NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MSG Entertainment announced today that both Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall were named ‘Venue of the Decade’ within their respective categories, by industry trade leader Billboard Magazine in its ‘The Year End/Decade in Music’ December issue. The Garden (20,000 plus capacity), which has remained the highest-grossing venue in the world for nine consecutive years, has generated a total gross of $776 million, followed by Radio City (5,901 capacity) with $804 million. Results were compiled by Billboard Boxscore, from December 11, 1999 through November 21, 2009.
“Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall are two of the most recognized venues in the world – from superstar concerts to spectacular productions, these iconic venues have been the setting for some of the most memorable, history-making moments over the last decade,” said Jay Marciano, president, Madison Square Garden Entertainment. “MSG Entertainment is one of the nation’s premiere live entertainment companies, boasting an unrivaled portfolio of assets including our historic venues and unique properties. We are committed to providing our patrons with the highest quality live entertainment performances, events and family shows for decades to come.”
Over its 130-year storied history, Madison Square Garden, also known as “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” has become the quintessential venue for legendary artists and performances. From rock to pop to country, the biggest names in music make The Garden a “must-stop” on their tour including Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, The Who, U2, Jay-Z, Metallica, Beyonce, Eric Clapton, The Dead, Kiss, and The Dave Matthews Band, who all played to sold-out audiences at The Garden over the past ten years. The venue has also served as the backdrop for the biggest reunion tours of the decade including Crème, The Police and Simon & Garfunkel.
Madison Square Garden has also served host to some of the most prominent awards shows in the world including The Grammys, the Latin Grammys, VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards, The ESPYs, The Daytime Emmys, as well as the 2005 Country Music Awards, marking the award show’s first time being held outside of Nashville. In addition, MSG has welcomed such high-profile special events as the Republican National Convention and annual events including the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
During the last decade, The Garden has proudly been the location for the biggest and most impactful live benefit concerts in history, including The Concert for New York City in 2001 and From the Big Apple to the Big Easy in 2005 to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina. This year, MSG attracted hip-hop icon Jay-Z to host an exclusive sold-out benefit performance in support of New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund. The Garden also hosted an historic two-night event – the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary Benefit Concert, which featured music greats including U2, Bruce Springsteen, CSN, Metallica, and Simon & Garfunkel.
To this day, Elton John currently holds the all-time record for greatest number of appearances at The Garden with 60 shows, and Billy Joel set his own record in 2006 during his 12 performance run, achieving the title “Longest Run of a Single Artist.”
“Madison Square Garden is my favorite venue in the whole world,” said Elton John. “I chose to have my 60th birthday concert there, because of all the incredible memories I’ve had playing the venue.”
“Madison Square Garden is the center of the universe as far as I'm concerned. It has the best acoustics, the best audiences, the best reputation, and the best history of great artists who have played there, said Billy Joel. “It is the iconic, holy temple of Rock and Roll for most touring acts and being a New Yorker, it holds a special significance to me. I'm honored to hold the record for "Most Consecutive Nights Ever Sold" at this world famous venue.”
Radio City Music Hall is not only a national landmark, but also an integral part of the heart and soul of New York City. The legendary theater’s intimate setting lends itself to hosting a wide variety of memorable events, shows, and live performances, which have become part of the Music Hall’s great history. The world’s most celebrated performers have graced the Great Stage including Tony Bennett, Coldplay, Elton John, Barry Manilow, Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews Band, Tori Amos, and Paul Simon.
Radio City continues to attract special events featuring the biggest names in music including the recent David Lynch Benefit Concert and the Mandela Day Concert, as well as award shows such as the MTV VMAS, the annual Tony Awards, Daytime Emmy Awards and VH1 Fashion Rocks. The iconic venue has also hosted the widely touted political Speaker Series, which featured some of the most influential names in politics including President Bill Clinton and Former Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove.
Each year Radio City hosts the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the world-famous Rockettes, which has been performed at the Music Hall every year since 1933. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is America’s #1 holiday production with more than one million people attending the beloved holiday theatrical annually.
MSG Entertainment continues to expand and grow its famed portfolio of entertainment properties across the nation. In 2006, MSGE acquired the legendary Beacon Theatre and performed a 7-month restoration to return the venue to its original 1929 splendor. The Beacon reopened its doors in 2009 with two sold-out performances by Paul Simon. In 2008, MSG added the Chicago Theatre to its venerable roster of venues. The Chicago Theatre is a first-class landmark that has become a destination for unforgettable concerts and events, recently hosting music heavyweights including Kanye West and Van Morrison. Most recently, MSGE and Citi-Performing Arts Center announced an exclusive co-booking agreement with the Wang Theatre, a 3600-seat venue, which opened in 1925 and is one of the five largest stages in the country. Prior to the acquisition, the Wang hosted record breaking performances of the Christmas Spectacular at the venue in 2004 and 2006.
Madison Square Garden, L.P. is owned by Cablevision Systems Corporation, and includes the New York Knicks (NBA); the New York Rangers (NHL); the New York Liberty (WNBA); the Hartford Wolf Pack (American Hockey League); MSG Entertainment, which includes concerts and events at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, The WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, as well as the legendary Chicago Theatre, and which manages wholly-owned live entertainment properties including the Radio City Rockettes and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular; MSG Media, which is comprised of MSG and MSG Plus; Fuse, the music television network; and the Madison Square Garden arena complex, located in the heart of the New York metropolitan area. Additional information about MSG Entertainment is available on the Web at www.thegarden.com and www.radiocity.com.