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I went to New York at the start of March and being a massive sports fan I just had to get to an event of some sort at this venue. At the time there was a music act I had never heard of or the chance to watch the New York Knicks, a basketball team who compete in the NBA league. I opted for the latter.
Madison Square Garden is known by many worldwide as the world's most famous arena and has held a variety of events over its 41 years at its present venue in downtown Manhattan. This is the fourth Garden to have been built in New York since 1879 when the first one was erected. At present it hosts all types of events including boxing, basketball, hockey, to name a few and also many music and dance acts which have set New York alight. For basketball matches the capacity of the crowd is 19,763, but this will vary for all types of events.
Madison Square Garden is one of the strangest venues to look at from the outside - it can be missed but due to all in New York this is not so strange to think, with the Square not being a tall building. As I entered the arena there was a great buzz outside with people all looking forward to the game. The entrance is like a long hallway and I had a great picture in front of the New York Knicks sign which is a great memento. When I entered the arena I was greeted by many people selling all types of memorabilia from shirts, cups, stickers and foam fingers but due to the price and me not wanting to take a loan out to buy anything I skipped this part.
Heading towards the entrance doors we were greeted by security who did a bag and ticket check and then we were in the main foyer which reminded me more of a train station than a ticket office. There are clear instructions where you have to head to next and there are seating charts and leaflets giving you information about the Garden which are good for keepsakes.
Once we got past through the second ticketing area we headed towards our seats which were in the east corner of the stadium. I was amazed how many steps it felt I went up to get up to our seats. When we got to the level where we were seated I was greeted by an array of fast food outlets and places to get a soft/alcoholic drink all at a reasonable price for where you were. It was very spacious on our floor and there was space to eat or drink before we took our seats. When we got to the area we were seated we were greeted by a member of staff who showed us to our seats and this is when I got my first taste of the Garden.
I was amazed at how spacious it was and just how close we were to the action bearing in mind we were 3 sections back and in the corner. Now this may sound stupid but the players are even bigger in real life and when you get all these big men on the court you are surprised that there is room to move. There was lots of leg room and the seats were nice and comfy. As expected in the States you get the people coming round selling the popcorn and hot dogs which was way too expensive - I will stick with the sandwiches I think! The Knicks were playing the Atlanta Hawks in a mid table clash and there was not to much to play for but that did not stop it from being a great atmosphere with the New Yorkers rearing out chants of DEFENCE DEFENCE! or ATTACK ATTACK!. You really get into it and being that the stadium has a kind of claustrophobic feel to it and the noise bounces around very easily, you can not help but get involved.
In the end the Knicks ran out as winners and everyone went home happy. There is a subway station two minutes from the stadium which is very convenient or you can join the long queue of people waiting for a taxi. We opted for the subway but it is not very well policed and us British tourists seemed to get bullied a bit by the locals as we all tried to get through the gate to the platform.
Overall I would say that this is a great arena that is well worth a visit if you are in New York to take in any type of event. Prices for tickets are reasonable but if you are looking to buy some memorabilia be prepared to part with some serious cash.