Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/21/13 at 10:47 AM ET
from Ken Belson of the New York Times,
For the last 45 years, Rangers fans have known them as the Blue Seats in recognition of the former color of the seats in the upper tier of Madison Square Garden. Back in the day, there were betting pools, a hefty amount of beer consumed and a hazy smoke with a whiff of the illicit. Some fans threw rolls of toilet paper or fruit on the ice after a Rangers goal or a bad call by the referee.
Those freewheeling days are largely gone; thanks to a three-year overhaul of the Garden, so are many of those seats. During the off-season, most of the upper tier was removed so that the bowl below could be extended upward. The last 1,000 or of the seats are behind the goal at the west end of the arena.
At the Rangers’ home opener Sunday, fans returned to find new seats that matched the blue in those installed in 1968, when the Garden opened. Television screens have been added, as well as new concession stands and bathrooms. The sections were slightly reconfigured, but the structure of the balcony was untouched and the vibe unchanged.
“This is where the true fans sit,” said Leo Strauss, who has had season tickets in the Blue Seats since 1968. “We bleed blue.”
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