MSG’s upper half gets overhauled

August 08, 2012 05:30PM

The Rangers didn’t exactly cooperate with Madison Square Garden’s renovation plans by playing all the way into late May this year, but construction workers appear to have made up for lost time. Crain’s reported that Garden CEO Hank Ratner showed off some of the changes implemented this summer, the second of three being used to complete the $980 million renovation.

Whereas last summer’s work focused on the lower half of the arena, construction crews turned their attention to the upper bowl this year. Fifty-eight new luxury suites were added to the arena’s seventh floor, between the upper and lower bowls. Those suites, which are 85 percent sold, replace some upper bowl seats. But the entire upper level has been sloped downward an extra 17 degrees to improve sight lines.

The concession area on the eighth floor has been revamped and now features wider concourses, an industrial aesthetic and a host of new retail stands. When this summer’s additions are complete, in time for the Rangers to open their season Nov. 1 against the Dallas Stars, the Madison Club will open. Tickets for this members-only 164-seat area go for $40,000 and include access to all Garden sporting events.

With the new amenities come higher ticket prices: Rangers season tickets are up almost 10 percent for next season and Knicks tickets will cost about 5 percent more. That’s on top of 23 percent and 49 percent hikes last year. [Crain’s]