Madison Square Garden (1925)

Madison Square Garden (MSG III) was an indoor arena in New York City, the third bearing that name. It was built in 1925 and closed in 1968, and was located on Eighth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets in Manhattan, on the site of the city's trolley-car barns.[1] It was on the west side of Eighth Avenue. It was the first Garden that was not located near Madison Square. MSG III was the home of the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League and the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association, and also hosted numerous boxing matches, the Millrose Games, concerts, and other events.

Madison Square Garden III
Madison Square Garden III
hand-colored postcard
Full nameMadison Square Garden
Coordinates40°45′45″N 73°59′16″W / 40.7624°N 73.9877°WCoordinates: 40°45′45″N 73°59′16″W / 40.7624°N 73.9877°W
OwnerTex Rickard
OperatorTex Rickard
CapacityBasketball: 18,496
Ice hockey: 15,925
ArchitectThomas W. Lamb
New York/Brooklyn Americans (NHL) (1925–1942)
New York Rangers (NHL) (1926–1968)
St. John's Red Storm (NCAA) (1930s–1969)
National Invitation Tournament (1938–1967)
New York Knicks (BAA/NBA) (1946–1968)


Ground breaking on the third Madison Square Garden took place on January 9, 1925.[1] Designed by the noted theater architect Thomas W. Lamb, it was built at the cost of $4.75 million in 249 days by boxing promoter Tex Rickard, who assembled backers he called his "600 millionaires" to fund the project.[1] The new arena was dubbed "The House That Tex Built."[2] In contrast to the ornate towers of Stanford White's second Garden, the exterior of MSG III was a simple box. Its most distinctive feature was the ornate marquee above the main entrance, with its seemingly endless abbreviations (Tomw., V/S, Rgrs, Tonite, Thru, etc.) Even the name of the arena was abbreviated, to "Madison Sq. Garden".

The arena, which opened on December 15, 1925, was 200 feet (61 m) by 375 feet (114 m), with seating on three levels, and a maximum capacity of 18,496 spectators for boxing.[1] It had poor sight lines, especially for hockey, and fans sitting virtually anywhere behind the first row of the side balcony could count on having some portion of the ice obstructed. The fact that there was poor ventilation and that smoking was permitted often led to a haze in the upper portions of the Garden.

In its history, Madison Square Garden III was managed by Rickard, John S. Hammond, William F. Carey, General John Reed Kilpatrick, Ned Irish and Irving Mitchell Felt.[1] It was eventually replaced by the current Madison Square Garden.



Cowboy Evans World Series Rodeo CONTESTANT
Bulldogging champion Cowboy Morgan Evans competition chit at Madison Square Garden's 1928 World Series Rodeo


Boxing was Madison Square Garden III's principal claim to fame. The first bout took place on December 8, 1925, a week before the arena's official opening. On January 17, 1941, 23,190 people witnessed Fritzie Zivic's successful welterweight title defense against Henry Armstrong, still the largest crowd for any of the Gardens.


The New York Rangers, owned by the Garden's owner Tex Rickard, got their name from a play on words involving his name: Tex's Rangers. However, the Rangers were not the first NHL team to play at the Garden; the New York Americans had begun play in 1925 – and in fact, officially opened the Garden by losing to the Montreal Canadiens, 3-1[1] – and were so tremendously successful at the gate that Rickard wanted his own team as well. The Rangers were founded in 1926, playing their first game in the Garden on November 16, 1926,[1] and both teams played at the Garden until the Americans suspended operations in 1942 due to World War II. In the meantime, the Rangers had usurped the Americans' commercial success with their own success on the ice, winning three Stanley Cups between 1928 and 1940. The refusal of the Garden's management to allow the resurrection of the Americans after the war was one of the popular theories underlying the Curse of 1940, which supposedly prevented the Rangers from winning the Stanley Cup again until 1994. Another alleged cause of "The Curse" stemmed from then-manager Kilpatrick burning the Garden's mortgage papers in the bowl of the Stanley Cup, as receipts from the 1940 Cup run had allowed the MSG Corporation to pay it off: hockey purists believed that the trophy had been "defiled", thus leading to the Rangers' woes.

The New York Rovers, a farm team of the Rangers, also played in the Garden on Sunday afternoons, while the Rangers played on Wednesday and Sunday nights.[1] Tommy Lockhart managed the Rovers games and introduced on-ice promotions such as racing model aircraft and bicycles around the arena, figure skating acts Shipstads & Johnson Ice Follies and Sonja Henie, and a skating grizzly bear.[3]


The first professional basketball game was played in the 50th Street Garden on December 6, 1925, nine days before the arena officially opened. It pitted the Original Celtics against the Washington Palace Five; the Celtics won 35-31.[1] The New York Knicks debuted there in 1946, although if there was an important college game, they played in the 69th Regiment Armory.[1] MSG III also hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 1954, 1955 and 1968.

In 1931, a college basketball triple header to raise money for Mayor Jimmy Walker's Unemployment Relief Fund was highly successful. In 1934, Ned Irish began promoting a successful series of college basketball double headers at the Garden featuring a mix of local and national schools. MSG III began hosting the National Invitation Tournament annually in 1938, and hosted seven NCAA men's basketball championship finals between 1943 and 1950. On February 28, 1940, Madison Square Garden hosted the first televised basketball games in a Fordham-Pitt and Georgetown-NYU doubleheader. A point shaving scandal involving games played at the Garden led the NCAA to reduce its use of the Garden, and caused some schools, including 1950 NCAA and NIT Champion City College of New York (CCNY), to be banned from playing at the Garden.[4]

Professional wrestling

Capitol Wrestling Corporation—along with its successor, the World Wide Wrestling Federation—promoted professional wrestling at the Garden during its last two decades. Toots Mondt and Jess McMahon owned CWC, which initially promoted tag team wrestling. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Mondt and McMahon were successful at promoting ethnic heroes of Puerto Rican or Italian descent.

Two especially notable events in wrestling history took place at MSG III. On May 17, 1963, Bruno Sammartino defeated "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, via submission, in 48 seconds, to become the second ever WWWF World Heavyweight Champion. On November 19, 1957, the Dr. Jerry Graham & Dick the Bruiser vs. Edouard Carpentier & Argentina Rocca main event led to a race riot involving the largely Italian and Puerto Rican fans of Carpentier and Rocca. After the riot, New York City nearly banned professional wrestling and children under the age of 14 were prohibited from attending.[5]


From 1925 until 1961, Madison Square Garden hosted the Six Days of New York, an annual six-day racing event of track cycling. Upon its final running, it was the longest-running six days in the world with 73 editions.

Other entertainment

The Circus

While the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus had debuted at the second Garden in 1919, the third Garden saw large numbers of performances. The circus was so important to the Garden that when the Rangers played in the 1928 Stanley Cup Finals, the team was forced to play all games on the road, which did not prevent the Rangers from winning the series. The circus would continue to perform as often as three times daily throughout the life of the third Garden, repeatedly knocking the Rangers out of the Garden at playoff time.[6]

The circus acrobatics included acts in the rings as well as on the high wire and trapeze. One dramatic act which was only performed in the Garden, and not taken on the road with the traveling circus, involved Blinc Candlin, a Hudson, New York fireman, who rode his antique 1880s high-wheel bicycle on the high wire every season for over two decades beginning in the 1910s and running well through the 1930s.

Dog Show

The Garden continued to host The Westminster Kennel Club's annual dog show. This championship is the second longest continuously running U.S. sporting event (behind only the Kentucky Derby).

Notable events

MSG III 1937 Anti-Nazi Rally
Anti-Nazi rally in MSG III (March 15, 1937)


Demolition commenced in 1968 after the opening of the fourth and current Madison Square Garden. It finished in early 1969. When the third Madison Square Garden was torn down, there was a proposal to build the world's tallest building on the site, prompting a major battle in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood where it was located. Ultimately, the debate resulted in strict height restrictions in the area. The space remained a parking lot until 1989 when Worldwide Plaza, designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, opened on the site of the old Garden and French Polyclinic Hospital across the street.

Cultural references

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Madison Square Garden III" on
  2. ^ Schumach, Murray (February 14, 1968).Next and Last Attraction at Old Madison Square Garden to Be Wreckers' Ball, The New York Times
  3. ^ Miller, Chuck. "FROM ATLANTIC CITY TO TORONTO: The Boardwalk Trophy and the Eastern Hockey League" (PDF). Hockey Ink!. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  4. ^ Nat Holman: The Man, His Legacy and CCNY."The 1951 Basketball Scandal" Archived December 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine - The City College Library - City College of New York.
  5. ^ "Wrestling Observer Newsletter, February 3, 1997". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  6. ^ Even at the fourth Garden, games would sometimes have to begin as late as 9:00 p.m. to accommodate the circus.
  7. ^ "From Haven to Home" Library of Congress exhibit.
  8. ^ Billboard Music Week, March 13, 1961. "Daily News Jazz Festival, June 8-9"
  9. ^ ""Rodeo", Richard Diamond, Private Detective, February 20, 1958". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 30, 2013.

External links

Preceded by
Barton Street Arena
Home of the
New York Americans

Succeeded by
last arena
Preceded by
First arena
Home of the
New York Rangers

Succeeded by
Madison Square Garden
Preceded by
First arena
Home of the
New York Knicks

Succeeded by
Madison Square Garden
Bergen Ballpark

The Bergen Ballpark was a proposed 8,000-seat baseball-only stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, intended to be the home of the Bergen Cliff Hawks. The stadium was to be part of the larger Meadowlands Xanadu project that is currently under construction. Bergen Ballpark was in the planning stages since 2001, but local politics and a lease agreement between the Mills Corporation, the company who built the Xanadu and would own the ballpark, halted plans in 2005.

Carnesecca Arena

Carnesecca Arena (formerly Alumni Hall) is a 5,602-seat multi-purpose arena in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York. It was built in 1961 and renamed in honor of Hall of Fame Coach Lou Carnesecca on November 23, 2004. It is the exclusive home to the St. John's University Red Storm women's basketball team, and also, along with Madison Square Garden, hosts home Red Storm men's basketball games. The building hosted first round games of the NCAA men's basketball tournament from 1970 to 1974. Up until March 2014, it was the most recent New York City venue to host the tournament.

Harrison Park (New Jersey)

Harrison Park is a former baseball ground located in Harrison, New Jersey, a city adjacent to Newark, New Jersey. The ground was home to the Newark Peppers of the Federal League in 1915. The field was also called "Peppers Park" or "Peps Park".

Hofstra University Soccer Stadium

Hofstra University Soccer Stadium, is a 1,600 seat soccer-specific stadium on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. It is part of the Hofstra University sports complex. First opened in 2003, it is the home field of the Hofstra Pride men's and women's soccer teams.The stadium has hosted the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament games in 2005, 2006 and 2015.

Louis Armstrong Stadium

Louis Armstrong Stadium is a 14,000-seat tennis stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, one of the venues of the US Open. It opened for the 2018 US Open as a replacement for the 1978 stadium of the same name.

Louis Brown Athletic Center

The Louis Brown Athletic Center, more commonly known as the RAC (for its original name, the Rutgers Athletic Center), is an 8,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Piscataway, New Jersey on Rutgers University's Livingston Campus. The building is shaped like a truncated tent with trapezoidal sides on the north and south ends. It is home to the men's and women's Rutgers Scarlet Knights basketball teams as well as the wrestling team. Previously, the University used the 3,200-seat College Avenue Gym from 1931 to 1977.

Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden, colloquially known as The Garden or in initials as MSG, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in New York City. Located in Midtown Manhattan between 7th and 8th Avenues from 31st to 33rd Streets, it is situated atop Pennsylvania Station. It is the fourth venue to bear the name "Madison Square Garden"; the first two (1879 and 1890) were located on Madison Square, on East 26th Street and Madison Avenue, with the third Madison Square Garden (1925) further uptown at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street.

The Garden is used for professional ice hockey and basketball, as well as boxing, concerts, ice shows, circuses, professional wrestling and other forms of sports and entertainment. It is close to other midtown Manhattan landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Koreatown, and Macy's at Herald Square. It is home to the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL), the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and was home to the New York Liberty (WNBA) from 1997 to 2017.

Originally called Madison Square Garden Center, the Garden opened on February 11, 1968, and is the oldest major sporting facility in the New York metropolitan area. It is the oldest arena in the National Hockey League and the second-oldest arena in the National Basketball Association. In 2016, MSG was the second-busiest music arena in the world in terms of ticket sales, behind The O2 Arena in London. Including two major renovations, its total construction cost is approximately $1.1 billion, and it has been ranked as one of the 10 most expensive stadium venues ever built. It is part of the Pennsylvania Plaza office and retail complex, named for the railroad station. Several other operating entities related to the Garden share its name.

Madison Square Garden (1879)

Madison Square Garden (1879-1890) was an arena in New York City at the northeast corner of East 26th Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. The first venue to use that name, it seated 10,000 spectators. It was replaced with a new building on the same site.

Madison Square Garden (1890)

Madison Square Garden (1890-1926) was an indoor arena in New York City, the second by that name, and the second to be located at 26th Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Opened in 1890 at the cost of about $500,000, it replaced the first Madison Square Garden, and hosted numerous events, including boxing matches, orchestral performances, light operas and romantic comedies, the annual French Ball, both the Barnum and the Ringling circuses, and the 1924 Democratic National Convention, which nominated John W. Davis after 103 ballots. The building closed in 1925, and was replaced by the third Madison Square Garden at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street, which was the first to be located away from Madison Square.

Madison Square Garden Bowl

Madison Square Garden Bowl was the name of an outdoor arena in the New York City borough of Queens. Built in 1932, the arena hosted circuses and boxing matches. Its seating capacity was 72,000 spectators on wood bleachers.

It was located at 48th Street and Northern Boulevard in Long Island City. This was the site where James J. Braddock defeated Max Baer for the World Heavyweight title on June 13, 1935 that was dramatized in the film Cinderella Man. Braddock's first comeback fight against John "Corn" Griffin was also in the venue. Jack Sharkey and Primo Carnera also captured the heavyweight crown in the 1930s at the Madison Square Garden Bowl. It was known as the "Jinx Bowl" because no titleholder ever successfully defended his title there.

The bowl was torn down during World War II to make way for a US Army Mail Depot. It, in turn, was torn down and the area is now home to a Major World used car dealership and strip mall.

Metropolitan Oval

The Metropolitan Oval, also known as Met Oval, is a soccer complex located in Maspeth, Queens in New York City. Village Voice named the complex, which takes up 4.2 acres (17,000 m2), the "Best full soccer field in the middle of a residential neighborhood" in 2004, for its "pristine" playing surface and the view of the Manhattan skyline.In addition, the Metropolitan Oval is a U.S. Soccer Development Academy member. The Metropolitan Oval Academy and facility is led by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. Filippo Giovagnoli serves as Technical Director of the Academy.

Nassau County Aquatic Center

The Nassau County Aquatics Center is an aquatic facility located at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, NY. It is considered the largest Olympic-sized single-tank pool in North America. At least 16 world records in swimming have been set in the facility. It was built in 1998 for the Goodwill Games. Since the Goodwill Games in 1998, it has hosted numerous swimming championships and high level competitions including the USA Swimming National Championship, NCAA National Championship, Big East Conference Championship and FINA World Cup. The Center is 80,000 square feet with a 68m pool and three moveable bulkheads to accommodate SCM, SCY, and LCM competition. In 2002, Natalie Coughlin set multiple world records during the FINA World Cup at the center. In 2002 it was reported that the pool had lost millions of dollars. Dave Ferris was aquatics director in 2002, he reportedly questioned the reported losses, stating that "I don't believe expenses on the building are completely clear at this time". In 2011, the facility underwent a renovation after a 40lbs light fixture fell about 55 feet into the swimming pool. Since 2011 it had also been proposed to build an additional outdoor 50m pool adjacent to the existing facility.

Palmer Stadium

Palmer Stadium was a stadium in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. It hosted the Princeton University Tigers football team, as well as the track and field team. The stadium held 45,750 people at its peak and was opened in 1914 with a game against Dartmouth. It closed in 1996 with a game against Dartmouth. Princeton University Stadium was built on the site (albeit pushed slightly further north) in 1997.

The building was named for Stephen S. Palmer, a trustee of the university, by his son, Edgar Palmer III. Like Harvard Stadium, it was horseshoe-shaped (which was modeled after the Greek Olympic Stadium), but was wider, including a full-sized track (around the football field) . It opened to the south (facing Lake Carnegie) and the grand main entrance was at the north.

It hosted the Division I NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship in 1981. From 1936 to its closing, the track's long-jump record was held by Jesse Owens.

Palmer Stadium also hosted the NFL's New York Giants for one exhibition game per year from 1965 -1975, the first ten years seeing them face the Philadelphia Eagles and then the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1975.

Proposed domed Brooklyn Dodgers stadium

A proposed domed stadium for the Brooklyn Dodgers, designed by Buckminster Fuller, was to replace Ebbets Field for the Brooklyn Dodgers to allow them to stay in New York City. The Dodgers instead moved to Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles. First announced in the early 1950s, the envisioned structure would have seated 52,000 people and been the first domed stadium in the world, opening roughly a decade before Houston's Astrodome. The stadium, in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, would have been located at the northeast corner of Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, on the site of the Atlantic Terminal. It would have cost $6 million to build and been privately financed. It was never built.

The general area eventually did become a sports venue, because Barclays Center was built across the street to the south from the Atlantic Terminal, in neighboring Pacific Park.

Rose Hill Gymnasium

Rose Hill Gymnasium is a 3,200-seat multi-purpose arena on the Rose Hill campus of Fordham University in The Bronx, New York City, New York. The arena, which opened in 1925, is the oldest on-campus venue currently used primarily for an NCAA Division I basketball team and the second-oldest overall (with the oldest being Northeastern University's Matthews Arena, opened in 1910 and currently used for its basketball and hockey teams). Fordham's volleyball team also used the gym.

At the time it was built, it was one of the largest on-campus facilities in the country, earning it the nickname "The Prairie." The Rose Hill Gymnasium has been the site of many legendary college and high school basketball games, including the final high school game of Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. During World War II, it was also used as a barracks. New York City Mayor Ed Koch lived in these barracks for a time. As early as 1970 an effort, headed by famed Fordham alumnus Vince Lombardi, was made to build a new arena. This effort ended with Lombardi's death and the move of head basketball coach "Digger" Phelps to the University of Notre Dame.

Spiro Sports Center

Spiro Sports Center is a 2,100-seat multi-purpose arena located on the campus of Wagner College in Staten Island, New York. It was built in 1999 as an extensive addition to the Sutter Gymnasium, which was constructed in 1951. The center is home to the Wagner College Seahawks men's and women's basketball team. The Northeast Conference men's basketball tournament was held there in 1999, 2003, 2016, and 2018

The center also houses a pool, numerous locker rooms, fitness center/weight room, training room, equipment room, as well as offices and meeting rooms for Wagner's intercollegiate athletic programs.

Washington Park (baseball)

Washington Park was the name given to three Major League Baseball parks (or four, by some reckonings) on two different sites in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, located at Third Street and Fourth Avenue. The two sites were diagonally opposite each other at that intersection.

Sports venues in the New York metropolitan area
Never built
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Culture and lore
G League affiliate
Retired numbers
NBA Championships
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Culture & lore

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