio (2005) and Chris Rock in 2007. A planned 2003 New Years show by Jane's Addiction and Marilyn Manson was cancelled due to low ticket sales. No show was booked for December 31, 2006.

Since 1985, Irish band U2 has performed 17 shows at the Garden, more than at any other venue, including a combined 8 sold out shows on the 1st and 3rd legs of their most recent Vertigo Tour. Their two performances on the Elevation Tour in October 2001 were considered by many not only among their best concerts ever, but among the best ever at the Garden, with emotions running high after September 11, and Bono inviting dozens of firemen and emergency workers onstage at the end of the performance.

The single artist holding the all-time record for the greatest number of appearances at the Garden is Elton John who has played the arena 60 times. For this feat he has had a banner stating "60" raised up to the ceiling in the arena for his record and age. The band that has played more dates in the Garden than any other is The Grateful Dead, performing at the arena 52 times from 1979 through 1994. Van Halen has also performed at the Garden numerous times.

Film and television appearances

As an iconic figure, Madison Square Garden has made various appearances in film and television programs. It was featured in the 1979 Robert Redford film The Electric Horseman. Madison Square Garden is featured in the opening scenes of Highlander (1986), which included footage of former tag team The Fabulous Freebirds. (It is worth noting, however, that only the exterior was used; the interior shots were from the then Brendan Byrne Arena). The Garden's marquee is seen in the 1984 comedy film, Top Secret! advertising a concert by the protagonist, Nick Rivers. In 1988 it featured scenes in the cult comedy hit Coming to America.

Madison Square Garden was the "nest" for the carnivorous Godzilla babies and was later destroyed by F/A-18s in the Americanized version of Godzilla (1998). Madison Square Garden was featured in the films Glitter, Forget Paris, Finding Forrester, and the Adam Sandler remake of Mr. Deeds. In Paternity, Burt Reynolds plays the manager of the Garden. The famous scene from Citizen Kane with Orson Welles standing in front of his giant picture took place in the third Garden (though it was not filmed there).

The Garden was briefly featured in the film Saw II in a photo.

In the movie Rocky III, the rematch between Clubber Lang and Rocky Balboa is in The Garden.

The American sitcom Friends has used shots of Madison Square Garden several times. In the episode The One with George Stephanopoulos, Chandler, Joey, and Ross go to see a Rangers game, in The One with the Late Thanksgiving, Joey and Ross are late to Thanksgiving dinner because they go to see a Rangers game and in The One Where Rachel's Sister Baby-Sits Mike proposes to Phoebe on the big screen during a Knicks game. The Garden was also frequently featured on Seinfeld, as characters sporadically attended Rangers or Knicks games; David Putty's face-painting as a fan of the New Jersey Devils features the infamous Blue seats.

The arena has also made various appearances on television. The television series Futurama, set in the year 3000, features "Madison Cube Garden" which appears like a cube standing on one partially-buried corner.

In episode 409 of South Park, Something You Can Do With Your Finger, Cartman has a dream where he, Stan, Kyle and Kenny perform there in their boy band dubbed "Fingerbang". The crowd was completely female.

The garden's front rail was frontside boardslided by skateboarder Brian Anderson in Girl Skateboards' "Yeah Right".

One of the concert venues in the video game Rock Band is a fictitious New York concert hall called "Empire Square Garden", a clear reference to The Garden.

In the anime Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, the character Ryohei Sasagawa, obsessed with boxing said he always saw stars and the Madison Square Garden, even when it was the afternoon.

Madison Square Garden was also featured in Madonna's 2006 CD/DVD I'm Going to Tell You a Secret. The DVD is a documentary that follows Madonna on her 2004 Re Invention Tour.

A scene in the romantic comedy movie "Hitch" starring Will Smith took place at Madison Square Garden during a Knicks basketball game.

References

External links

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