The Ultimate Guide to Madison Square Garden

Apr 30, 2018


Angela Bunt

There’s a reason Madison Square Garden calls itself “the world’s most famous arena.”

Located in Midtown Manhattan between 7th and 8th Avenue, this multi-purpose indoor venue hosts professional basketball and hockey games, boxing matches, concerts, circuses, wrestling, and pretty much any other live entertainment event you can think of. In 2016 it was the second-busiest music arena in the world based on ticket sales, and has been ranked as one of the 10 most expensive stadium venues ever constructed.

It can also fit between 18,000 to 20,700 attendees on any given night, and that’s not counting the more than 650,000 commuters who utilize Penn Station (the country’s biggest transportation hub) which is attached to The Garden.

Those familiar with New York City know a night out at MSG is nearly effortless: tons of nearby food and drink, easy access to the venue from all subway lines, and an intimate feel once you’re inside. But for folks coming in from out of town it can be a daunting task: “Where will I park?” “What restaurant should I eat at?” “Can I bring my bag into the show?”

Are you that out-of-towner? Then put your mind at ease. Here’s everything you need to know about attending a live event at Madison Square Garden.

Madison Square Garden Seating Chart & Capacity

Sports, comedy, concerts–Madison Square Garden has played host to it all. Below you can find the most common seating chart layout, but to view their comedy and sports seating maps you can head here. Wanna know what the view looks like from where you’ll be sitting? We have that too! Check out our expansive venue photo gallery that shows you every nook and cranny of the arena.

MSG Seating Capacity by Event

Parking at Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden is located at 4 Pennsylvania Plaza in New York, NY. It’s attached to Penn Station (which includes the LIRR and New Jersey Transit) and thus serves as a major transportation hub for the New York Metropolitan Area. Because of this, many folks living in the region opt for taking the train in when attending an event at the Garden. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plentiful places to park.

Nearby Parking Garages

Below you can find all of the closest parking garage options for Madison Square Garden. You can reserve spots online or over the phone for the garages listed below, or utilize ParkWhiz–the official parking app for MSG–for an easier, more streamlined experience. As a general rule of thumb, the farther away the parking garage to the venue the less expensive it will be, but do consider that you’ll save money in cab or subway fares if you park close enough to walk.

* Icon Parking | One Pennsylvania Plaza* Icon Parking | 363 W 30th St* Continental Garage Parking | 107 W 31st Street* Meyers Parking | 225 W 30th St* Central Parking | 148 W 31st St* Garden Lots LLC | 126 W 32nd St* Garden Garage LLC | 253 W 29th St* Quik Park Truffles LLC | W 33rd St

Parking Apps & Websites

As mentioned above, Park Whiz serves as the official parking app for Madison Square Garden, but there are a myriad of other apps and websites designed to help people find parking in the city.

NYC Parking allows users to compare rates and get estimates, plus they take into account the type of car you have as well as on-street regulations.

Available on desktop and as an app, Spot Hero uses an interactive map to compare current parking spot prices throughout the city. It also allows users to filter by monthly or hourly rates, and uses helpful icons to indicate the amenities at each garage (valet, handicap accessible, etc).

Just enter your desired location, along with the time frame you’ll be looking to park, and Smooth Parking will tell you what parking regulations are in effect and what time the meters start.

Where to Eat & Drink Around Madison Square Garden

There’s no shortage of food and drink options around Madison Square Garden. In fact, there’s so many options it can be a bit overwhelming when on the hunt for good pre or post-show meals. Check out some of the most popular spots below, and for a more extensive list of bars and restaurants head here.

Arguably the best food and drink option around MSG is also the most convenient. Pennsy Food Hall, an 8,000-square-foot eatery literally attached to the venue, has delicious and varied options for everybody’s dietary needs. This fancy food court has a rotating list of gourmet eats, a massive full bar, and an outside seating area perfect for people watching.

You can’t go to New York without eating its pizza, and luckily one of the city’s most quintessential pizza shops happens to be across the street from MSG. Established in 1964, four years before The Garden was even built, New York Pizza Supreme offers some of the best slices in town.

Designed in the spirit of a haymaker’s farmhouse, the Haymaker Bar & Kitchen boasts old world charm, delicious small plates and bar bites, and (most famously) a rotating list of beer, wine and cocktails.

You can’t go wrong with an Irish pub, and the Blarney Rock Pub–located just two blocks from Madison Square Garden–is no exception. The menu features the usual suspects: nachos, wings, burgers, and drinks can be enjoyed inside (while watching one of their 25 TVs), or outside on the rooftop bar.

If you want to escape the MSG crowd, walk a couple blocks to Mustang Harry’s for some classic drinks and pub grub in a warm and welcoming environment. The spacious restaurant is good for large groups, and you can sit at the bar to catch a game.

Remember, just because you’re going to a show at Madison Square Garden doesn’t mean you have to be limited to the nearby restaurants. The venue is easily accessible by most train lines, and its central location in Manhattan makes it a pretty quick car ride from anywhere in the city. The best question to ask yourself when dining in New York City is not where you want to eat, but what you want to eat. The possibilities are endless!

Where to Stay Around Madison Square Garden

You can’t go wrong with a Holiday Inn Express. This budget-friendly hotel provides all the basic amenities: free breakfast, fitness center and laundry service, and it’s only two blocks from MSG.

Located three blocks from The Garden and just five blocks from Times Square, the MOXY NYC provides a stylish modern vibe at a reasonable price. Touted as an “alternative to the typical hotel experience,” guests can enjoy a variety of room sizes with flexible furniture, tons of fine-dining choices within the hotel, and NYC’s largest rooftop lounge with epic skyline views.

Be a part of the NYC skyline with a stay at The New Yorker, an iconic building located a block from Madison Square Garden. The hotel was built in 1929 during the height of the Jazz Age, with the aesthetic of the era still present in some of the building’s interior design. The hotel is also pet-friendly, so your fur baby can enjoy the historic New York digs too.

There’s also a slew of hotels in the fashion district on 28th between 6th and 7th Avenues. Hilton Garden Inn, Fairfield Inn and the Hyatt House offer an affordable night’s stay in small but comfortable quarters.

The HotelTonight app offers last-minute hotel deals (although you can book in advance) if you’re on the hunt for a good rate, or taking a trip on short notice.

There are AirBnB options in New York too, but if you’re planning on staying near the venue you’ll likely find a better value with a hotel (and more amenities).

There are tons of interesting places to stay in New York City and the surrounding boroughs, but if you’re only in town for the night finding a spot near the venue is definitely the most convenient option. Hotel prices can greatly fluctuate depending on what events are taking place in the city, so make sure to comparison shop and try to book early when possible.

MSG Amenities & Most Commonly Asked Questions

Taken from the official Madison Square Garden website, here are the major amenities provided by the venue plus a list of most frequently asked questions.

Amenities at The Garden

* Free WiFi (Select FreeMSGWIFI & accept the Terms and Conditions from your browser)* Family Restrooms (sections 117, 227, and across from Suites 43 and 21)* Chase ATMS (located at Chase Square, Terrace Level, SAP Madison Concourse and Garden Concourse)* Merchandise Stands (located at Chase Square and sections 110, 119, 213, 222)* Escalators (Towers A, B, C and D)* Multitude of food and drink vendors (located in nearly every section, but the majority are in the 100 level)* Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) located throughout the building

FAQ & Venue Policies

What is Your Bag Policy?“To help ensure that everybody can enjoy an unforgettable and safe experience, we strongly discourage guests and employees from bringing unnecessary bags, particularly backpacks, into our venues. All bags will be subject to thorough screening, including the use of x-ray screening where available, which can delay entry.”

Are Laptops Allowed at MSG?Laptops are allowed but will be subject to the same search as your bags.

Does MSG Have Lockers to Store My Stuff?There are no lockers located in the actual venue, but Schwartz Luggage & Storage (located just blocks away) offers a very affordable solution–and they take walk-ins.

Can I Bring in My Camera?“To respect all our guest’s experiences, video cameras, monopods, tripods, selfie sticks, audio recording devices and professional cameras (those including telephoto or zoom lenses) will not be permitted inside Madison Square Garden.”

What Are Your Disabled Services Like?“Meeting the needs of our guests with disabilities at Madison Square Garden is a never-ending commitment—we want to make your visit with us an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. Please visit our Disabled Services page for a full range of our accommodations, programs and policies.”

I’m Traveling With Young Children…“All restrooms are equipped with baby changing stations. A mother may nurse her little one in any public location where she is comfortable and authorized to be (breast pumps are permitted). Nursing mothers seeking more discreet accommodations are welcome to use the family restrooms [see ‘amenities’ above for family restroom locations]. You may bring strollers to events; however, please understand that these strollers must be collapsible and fit comfortably under your seat.”

(Have more questions? Read the full FAQ list here.)

The Hulu Theater @ Madison Square Garden

Located beneath Madison Square Garden, the Hulu Theater (formerly known as the WaMu Theater, or more recently the Theater at Madison Square Garden) seats between 2,000 and 5,500 attendees. Like MSG, the Hulu Theater is used for concerts and comedy but can also be utilized for meetings, graduation ceremonies and other applicable events. Besides box seating on two side walls of the theater, the rest of the venue is general admission. More information about the Hulu Theater can be found here.

Madison Square Garden Upcoming Events

Want to see what’s coming down the pike at MSG? Check out some popular upcoming events below.

Head here to view a complete Madison Square Garden show schedule on SeatGeek.