Madison Square Garden 'All Access Tour'

Get behind the scenes at this important sports and concert venue

Madison Square Garden Arena
••• Madison Square Garden Arena.

Want to see the areas of Madison Square Garden that are only accessible to those who can afford the high-priced private suites? The All Access Tour gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at Madison Square Garden, including a peek into team locker rooms, suites and the VIP only restaurant. It's interesting to visit the space when there are so few people in it (and how often are you likely to get to see a game from one of those high-end suites?) but to see the Garden in action, you might prefer to attend an event.

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Pros

  • Learn about the history of Madison Square Garden
  • See the locker rooms of the New York Rangers, Liberty, and Knicks
  • See the suites and private clubs at Madison Square Garden

Cons

  • Tour access can be limited if there is an event
  • Might be better to splurge on tickets to see the Garden in action

Expert Review - Madison Square Garden 'All Access Tour'

It may seem puzzling that Madison Square Garden is located on 8th Avenue and 31st Street, no where near Madison Avenue or Madison Square Park, but the current Madison Square Garden is actually the fourth building to have that name. The first building -- Madison Square Garden I opened on Memorial Day in 1879 and was located between Fifth and Madison Avenues from 26th to 27th Streets.

Our All Access Tour had about 35 participants -- mostly adults, but there were a handful of kids on the tour as well. Our tour guide led us around Madison Square Garden, sharing the Garden's history and most famous events, as well as showing us the VIP-only Club Bar and Grill, private suites and team locker rooms.

We also got to see the Theater, which is a smaller performance venue at The Garden. It was a good reminder that there are essentially two different venues at this location, so not every show at MSG has to be an arena-sized event. Learning about how they make the ice in the arena was interesting, and I was surprised to discover that many events are conducted with flooring placed above the ice during hockey season.

While the history of Madison Square Garden is notable, the building itself is not beautiful, and the tour felt a lot like a sales pitch for booking private events or renting the private suites. The Knicks/Liberty and the New York Rangers locker rooms are included on the tour, but they are only used for games (the teams practice elsewhere), so there was very little memorabilia or character in the space. (It also probably means that the locker rooms smelled better than they might have otherwise.

While the avid sports fan may enjoy this tour, to experience the real energy of Madison Square Garden, I would recommend buying tickets to see an actual event at the arena or theater. I think most kids would be very bored on this tour and wouldn't recommend it for families.

  • Tour Highlights: Arena & Theater, team locker rooms, private suites, Club Bar & Grill
  • The tour lasts approximately an hour and is offered from 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. 7 days a week.
  • All Access Tour Price: Adults: $26.95; Children (12 & under): $19.95
  • Purchase same day tickets at the MSG Tour Shop to the right of the box office.
  • Tickets can be purchased in advance via Ticketmaster, but the fees are high and it's not necessary. (There is often a code on the Ticketmaster page for a discount which can save you about the same amount as the fees cost.)
  • Closest Subway to Madison Square Garden: 1/2/3 or A/C/E to 34th Street/Penn Station
  • The tour includes some stairs, but they can accommodate guests needing elevators.
  • Admission included with the New York Pass.
  • All Access Tour Pictures

 

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