Stadium Journey Review: Madison Square Garden--Home of the New York Knicks

Keith Schlosser@KnicksJournal Analyst IApril 8, 2010

I always look forward to a great time when I watch the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, the “World’s Most Famous Arena.” Truly an iconic place, MSG has hosted some of the most exciting events in the world.

The arena always provides fans with an upbeat and pleasant experience, but it’s the team that can sometimes fall short of expectations.

FANFARE Score: 30

F ood and Beverage: 5

While MSG has its assortments of classics (hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, etc), you know the city of New York can sometimes demand a higher variety.

“Senzai Sushi” is the Garden’s very own sushi stand, where a full assortment of different Sushi can be freshly made before your very eyes.

If you’re looking for a quick bite, the specialty personal pizzas may also do the trick, but they aren’t recommended for a full meal.

The best snack offered at the World’s Most Famous Arena is possibly the world’s best popcorn; I’ve been enjoying the great popcorn for years, so it certainly comes with a raving recommendation.

If you are sitting in some of the lower seats, you also have access to an expanded and perhaps more formal menu, but the “waiters” are extremely difficult to track down, as they often may try to avoid you. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of MSG’s great concession stand variety.

If you have a “Club” pass on your ticket, you are also granted access upstairs to the Garden’s Play by Play restaurant. This bar and restaurant has numerous flat screens, video games, basketball hoops, and of course, good food and drinks. Its wide variety of different meals, whether they are an upgraded version of arena favorites or a different culturally fused dish, is complemented by a great selection of beers and soft drinks

Buyers beware; certain wait staff has a tendency to pressure you with their own Play by Play favorites!

With all the options here, you can never go wrong!

A tmosphere: 4

The atmosphere at Knicks games is always terrific. With the Knicks playing so poorly, such a great atmosphere just might be what brings most people to a game these days.

Something at MSG can make you forget all your worries for a few hours, and completely immerse yourself in everything going on at the Garden, much like a great movie.

The Knicks’ “7th Ave Squad” really knows how to get the crowd loud.

The Knicks City Dancers and “Knicks’ Acroback Tumblers” are equally as exciting, although a bit corny. It comes with the territory I suppose, as I am sure most arenas have groups like these to pump up the crowd.

N eighborhood: 5

How can you say anything bad about New York City? There’s truly something for everyone, even if you simply would like to walk around before or after the game and enjoy the sites.

Looking for somewhere to hang out and perhaps get something to eat? The ESPN Zone restaurant is just a half a mile away, providing fans with the most unique and realistic perspective outside of an arena.

With jumbo screens playing just about any sporting event on TV, you can sit in actual leather cushioned reclining chairs while you watch and enjoy a meal. It may be a total gimmick, but I totally fell for it. It’s great!

F ans: 5

As poorly as the Knicks have played in recent years, it’s a real tribute to the fans that the energy never fails to be electrifying. Knicks fans are some of the most loyal in the world and it shows.  They are always up on their feet, whether it be during the game or even during timeouts to cheer participants on in the various contests. These fans truly bleed orange and blue.

As of late, you never fail to see “Big Louis” dancing around. Donning a Knicks No. 20 customized jersey, “Big Louis” gets the crowd up like no fan I’ve ever seen as he appears on “Diamondvision.”

A ccess: 3

Based on how magnificent this arena really is and has always been, you would think convenience would be of a priority. In the packed NYC streets, parking is no more than average. While there are spacious bathrooms, you may have to walk quite a distance depending on where your seat is.

But the absolute worst has to be the Garden’s escalators, which are completely shut down for a prolonged period of time following the game, causing a complete and utter pile up, and major frustration if you have to catch a train back home.

As a Knicks season subscriber for a couple years now, here is a tip that I myself only learned of this season; there are elevators in hidden walkways around the arena that take you down a hell of a lot quicker than any staircase or escalader can. The difficulty is just keeping an eye out for these.

R eturn on Investment: 4

As far as the actual arena goes, it’s one of the most storied and fun places to be. There’s so much history behind the place, and everything the Garden has to offer really gives credibility to its tremendous reputation.

The one small problem is at the base of the question, “why does a fan come to a game?”  It’s because they are truly a fan, and enjoy cheering his/her team on to victory.

The Knicks aren’t getting many of those lately, and for the money you pay, that is certainly a bit of a bummer. Let’s revisit this issue after the summer!

E tc: 4

I can’t help but think with a few simple and reasonable tweaks that MSG during a Knicks game would be absolutely perfect. The arena is already a great place to be, and the Knicks are poised for a complete summer makeover, which could result in more wins and excitement.

MSG is also scheduled to undergo certain renovations, which may result in easier accessibility. The given points are all towards the hope and optimism that the Knicks and MSG hold, as well as its great performance through the years thus far!

For this review and more, visit Paul Swaney's Stadium Journey at www.stadiumjourney.com


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