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Plan Your Visit to New York’s Madison Square Garden

Aerial shot of New York over Madison Square Garden. City & Venue Guides

Whether you are a music lover or a sports enthusiast, New York is a perfect place to be with thousands of events happening throughout the year. Start planning your next trip to “the world’s most famous arena” with this Madison Square Garden guide and catch a legendary show or thrilling playoff game. 

Who Plays at Madison Square Garden?

Madison Square Garden has two resident teams: the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). It is also home to Empire Classic, which is a mid-season NCAA men’s basketball tournament featuring teams like 2023 champion UConn, and the Big East men’s basketball tournament. 

In the past, the WNBA’s New York Liberty also played at MSG. Additionally, the venue served as the New York City home of Disney on Ice and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. All three have since moved to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

Quick History of Madison Square Garden

The first iteration of Madison Square Garden opened in 1879 at East 26th Street and Madison Avenue. That building was leased to entertainer P.T. Barnum and demolished in 1890. The second was built soon after and became New York’s second-tallest building at the time with 32 stories. It was torn down in 1925. 

The third version of The Garden moved to 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th streets. It was built in 1925 by boxing promoter Tex Rickard, with a capacity of 18,496 spectators on three levels of seating.

The fourth version, which still stands today, was completed in 1968. With one of its first high-profile events, The Garden hosted the 1970 NBA Finals which the New York Knicks won. The Rangers won the 1994 Stanley Cup Championship there and Muhammad Ali defeated Joe Frazier in “The Fight of the Century” at MSG as well.

Freeway exit for Madison Square Garden.

Where is Madison Square Garden?

The Madison Square Garden Complex is located on Manhattan’s West Side between 7th and 8th Avenue. It is above Penn Station, which is the country’s largest transportation facility. MSG is conveniently located near many dining and entertainment options to help you make a full night of activity. Check HotelPlanner for exclusive New York travel deals.

Madison Square Garden seating chart graphic.

Madison Square Garden Seating Chart

Madison Square Garden has five levels of seating ranging from floor-level to the 400s. There are also options for club seating, suites and group lounges. The Garden’s capacity changes depending on the event being held there. Max capacity is 20,789 for boxing matches and UFC fights like UFC 205, which featured Eddie Alvarez and Conor McGregor on the main card. 

For concerts from acts like Billy Joel, Janet Jackson or Lionel Richie, Madison Square Garden can hold 20,000 people. Home games for the New York Knicks have a capacity of 19,812 and MSG holds 18,006 for New York Rangers hockey matches. The venue has also hosted professional wrestling events from WWE like WrestleMania or Raw and SmackDown, in addition to tennis matches, college basketball games and Professional Bull Riding events.  

Accessible seating is available throughout the venue. The accessible entrances are located at 8 Penn on 33rd Street and 8th Avenue or the Chase Square entrance on 7th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Street. We will cover more of MSG’s accessibility features later in the Madison Square Garden guide. 

It may be helpful to review the Madison Square Garden Seat Map which allows you to toggle between different events and levels or TicketSmarter’s interactive map. 

Getting to Madison Square Garden

There are several ways to get to Madison Square Garden ranging from public transit and ride share to driving and parking nearby. Most notably, MSG is located above Penn Station and is accessible through the 1, 2, 3, A, C and E trains. The 34th Street/Herald Square stop is one block east and is accessible by the B, D, F, M, N, Q and R trains. PATH trains and the NY Waterway ferry are also available from New Jersey. MTA Buses are another option with the M4, M10, M16, M34 and Q32, all stopping at 7th Avenue/Penn Station. 

If you plan to drive your own car, review the parking options near Madison Square Garden. Apps like Spot Hero and Park Whiz can be helpful as they allow you to search by location or event and pre-book your parking at The Garden for a worry-free arrival. 

  • Closest: Dock Parking – Penn 1 Garage LLC at 272 W. 34th St.
  • Best Price: Central Parking at 148 W 31st St.
  • Most Secure: Valet Lot at 351 W 34th St.
  • Best Overall: Garden Garage, LLC
    • 253 West 29th Street
    • 384 8th Street

Food and Beverage Services

There are several exciting restaurants near Madison Square Garden, but this venue is just as notorious for its variety of food and beverage options inside ranging from grab-and-go snacks to more gourmet selections. The Garden Market, for example, has popcorn, hot dogs, pretzels and drinks. For a more NY-style experience, consider Top Dog’s signature sausage links or Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop for pizza. Carnegie Deli is another classic option for food at the venue. For an elevated experience, you could also opt for Tao Sushi or Prime Rib in sections 118 and 106. This handy guide to MSG Eats breaks down your options for food by floor and section.  

FAQ: Common Questions

Can I bring a bag? 

Yes, you can bring a bag into Madison Square Garden if it is small enough to fit under your seat. Bags do not have to be clear, but they need to be smaller than 22” x 14” x 9” and all bags are subject to x-ray screening. Parents with young children can also bring a stroller if its collapsible and can fit under the seat.

How many people does The Garden hold?

The Garden can hold upwards of 20,000 people depending on the event taking place. For concerts, the capacity is 20,000. For sporting events, it ranges from 18,006 to 20,789.

Does Madison Square Garden have lockers?

There are no lockers, bag checks or coat check available at Madison Square Garden.

Where can I find storage?

A few blocks away from the venue, you can keep your bags at Schwartz Luggage & Storage. The facility is open 24 hours and walk-ins are welcome at their store, which is located on the ground floor at 357 W. 37th Street.

Are laptops allowed?

Laptops are allowed but will be checked at security during bag searches.

Can I bring in my camera?

Events that are not marked “device-free” allow non-professional cameras. Professional photography or video equipment is not allowed. That includes detachable lenses, external flash, tripods and similar items. At Device Free events, guests will receive secured Yondr pouches for their cellphones, smart watches, Bluetooth-enabled headphones and other items. Pouches will be unlocked at the end of the night. 

What are the disability services at MSG?

There are two accessible entrances to Madison Square Garden and several options for accessible seating, including the Lexus Level and Infosys Level Suites. Accessible restrooms, as well as elevators and escalators, are also available. Assistive Listening Devices (ALD) are complimentary and there is Closed Captioning for in-arena commentary shown on the ribbon board above section 110. For more information, visit the Disabled Services page of the MSG website. 

Get Madison Square Garden Tickets

With more than 300 events scheduled throughout the year, it is easy to find a reason to visit The Garden. Start planning your next trip to this iconic venue with Madison Square Garden tickets from TicketSmarter.