When the unprecedented, $1 billion, three-year Transformation of Madison Square Garden is unveiled on Friday fans will get to enjoy a variety of unique photo displays and memorabilia exhibits throughout the Arena that celebrate and commemorate The Garden’s incredible 134 history in sports, entertainment, politics and culture. For the first time, fans will also see the remaining 10 “Defining Moments presented by SAP” exhibits that showcase through amazing photos and memorabilia some of the moments that have solidified The Garden’s position as The World’s Most Famous Arena. MSG unveiled 10 “Defining Moments presented by SAP” in Fall 2012, which are located on the SAP Madison Concourse, and the remaining 10 exhibits will debut in the fully transformed Arena on the Garden Concourse.
“Since 1879, Madison Square Garden’s four Arena complexes have played host to some of the greatest moments in the history of sports, music, entertainment and politics. One of the goals of the Transformation was to capture this rich history by celebrating our past throughout the building,” said Hank Ratner, president and CEO, The Madison Square Garden Company. “Through a variety of unique photo displays and memorabilia exhibits, we are able to share with our fans, by bringing history to life, why Madison Square Garden is today known as The World’s Most Famous Arena.”
When fans return to The Garden they will experience a completely transformed Arena that includes numerous special areas honoring the building’s unequaled history. The remaining 10 of The Garden’s 20 “Defining Moments presented by SAP” will be unveiled on the Garden Concourse, where each moment will be commemorated with a special exhibit that features photos, one-of-a-kind memorabilia and additional artifacts. The remaining 10 “Defining Moments presented by SAP” include:
- Madison Square Garden Opens – May 31, 1879
- Rocky Marciano Defeats Joe Louis – October 26, 1951
- The Concert for Bangladesh – August 1, 1971
- Knicks vs. Celtics 1973 Eastern Conference Finals, Game Four – April 22, 1973
- Pope John Paul II Visits The Garden – October 3, 1979
- Rangers vs. Canucks 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, Game Seven – June 14, 1994
- Larry Johnson’s 4-point Play – June 5, 1999
- The Concert for New York City – October 20, 2001
- Syracuse Defeats University of Connecticut in Six OT Game – March 12, 2009
- 12-12-12 – December 12, 2012
In Fall 2012 the other 10 “Defining Moments presented by SAP” were unveiled with exhibits on the SAP Madison Concourse along with “Garden 366 presented by SAP,” a visual retrospective that wraps the entire concourse and reveals one moment in Garden history for every day of the year, including leap year.
As fans walk into the transformed Garden this year through the new Chase Square 7th Avenue entrance, they will also see seven new two-sided columns, each uniquely decorated with classic images celebrating the vast array of legendary athletes, performers and political figures who have been part of the events that have been held within The Garden walls the past 134 years. As fans continue into the Arena, to pay homage to the existing Garden site, which opened in 1968, two new corridors on the entry level of the Arena have been restored to replicate the look of the building when its doors first opened 45 years ago. The 1968 North and 1968 South corridors will not only replicate the floors, walls, ceiling and lighting of the original Garden, but will feature authentic advertisements and event promotional posters from that commemorative year.
Other areas celebrating the Arena’s great history in the transformed Arena, include the Event Level Suite hallways, where fans will see one-of-a-kind photo paintings by famed Garden photographer George Kalinsky, capturing many of the great performers who have graced The Garden stage, including Paul McCartney, Walt Frazier and Muhammad Ali. In addition, throughout the Lexus Madison Suite Level a series of seldom seen behind-the-scenes photographs line the walls that feature historic artists, athletes and personalities in a different light…off the court, ice and stage. On the new Signature Suite Level the walls are lined with memorabilia from people and events that have left their signature on The Garden, including the boxing scale that many greats like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier were weighed in on, tracksuits the Beastie Boys wore during a 2005 concert at The Garden, and a classic suit from Walt “Clyde” Frazier.
In addition to all the special photo displays and memorabilia exhibits there are a variety of additional images throughout the Arena, totaling more than 1000 photos, that celebrate great historical moments as well as current athletes and performers. In addition, to pay homage to The Garden’s great fans, 1000 Blue Seats have returned that replicate the color of the original fabled blue seats that were installed in the current Garden when it opened in 1968 and removed in 1990.