Madison Square Garden, the iconic New York City arena every musician (including a high school-aged Lady Gaga) aspires to headline, has completed its three-year, top-to-bottom $1 billion transformation. What does this mean for music fans? Lots. Step inside the revamped arena with Fuse to see how the concert experience is vastly improved.
Today, the Garden's all-new entrance way on Manhattan's 7th Avenue—now nearly doubled in size—transformed into a red carpet media event to unveil the refurbished venue. All-star athletes, Sports Illustrated models and even New York's own 50 Cent joined the standing-room-only press conference for opening remarks from MSG executive chairman Jim Dolan and NY governor Andrew Cuomo before heading inside to explore the venue.
"I'm proud to be a New Yorker today," said Dolan. "All of us know what this building means to New York. We talked about making this a true transformation for everyone...We wanted our entertainers to have the best dressing rooms, sound, lighting and acoustics. But, maybe most importantly, we wanted this to be about our fans, from the first row to the last row."
Added Cuomo, "It's an international symbol. So much of this city and state's history was made right here in this building. But today really isn't about our past, today's about our future."
And it's a bright one. Concertgoers will be thrilled with MSG's improvements, including 22% more restrooms (less waiting!), 26% more concession stands (faster food!) and an additional 250 to 270 seats (more available tickets!).
The most striking aspect of the renovation are the two new Chase Bridges, suspended high above the arena's floor (at a 43 degree angle from the floor) to provide fans with a striking vantage point of the action below. Afraid of heights? Worry not: MSG execs promise a "total feeling of security" on the bridges, which were designed by the same team behind the Grand Canyon Skywalk. And the bridges are positioned so all seats will have an awesome, unobstructed view of the stage.
America's "coolest" arena is also decorated with priceless music memorabilia from its storied history, including a signed poster from George Harrison's 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, Eric Clapton's guitar pick, a Gibson guitar signed by all the 12-12-12 benefit concert performers and classic photos of alumni like Frank Sinatra, Mick Jagger, Prince, Whitney Houston and Justin Bieber.
A new era of memorable Madison Square Garden moments is waiting. Are you ready?