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Madison Square Garden: a breakdown of the oldest major league sports venue in New York

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July 11, 2022
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Madison Square Garden: a breakdown of the oldest major league sports venue in New York

Some wines and beautiful people get better with age, while others fade over the years. The same is true of sports venues. Some stadiums and arenas deteriorate and become forlorn after only a couple of decades, while others are still vital and beloved a century after they were built—helped along by occasional renovations. Cubs and Knicks fans are as fond of Wrigley Field and Madison Square Garden, respectively, as they are of their teams.

Vivid Seats determined the oldest major sports venue in every state with at least one top professional league team using data from stadium, arena, league, and news websites. Major sports were defined as all teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, NHL, MLS, and NWSL—pro leagues with teams that play in a total of 145 venues. The average age of these venues is 22.4 years, and only 20 opened in 1990 or earlier.

NBA arenas appear most often on the national list, with nine of the 28 venues hosting men’s basketball teams. The MLB comes in second with eight; the NHL and WNBA venues have six each; the NFL has five; the NWSL has four; and MLS stadiums appear three times.

Venues were chosen based on the original opening date. Renovations were not factored in, except in cases where the original structure was demolished.

Madison Square Garden by the numbers

- Year opened: 1968
- City: New York City
- Capacity: 19,763 (basketball), 18,006 (hockey)
- Teams: New York Knicks (NBA), New York Rangers (NHL)

“The Garden” has been around since 1879, but only existed in its current location since 1968, when the newest version was built to accommodate basketball and hockey games. The home for the Knicks and Rangers was a good fit, as the Knicks soon knocked out their two NBA Championships in 1970 and 1973. It took until 1994 for the Rangers to earn their first Stanley Cup in 54 years.

Keep reading to see which major league sports venues are the oldest in the country.

Oldest major league sports venues

#1. Fenway Park: opened in 1912 in Boston, Massachusetts
#2. Wrigley Field: opened in 1914 in Chicago, Illinois
#3. Providence Park: opened in 1926 in Portland, Oregon
#4. Lambeau Field: opened in 1957 in Green Bay, Wisconsin
#5. Dodger Stadium: opened in 1962 in Los Angeles, California

This story originally appeared on Vivid Seats and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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