Madison Square Garden (MSG) is not moving across the street to become part of a big $14 billion civic project. Instead, MSG will undergo an extensive $500 million renovation transforming its interior into a state-of-the-art building that will significantly enhance the experience of customers, sponsors, athletes and performers. The renovation will be paid for in its entirety by Madison Square Garden and will be targeted for opening for the 2011-12 seasons.

Slated to begin next year, the renovation will mostly be done during the summer and will not interfere with the New York Rangers and New York Knickerbockers seasons. However, the Liberty of the Women’s National Basketball Association may have to play out its season elsewhere.

“Madison Square Garden is unlike any other building in the world,” James L. Dolan, chairman of MSG and president and chief executive officer of Cablevision Systems Corporation, said in a statement. “It is a New York treasure with a history that spans more than 125 years and includes political conventions, concerts for New York City, Katrina and Bangladesh and countless spectacular sporting events. ‘Playing the Garden’ is the pinnacle of a performer’s career – so it is only fitting that we invest in a complete transformation to ensure its lasting prominence in sports and entertainment.”

The full-scale renovation, which will focus on the interior of the building and utilize the Garden’s current footprint, will be highlighted by:

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• Dramatically redesigned 7th avenue entrance
• New, more comfortable seats, with better sightlines that put patrons closer to the action
• New, wider and more spacious public concourses with seating areas and spectacular views to the city
• State-of-the-art lighting, sound and LED video systems in HDTV
• New food and beverage options offering additional convenience for customers and a greater selection in all hospitality areas
• New bar areas that directly open to the arena bowl
• 68 new mid-level suites that are 50 percent larger than current suites and half the distance to events
• 20 new floor level suites on the same level as the playing surface that provide direct access to the best seats in the house
• Improved dressing rooms, locker rooms, green rooms and production offices for athletes and performers
• A new upper level with a fan and group sales party deck with bars and buffets that replace the existing upper suites
• Many additional new restrooms, with more than 50 percent more dedicated space
• Restoration of MSG’s world famous ceiling

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