Any sports fan worth their official licensed merchandise knows Madison Square Garden is the home of the New York Knicks NBA basketball team, as well as the New York Rangers hockey team and WNBA New York Liberty side. What may not be known about the huge donut-shaped building is that it's also a world-famous entertainment arena.
The current Madison Square Garden is the fourth site to be named thus (the first opened in 1879) and its opening event in 1968 was headlined by Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. The massive 20,000-seat arena naturally only hosts big-name acts capable of filling the stadium with recent shows for the likes of Alicia Keys, Eric Clapton and Muse. It's not all top of the pops. The venue also contains the 5,600-seat Theater at Madison Square Garden which hosts family shows, theatrical performances and other special events. Even the Pope has graced the Garden.
In addition to hockey and basketball, the arena showcases events as varied as World Championship Boxing, tennis, WWE, Professional Bull Riders, the American Cup gymnastics comp and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The highest honour bestowed to a former onsite sporting pro is the retiring of their jersey number at Madison Square Garden which is displayed at the Garden's rafters and never worn by another player.
A Walk of Fame was also installed in 1992 with plaques to commemorate achievement in different fields. Tickets to the hugely popular NBA games are immensely hard to get hold of, but if you do find yourself courtside, you'll be in the company of famous fans like Ben Stiller, Whoopi Goldberg and Spike Lee.
Tours of Madison Square Garden run daily between 10:30 am and 3:00 pm and provide a behind-the-scenes look at the world-famous arena including the locker rooms and high-roller suites. If you are heading to Madison Square Garden for an event, the venue is located right above Penn Station which is served by subway lines 1, 2, 3, A, C or E to 34th Street/Penn Station.