NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--At the start of the first week in which Madison Square Garden can welcome fans in almost a year, members of the New York Rangers and the New York Knicks organizations have joined together to express excitement and gratitude about their return. The teams will play in front of roughly 2,000 fans, beginning with the Knicks on Tuesday, February 23 vs. Golden State, followed by the Rangers on Friday, February 26 vs. Boston.
“We’re very excited,” said Knicks Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. “We understand how important our fans are and certainly appreciate all the support that they’ve given us…We’re looking forward to the day when The Garden is full, but we’re excited to have our fans in the building - they’re an important part of our organization.”
“Rangers fans are special - and we understand all the support they’ve given us from afar, so we cannot wait for the day The Garden is full,” said Rangers Head Coach David Quinn. “Even if it’s just a couple thousand fans to start, we’re beyond excited to see them in the stands and hear their energy during the game.”
MSG Sports has taken a fan-friendly approach to the reopen, ensuring as many fans as possible have the opportunity to purchase tickets. Tickets to each game are being made available first to Season Ticket Members and suite holders and then to the general public, all at varying price points, starting at $50. The two teams started with their first three games, which for the Knicks includes Golden State on February 23, Sacramento on February 25 and Indiana on February 27. The Rangers first three games are against Boston on February 26 and 28 and Buffalo on March 2.
The Knicks also expect to announce today at 2:00 p.m. a general public on-sale for their March 4 game vs. Detroit.
“New York has been through a lot this year, especially through COVID,” said Knicks forward Obi Toppin. “And for us to have the opportunity to play in front of fans is definitely going in the right direction... I’ve dreamed of this moment since I was a young kid, playing in this amazing arena with all these amazing fans and for the day to finally be here is amazing.”
“My reaction to having fans back in the building was just excitement. Even though it's fun to play and we know the fans are watching on TV, it's not the same without them in the building and rooting us on,” said Rangers center Ryan Strome. “We’re excited to grow the capacity in the rink here and get back to what we know best at MSG.”
Members of the Knicks and Rangers appreciate the extra effort fans are making to attend games at The Garden, given the additional state requirements, and anticipate a special experience.
“This is a huge first step for the city of New York, we know it’s been a long process, throughout the whole quarantine and everything that’s going on,” said Knicks forward Julius Randle. “Let’s keep being safe and taking the necessary protocols so we can all get back to a normal, safe environment.”
“Our fans have been incredibly loyal throughout this period, and we are so excited to welcome them back to The Garden,” said Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba.
Added Thibodeau, “…It reminds me of when I was a kid, I used to come to Knicks games with my Dad and I think that holds true for many people in this area, Connecticut-area, New Jersey. You always remember that. I have friends today, they tell me they’re doing the same things with their kids. And so, it’ll be special and, of course, all the times that I was here as an assistant in the 90s, a lot of big games, my parents, my brothers, sisters – they all came. So, it’s a family thing and I’m real excited about it.”
Both the Knicks and Rangers organizations will recognize and honor various essential and frontline workers that have worked so tirelessly over the pandemic. This will include having them attend games as invited guests and highlighting their impact during in-game presentations or via game telecasts.
“Our job is sports – we love what we do, and take great pride in representing our city,” added Quinn. “But we stand in awe of the people who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe and healthy and going every day – especially during these tough times. We can’t thank them enough. They are our heroes.”
About Madison Square Garden Sports Corp.
Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. (MSG Sports) is a leading professional sports company, with a collection of assets that includes: the New York Knicks (NBA) and the New York Rangers (NHL); two development league teams – the Westchester Knicks (NBAGL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL); and esports teams through Counter Logic Gaming, a leading North American esports organization, and Knicks Gaming, an NBA 2K League franchise. MSG Sports also operates two professional sports team performance centers – the MSG Training Center in Greenburgh, NY and the CLG Performance Center in Los Angeles, CA. More information is available at www.msgsports.com.