by Patrick Hoffman on 08/25/11 at 10:00 AM ET
As I mentioned a few days ago, I was going to feature the full e-mail interviews I conducted with the Rangers’ bloggers who took part in my article on TheGoodPoint.com on the renovations currently being done to Madison Square Garden.
PH: Why do you think Madison Square Garden decided to do these renovations?
KB: As partial as I am to MSG, it’s not really up to date with the latest in stadium innovation. It seems like there’s a smaller and smaller window for being current when it comes to sports stadiums, and MSG hasn’t really been on the cutting edge for awhile. When you’re in NYC, that’s not really acceptable. The sight lines to the ice and bridge above should really be appealing to fans.
PH: When you first heard that the Garden would be undergoing renovations, what was your initial reaction? Why?
KB: My first reaction, and I’m sure the first reaction of many, was that I wondered what the impact on ticket prices would be. They’ve gone up pretty dramatically over the last decade and although you can still find some good deals on StubHub and the like, buying face value tickets means digging deep into your wallet. I knew that wide-scale renovations wouldn’t be cheap, so I worried how much more it was going to cost to see my beloved Blueshirts in person.
PH: Do you think these renovations will end up benefiting or negatively impacting Ranger fans at the game? Why?
KB: If the primary concern is price, as I think it is for many people, then it will be hard for fans to be satisfied. But there’s no doubt that many fans are impressed by the new and flashy. The old guard probably won’t be too pleased to see the new arena, from what I understand it’s going to be unrecognizable, but I don’t think the powers that be are overly concerned with that. It sounds like there are going to be some pretty cool new features.
PH: Do you think that their could be any negatives with these renovations? If so, what are they?
KB: As I mentioned before, higher ticker prices are a definite negative. I’m kind of in the middle because I definitely like the improved sight lines and am impressed by the newest improvements at stadiums, but I’d prefer to view them elsewhere and not at the arena I’ve grown up with. I don’t care if I go to Philly once every few years and they change their arena completely, but I’ve been going to the old MSG for quite a while and I’m not so sure I’ll be too pleased with a completely different appearance. It has definitely bothered me at the new Giants Stadium, or whatever it’s called right now. On a lighter note, I’m scared of heights so that bridge is going to make me pretty nervous!
PH: As someone who attends the Garden to watch hockey, how do you think the renovations will enhance your viewing experience?
KB: Think I’ve answered this already, but from the basic stuff I know about the upgrades it should provide a much better viewing experience. One of my pet peeves about regular seats I’ve gotten from a friend was that they were partially blocked by a railing. Hopefully they’ll rectify any problems like that. I’m sure there will be more cool features that I just haven’t looked into yet, but I prefer to be surprised when I visit an arena sometimes rather than research everything beforehand.
PH: Any other thoughts you’d like to share regarding the renovations and how it relates to the Rangers?
KB: The changes are obviously a big deal, but I can’t help but be worried about how the huge road trip at the beginning of the season will affect the team. That’s a ton of traveling and the team could either thrive with it, or crumble. I’m pretty confident with the character of this group, but all that time flying cross country could cause problems in a hurry.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.