The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Taking in sports mecca, Madison Square Garden


NYC Madison Square Garden unprecedented experience for wide-eyed Nebraska sports fan
By Evan Jones

Recently, I was able to spend some time in New York City, as I was there to attend the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards. The Big Apple has so many things to see, places to be and amazing attractions. I, being a huge sports fan, really wanted to see Madison Square Garden. It was crazy how the stars seemed to align with this want of mine. The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament was occurring, and our hotel was right across the street from Madison Square Garden.

As many know, this prestigious building has been one of the best venues in the history of sports and has had so many memorable performances by a number of athletes.

March 8, 1971, Muhammed Ali versus Joe Frazier. It was Frazier who took down Ali in this boxing match after Ali had won 31 straight matches.

Former New York Knick and current Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony, recording 62 points in the Garden on Jan. 24, 2014.

And another conference tournament, the Big East, had a game between Syracuse and UCONN that went six, yes you read that right, six overtimes before deciding a winner. Syracuse was able to win the game 127-117 on March 12, 2009.

I didn’t see an amazing, historical performance while I was there, but to just be in the building, there was a new energy that I have never felt before. I have been to a fair amount of impressive venues. Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Coors Field in Denver, Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City and Turner Field in Atlanta. Some of those places I mentioned had a better in-game atmosphere, but there was something different about Madison Square Garden, as if the greatness of the building was pulsing through me. I felt this from the get-go.

Coming off the streets of downtown Manhattan, the entrance to get into Madison Square Garden alone was unbelievable. There were people everywhere, trying to get inside, and I remember looking up and the ceiling being very high. The doors to enter were all glass, and as I weaved my way through all the hallways, it was time for a number of escalator rides. Generally, most facilities have just one or two escalators. I rode up six escalators to get to my 300-level seat. Before I entered the arena, there was a viewing area of the city. You could see everything across downtown Manhattan.

When I did find my seat, I realized that I was basically sitting on a bridge. The 300-level sections were up a few stairs from the level with concessions and bathrooms. There was basically just one row of seats, all the way around the arena. Generally, there are railings, but railings weren’t good enough for Madison Square Garden; it was all glass that went about four feet up for safety. I also had the privilege of sitting next to some people from France. They had no ties to the games being played, but they really wanted to see Madison Square Garden, so that also proved that this building was extremely special and known all around the world.

I was there for session one on Friday, which consisted of the No. 4 Michigan State Spartans and the Wisconsin Badgers and then the Nebraska Cornhuskers against the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines.

Michigan State took down Wisconsin 63-60, and Michigan manhandled Nebraska 77-58, which was disappointing, but Michigan went on to win the tournament with a win over Purdue 75-66.

The games were extremely entertaining, but just being in the building was surreal itself. While I was there I thought about all  the history that occurred in this amazing building. Normally, I am covering a game. I don’t usually have a lot of time to just sit and take in the surroundings of an arena, but I got the full effect of this arena. Coming from a town of 1,000 people, I never thought I’d go to New York, let alone be in the sports mecca of Madison Square Garden.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *