You had to know this was coming. According to the NY Times, Madison Square Garden is spending close to $850 million over three years on renovation. It’s about to change from being The World’s Most Famous Arena to The World’s Most Expensive Arena. You had to know the fans and sponsors are the ones who are going to pay for it. Last season tickets jumped an average of 23%. Well this coming season it’s going up another 9.5% for the Rangers and 4.9% for the Knicks. The only word that came to mind when we read this was, “WOW.”
Here’s the official release from Madison Square Garden:
Second Phase of Three-Year Madison Square Garden Transformation to Debut in Fall 2012
New York, NY, March 5, 2012 —The New York Knickerbockers and New York Rangers today released season ticket information for the 2012-13 seasons when Madison Square Garden will debut the second phase of the building’s historic, three-year top-to-bottom Transformation. The first phase of the Transformation debuted in Fall 2011 and included a completely redone lower bowl and select new areas in the upper levels of the Arena. The second phase will focus on adding new amenities and a completely new seating area with significantly improved sightlines to the upper bowl of the Arena.
For the 2012-13 season, Knicks season ticket prices will increase an average of 4.9%, and Rangers will increase an average of 9.5%. Price increases are primarily focused on upper bowl seats, reflecting the new amenities and improved sightlines in the upper bowl. Knicks and Rangers season ticket holders will be contacted directly by their dedicated experience manager with specific information on their account in the coming weeks.
When fans return to The Garden for the 2012-13 seasons, the seating configuration in the upper bowl of the Arena will be completely transformed. The upper bowl will offer larger, more comfortable seating and significantly improved sightlines as the incline for the upper bowl will increase 17 degrees, moving fans seven to 10 feet, or nearly three rows, closer to the action. Season ticket holders will be relocated to new seats accordingly.
A completely new offering for fans next season will be the new Gallery Seats, providing a premium experience in the upper bowl. The new Gallery Seats will be the front two rows of the upper bowl and feature 25% more legroom, and superior sightlines. The first row will also have a personal television for each seat and a drink rail to rest food and beverages. Current season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase the new Gallery Seats.
For the 2012-13 seasons the new expanded Garden Concourse (8th Floor) will have city views in select areas, additional restrooms and retail locations, and new first-class food and beverage options, including MSG Signature Collection’s exclusive food items from leading chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Andrew Carmellini, renowned restaurateur Drew Nieporent and Aquagrill’s chef and owner Jeremy Marshall. Final work will also be completed on the Madison Concourse (6th Floor). In addition, Knicks and Rangers fans will experience the return of the Blue Seats, which was a frequent request from fans during the planning of the Transformation. The Blue Seats will be located in a section on the west side of the building and be authentic to the color of the original Blue Seats.
“With the first phase of the Transformation complete, fans are already starting to discover a state-of-the-art venue that’s as memorable as the moments that happen at The World’s Most Famous Arena,” said Scott O’Neil, president, MSG Sports. “From improved sightlines to expanded concourses with new food and beverage offerings to new social gathering areas, the second phase of the Transformation will offer even more exciting amenities for fans. Our top priority continues to be creating a world-class experience for every person that visits The Garden, and we have a dedicated staff that will ensure that the experience before, during and after fans attend an event is seamless and exceeds their expectations.”
The second phase of the Transformation will also include 58 new Madison Suites that will open throughout the 2012-13 seasons and the Madison Club, both located on the 7th floor approximately 23 rows up for hockey and 30 rows for basketball. The Madison Club will be a new all-inclusive, exclusive membership-only club that will include tickets to Knicks, Rangers, college basketball, boxing, tennis and all other sports events held at The Garden.
Additional Knicks and Rangers season ticket options and benefits for next season include:
– Season tickets will be offered at 23 different price points for Rangers and 22 different price points for Knicks;
– Exclusive season ticket holder benefits, including access to special events with current players and alumni, such as meet and greets, storyteller forums, skating with the Rangers and shooting hoops with the Knicks; unique gifts and experiences based on tenure; opportunity to personalize select benefits according to interests; savings vs. individual game tickets; first consideration to buy playoff tickets and for seat relocation and upgrades; online ticketing services; and a dedicated experience manager to provide assistance for all account needs;
– A number of flexible payment plan options are available for all subscribers.
There are several special incentives for Knicks and Rangers fans to renew their 2012-13 season tickets early or online. The renewal deadline for Rangers is May 11 and for Knicks is May 18. Season ticket holders that renew by the early bird deadlines, March 26 for Rangers and April 2 for Knicks, will receive a voucher for a 10% discount on Delta Air Lines tickets. Those that secure their 2012 playoff tickets and renew their 2012-13 season tickets by the early bird deadline will receive a 10% rebate on their playoff tickets. Fans that pay for season tickets using their Chase credit card will receive a premium Knicks or Rangers gift.
Fans are encouraged to renew their season tickets online by using their personalized website which outlines their exclusive subscriber benefits and features a 3D Virtual Venue tool showcasing their new seats. Fans that pay online will be entered to win a number of great prizes, including complimentary roundtrip tickets on Delta Air Lines and getaways courtesy of Delta Vacations.
The first phase of the Transformation debuted in Fall 2011 and included a completely transformed lower bowl of the Arena, including new larger, more comfortable seating, expanded Madison Concourse (6th Floor) with city views, additional restrooms and retail locations and a variety of new food offerings, including MSG Signature Collection. New open areas on the east and west side of the 8th floor and the West Balcony (10th floor), provided fans with direct views into the Arena bowl, as well as new seating, walkways and concession stands. The new Event Level Suites, Delta Sky360 Club and 1879 Club Presented by J.P. Morgan also debuted during the 2011-12 seasons.
Work on the Transformation will continue to be a year-round project, sequenced to maximize construction efforts during the remaining offseason shutdowns in 2012 and 2013. The building will be transformed into a state-of-the-art facility that lives up to its iconic stature, while preserving The Garden’s great history and distinctive architecture. For more information on the MSG Transformation, visit www.msg.com/transformation to see a complete timeline of the project and receive construction updates.
Fans interested in new season ticket plans for the Knicks and Rangers 2012-13 seasons should call 212-465-6073 or visit NYKnicks.com or NYRangers.com for more information. Individual tickets and partial plans for Knicks and Rangers will go on sale in the fall.