HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — For years folks have debated the best places to watch NBA games, with tradition and atmosphere often trumping the new arena smell of buildings that have gone up more recently than others.
Madison Square Garden has always been one of the staples in that debate. And now it appears the ongoing renovations at MSG could vault the experience of watching games at the basketball mecca into another stratosphere for fans willing to pay the price.
MSG will offer fans a “sneak peek” of the players, similar to what fans of the Dallas Cowboys enjoy during home games and a feature Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets fans also enjoy, writes CNBC Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell:
In an era of ritz and glitz, fans are asking for more than the best eats and real mahogany wood in their suites. They want to see the players before the game.
And so, when the folks at Madison Square Garden were dreaming up new features for their big renovation, giving fans the option of seeing Knicks and Rangers players leaving the locker room to go onto the court and the ice was a must-have.
“We obviously gutted the whole place so we had an opportunity to do what we wanted,” said Hank Ratner, president and CEO of Madison Square Garden. “We did surveys and fans, not surprisingly, told us they wanted to get closer. So we did this.”
The area in the arena is called the Delta SKY360 Club and fans can watch the Knicks and Rangers go from their locker rooms onto the court and ice before they go to their seats. Those fans can also watch through the glass to see what is going on in the MSG studio.
There are 800 season ticket holders (sold separately for Knicks and Rangers fans) that have access to the club and they pay an undisclosed amount for the all-inclusive tickets, which include a seat just above the floor, food and non-alcoholic drinks.
You want to be close to the players as they make their way to the floor?
You’ll have that option at the renovated MSG.