Madison Square Garden Renovations (Part V)
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07-01-2013, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Much like the design of the Roman Coliseum, MSG IV Architect Charles Luckman utilized an oval shape for the original Loge, First & Second Promenade seating tiers. This configuration along with the multipurpose nature of the event floor resulted in the compromise of patron sightlines, especially for Hockey.
The rink is basically a rectangle situated inside of a 9’ high oval bulkhead wall that surrounds the MSG event floor (Bud & Bud Light signs are affixed to this bulkhead in the corners). The dimension from the dasher boards to bulkhead wall is approx. 26’ on the center ice axis. While the 9’ high bulkhead wall causes no visual obstructions at center ice, this is not the case in the corners where the bulkhead wall curves inward and closer to the dasher boards. The B to B distance shrinks to approx. 14’ on the corner axis resulting in a view of the Hockey rink that is eclipsed by the bulkhead wall in all corners of the rink.
This is why player benches, five rows of seating and a cross aisle fit within the B to B space at center ice while fewer seating rows fit between B to B in the corners. Just because the number of seating rows diminish as you get closer to the corner does not mean that the sightlines will work. It is the head of the patron seated in the front row (either actual or phantom) that you ultimately have to be able to see over. Long story short is that the innermost bulkhead wall is too high and situated too close to the rink corners.
Similar configurations exist at the LA Forum (another Luckman design). The same is also true of the Rosebowl in Pasadena, CA, although on a larger stadium scale. Again, the playing area (Soccer) cuts into the seating area resulting in obstructed sightlines in the corners.
The only way the Garden could have addressed this issue during the renovation would have been to either gut the entire cylindrical structure from 5Th floor up and start from scratch with a more traditional seating configuration such as Boston, NJ, etc. or by raising the playing floor elevation about 3’ so that better sightlines could be achieved in the corners. (Same end result as lowering height of bulkhead wall by 3'). Either scenario however, would come with some big negatives. Gutting the entire building would have resulted in a full closure for a prolonged period forcing NYR & NYK play elsewhere for at least one year while raising the floor would have negatively impacted the seating capacity on the temporary fill risers extended for events other than Hockey.
But what did we expect for a Billion dollars?
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