Madison Square Garden III

Address:
2 Pennsylvania Plaza
New York, NY 10121
(212) 465-6000

Basketball Capacity:
~15,000

Former Tenants:
New York Knicks (NBA) 1946-1968
New York Rangers (NHL) 1926-1968
New York Americans (NHL)
New York Rovers
Madison Square Garden

  Administrative  
  Venue Resources  
Philips Arena Tickets
Seating Location
Weather Newspaper
Team Page
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  The Facility  
Date Built 1968
Ownership
(Management)
Madison Square Garden L.P.
(Madison Square Garden L.P.)
Cost of Construction $200 million renovation completed in 1991
  Other Facts  
Tenants New York Knicks
(NBA) 1968-Present
New York Rangers
(NHL) 1968-Present
Saint John's Red Storm
(NCAA)
New York Liberty
(WNBA)
Former Tenants New York Raiders
(WHA) 1972-1973
New York Golden Blades
(WHA) 1973-1974
New York City Hawks
(AF)
Population Base 10,000,000
On Site Parking None
Nearest Airport 10 Miles
Retired Numbers #10 Walt Frazier
#12 Dick Barnett
#15 Earl Monroe
#15 Dick McGuire
#19 Willis Reed
#22 Dave DeBusschere
#24 Bill Bradley
#613 Red Holzman
Sources: Mediaventures

When colorful New York boxing promoter George (Tex) Rickard discovered in 1924 that the old Madison Square Garden was to be razed to make way for a skyscraper, he assembled a team of businessmen he called his "600 millionaires," set up financing, and broke ground for a new Madison Square Garden on January 9, 1925 on a new location. The site selected for the third Garden was Eighth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets. Existing trolley car barns were torn down to make room for the new arena, which was constructed in only 249 days.

Madison Square Garden III was 200 feet by 375 feet. It had three tiers of seats and could seat 18,500 for boxing. The first event was, however, a six-day bicycle race which began on November 24, 1925. On December 6, the first professional basketball game was played in Madison Square Garden III with the original Celtics defeating the Washington Palace Five 35-31.

On December 8, the first boxing match at the new Garden saw flyweight champion Jack McDermott upset by Johnny Erickson. On December 11, 17,575 fans paid to see Paul Berlenbach out-point Jack Delaney and retain his light-heavyweight title.

The official opening of Garden III was December 15, when the Montreal Canadiens defeated the New York Americans 3-1. For the record, the first goal ever scored in the Garden came off the stick of New York American winger Frank Boucher.

After travelling to Montreal with Damon Runyon to watch the flamboyantly talented Howie Morenz and his Montreal Canadiens raise the game of ice hockey to the sublime, Rickard was convinced New Yorkers would embrace the fast, rugged sport and installed ice in his building. He rented the rink to the New York Americans for a season and, after seeing their popularity swell, realized New York could support two teams and hired young Conn Symthe to create a rival to the Americans. On November 17, 1926, the New York Rangers won their first game in the Garden by defeating the Montreal Maroons 1-0, and another hockey dynasty was born.

Under the leadership of Rickard and, later General John Reed Kilpatrick, Ned Irish and Irving Mitchell Felt, the Garden steadily increased in stature and built its reputation as the most famous and most exciting arena in the world.

Appearing in Madison Square Garden was considered so important that many star athletes suffered what came to be known as "Garden-itis," the sports equivalent of stage fright.

Among the highlights in the 40-year life span of Garden III were the appearance in the Finnish-American A.C. Games on January 6, 1925 of Paavo Nurmi, winner of five Olympic gold medals; the debut of the New York Rangers, who defeated the Montreal Maroons, 1-0, on November 17, 1926; and a 1932 rally for Democratic Presidential nominee Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which drew 22,000. The future President's appearance at the Garden continued a tradition begun in 1892 by Grover Cleveland and followed by virtually every presidential candidate since.

Other Garden III landmark events included the first college basketball doubleheader on December 29, 1934; the first National Invitational Tournament in 1938; Sonia Henie's Hollywood Ice Review attended by more than 15,000 in 1938; Gene Autry and the rodeo, which attracted nearly 13,000 spectators in 1940; the Garden debut of the Knicks in 1946; Mike Todd's legendary "Around the World in 80 Days" anniversary party on October 17, 1957, (with Marilyn Monroe riding an elephant and Elizabeth Taylor hosting) and President John F. Kennedy's birthday party in May 1962.

On April 3, 1999 Tom Saboy wrote: Another promonent tenant of MSG 50th & 8th was the NEW YORK ROVERS. They played on Sunday afternoons. The Rangers always played on Sunday/Wedesday night.. At that time the hometeam wore the dark jerseys, visitors white. Tuesday & Thursday were college basketball (doubleheaders). Friday was the FIGHTS. The Knicks played Saturday night and at the 69th regiment armory if there was an important college basketball game. Important local teams included NYU (Barry Kramer), LIU (Sherman White), St John's (Zeke Zwalick), Seton Hall (Walter Dukes/Rickie Regen), Manhatten,(Julius Kellog) and CCNY (NIT/NCAA) , Important visitors included Holy Cross, Niagra, Duquene, Syacuse, Kentucky, Kansas, and one year "RIO GRAND" with star center BEVO FRANCIS !!!

Unlike the current garden the seats were right on top of the action wether you were in the lower stans, mezz or the "Balcony". Also unlike the current garden it was affordable. !!!

New York Knicks

NBA
NBA
1949-Present
MSG IV
MSG IV
1968-Present

New York Rangers

MSG I
MSG I
1874-1890
MSG II
MSG II
1890-1925
NHL
NHL
1917-Present
MSG III
MSG III
1926-1968
MSG IV
MSG IV
1968-Present



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