(from Sports Business Journal, November 4, 2013) With its finished ceiling as the defining characteristic, Madison Square Garden has stood out for close to 50 years. Now with the addition of the Chase Bridge seats, another unique design element will be featured in the large arena. The world’s most famous arena and home of the New York Knicks and Rangers will give guests the opportunity to be within arm’s length of the ceiling. Hank Ratner, Madison Square Garden Co.’s President and CEO, said, “You sit in the most spectacular seat for hockey and basketball…there is a vantage point above the action that you can’t find anywhere else.” This latest advancement will be the last of a significant list that resulted in a massive three-year, one billion dollar renovation.
Suspended above the seating bowl on the 10th floor, both Chase Bridges can hold an additional 430 seats. Through private and backed funds, Madison Square Garden now embraces the title of the most expensive arena project in sports. Most importantly Madison Square Garden is leading the trend among teams to place fans as close to the action in the highest quality of event-level spaces. This unique experience is open to a variety of ticket holders ranging from Wall Street men in suits to women in Ryan Callahan jerseys.
In addition to the bridge structures, the Garden has added features to Chase Square located on Seventh Avenue in midtown Manhattan. First, a two-story, 18,000-square-foot enclosed space was constructed to house the new team store and box office. Next, two 600-square-foot video displays were added onto the ceiling in Chase Square to project custom content of different players and events. Madison Square Garden’s architect for the renovation, Murray Beynon, stated, “The screens symbolize the tall buildings in a city where tourists peer to the sky to see the sights.” Lastly, the 18 Signature Suites on the ninth level were renovated and a new circular video board hangs in the center of the Madison Square Garden ceiling. Even with all of the new renovations, Hank Ratner believes the arena will always remain a hall of fame building full of history.