Bridges? New Views Inside The Garden's Renovation

The Bridge

[Note by Jim Schmiedeberg, 05/08/10 12:44 AM EDT Since there was some other stuff going on this week, this terrific story that rmc235 put together deserves a little more time at the top, so I am putting it back there. Great job rmc!]

(Opening in the 2013-14 season are the two spectacular New Bridges that will be suspended above the court/ice for a one-of-a-kind view of the action. )  From

As you may know, the Garden will be undergoing a renovation to become "a state of the art" facility.  What you may not know, are some of the new details released regarding the new changes.  For example, the new "bridges" that will span the arena length wise, as shown above.

Join me after the jump for more information, and some new pictures of the renovation.

From the NY Times:

One type of renovation at Madison Square Garden will begin this summer when the Knicks try to sign players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh.

Another type, one that will modernize the 42-year-old arena, will move into high gear next year with the first of three summer shutdowns. Each year, construction will start with the end of the Knicks’ season or the Rangers’, whichever comes later.

Turner Construction is renovating the arena and needs about 20 consecutive weeks from the end of play. A deep postseason by either team would probably affect the Rangers more, because their season starts first in the fall and they would be required to play on the road for an extended period to accommodate construction.

The renovation will cost $775 million to $850 million, much higher than the $500 million estimate made by Garden officials when they first unveiled plans in April 2008. Hank J. Ratner, the Garden’s president and chief executive, said in an interview that the lower figure was based on a design concept that had not been fully fleshed out. The current estimate is based on elaborate drawings of every element of the construction plan.

The Garden spent $60 million to start the renovation in areas not visible to the public through the end of 2009. Ratner declined to say how much has been spent since or how much the Garden, which hosts about 300 events a year, is giving up in revenue for events that cannot be booked during the closures.

One of its properties, the Liberty of the W.N.B.A., will have to play home games elsewhere beginning in 2011. A possibility is the Prudential Center in Newark, where the Nets will play for two seasons before moving to their new home in Brooklyn.

The MSG Network has begun moving across Seventh Avenue to a new space at 11 Penn Plaza. After the N.B.A. draft on June 24, the Theater at Madison Square Garden will be closed to support the work that is needed to support the construction of the upper floors. The Theater does not need renovation and is expected to reopen in the fall.

But the Play by Play sports bar will soon close for good.

In October 2011, the Garden plans to reopen with its lower bowl seats refurbished and the 20 event-level suites, which are at or near the ice or the basketball court, ready to be occupied at rents of about $1 million each. Ratner said nearly all of the swank suites were spoken for.

New locker rooms, dressing rooms for entertainers and the news media area will be ready, as will the new sixth-floor concourse, which will be widened to include windows but will have a temporary ceiling and floor.

About 1,500 seats in the upper bowl will be covered at the start of the 2011-12 season, but Ratner said they should be finished early in the season. Most of those seats are not committed to season-ticket holders, but those who have seats will be temporarily relocated.

When the arena reopens after the summer of 2012, Ratner said, the upper bowl seating is expected to be done, with all seats moved closer to the action. Twenty-two lower-level suites, some as close as 23 rows from the floor or the ice, will be ready to start the season, with 36 more finished by the end of the year. Construction will take place when games are not being played.

Also opening in October 2012 will be a partly finished upper-level concourse, a party deck and the Super Club, an area the size of 10 suites. The Delta Club, which will serve patrons of the elite event-level suites, will also open, with a television studio and a glass wall that will look into the tunnel where players can be seen as they walk from the locker rooms to the court or ice.

In October 2013, the final phase — the open-air, two-level Seventh Avenue lobby — will open with large projection screens and a television studio. On the ninth floor, 18 revamped suites will open and a new scoreboard will be installed.

And one of the signature design elements of the renovated Garden — two bridges that will span the arena lengthwise, and serve the concourses and seating areas — will open.

"This isn’t a renovation," Ratner said. "This is a new building within the familiar exterior of the Garden."

Unlike Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, the Prudential Center and the Barclays Center, the Garden is being renovated without state or city subsidies, although the arena continues to benefit from its longtime property tax exemption.

The Garden is financing the renovation with cash on hand and operating cash flow, Ratner said.

Ratner said he expected the project to generate the equivalent of 1,300 full-time jobs during construction.


Here are some new images posted on - (all text underneath photos come directly from pictures):

Entrance Lobby

(Opening in the 2013-14 season is the new 7th Avenue Entrance featuring interactive kiosks, retail locations and a broadcast area.)

This picture seems to indicate a giant screen on the ceiling.  In my opinion, I don't think anyone will be busy looking up at the ceiling when they enter the building, so the screen to me is questionable.

Rangers Locker Room

(State-of-the-art facility for teams and performers.)

Nothing really to comment on here, just a nice new locker room for players and performers alike.

Lower Level Concourse

(Opening in the 2011-12 season is the new Expanded Lower Concourse with city views, enhanced concession stands featuring Coca-Cola products, more restrooms and additional retail locations (some components will gradually come on through January). )

Can't wait for those wide-open areas to roam.  Concourse's expanded?  Check.

Upper Level

(Opening in the 2012-13 season is the Expanded Upper Concourse with city views, enhanced concession stands featuring Coca-Cola products, more restrooms and additional retail locations (some components will gradually come on through January). )

If there is some trend you may notice through the images is the use, or overuse , of television screens.  While the images are stunning, there is such a thing as too many screens.  As fans, we will enter to watch the event in person, not stand around in concourses watching the event on a screen.

Upper Level View

(New concourse deck with direct views into the arena bowl.)

Ah yes, finally, there appears to be space to walk on the upper deck.  Being the deck where I reside during some games, I can only hope it looks this good when completed.

Party Deck

(Opening in the 2013-14 season are the New 10th floor Party Decks offering a selection of new food and beverage options and a unique social gathering space with direct views into the arena bowl.)

I'm not one to be using the party deck any time soon, but it sure looks very nice.

The Bridge

(Opening in the 2013-14 season are the two spectacular New Bridges that will be suspended above the court/ice for a one-of-a-kind view of the action.)

Bridges?  I am kind of iffy on the bridge concept.  One, I don't think it is necessary.  Two, I don't want to look at a scoreboard and tons of screens while I'm trying to watch the game.  Three, I like the jumbotron.  The image makes the bridge look like it will block my view of the jumbotron.  Four, wait, are the Sabres winning this game?  Is it just me or is it "2 Rangers - 3:54 Period 2 - Sabres 3".  And why is the man in the foreground clapping?  Is he a Sabres fan?

Event Level Club Studio

(Opening in the 2011-12 season and offering exclusive dining options and views of athletes entering and exiting the locker room area.)

This little area is also being known as the Delta Sky 360° Event Level Club.  John looks amused and Al looks like he is doing a "groping" motion.  As long as that isn't a live shot, this looks like a pass.

Event Level Club

(Opening in the 2011-12 season and offering exclusive dining options and views of athletes entering and exiting the locker room area.)

The Delta Sky 360° Event Level Club looks to be one fancy place don't you think?

Event Level Suites

(Opening in the 2011-12 season are the 20 new Event Level Suites offering a sophisticated atmosphere and the best seats in the house.)

"Sophisticated atmosphere" seems to be an understatement here.

Lower LEvel Suite

(Opening in the 2012-13 season are the 58 new Lower Level Suites that are larger and half the distance to the court/ice with bowl seating.)

What about sophisticated atmosphere did I fail to mention?

Super Club

(Opening in the 2012-13 season is the new all-inclusive Super Club with seating in the arena and exclusive club space available for corporations and individuals looking to entertain at Knicks and Rangers games.)

The Super Club is supposedly the size of 10 suites.  The view looks fantastic.  At least when Glen Sather looks to entertain guests he'll be closer to the fans than ever before.

Ninth Floor Suite

(Opening in the 2013-14 season are the 18 completely remodeled 9th floor Suites.)

The man sitting down is transfixed at the screen.  Other than that, the 9th floor suites look to be just as inviting as the others.

The Renovation doesn't look to disappoint.  The only thing I am worried about, not regarding the facility itself, is it's impact on the Rangers' season.  Expect a long road trip in the beginning of a year or two to accomodate for the construction.  What do you guys think of the new Garden?

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