Koppel,Vincent

Madison Square Garden; My Up Close Experience

 

MSG Knicks

MSG and New York Knicks logo photo credit to Troika

Throughout my life I have had many experiences in the “Mecca of basketball” Madison Square Garden. However, I never had an experience like the experience I had on the day of March 1st, 2016. When I sat so close I saw the players emotions, their faces, and the way they interacted with their teammates, coaches, and fans. Usually, if I went to sporting event whether it was at MSG for the Knicks, Yankee Stadium for a Yankee game, the old Shea Stadium/City Field for the Mets , or Met life for a Jets or a Giants game.  I usually would always sit so high that the players would look like ants due to how expensive the close up tickets were.  The experience of just being there no matter where you sit and the feeling. That feeling of watching your favorite teams and favorite athletes. The feeling is unfathomable and surreal.  Just being able to stand up and think “I’m in the same building as guys like Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis” is remarkable.

I was lucky enough to obtain these outstanding tickets by winning a raffle at a local fundraiser.  A friend of mine and I pooled together our raffle tickets and put all of them in the Knicks raffle bucket.  We were fortunate enough to win them.  These tickets were located in Section 119 row 4 seats 14 & 15.  These seats are a huge step up from where I usually sit.  I felt like I was one of the player’s family member or a part of the media, I was so close.  These tickets were incredible!    This seating area included waiter service, I was not accustomed to that.  It made me feel like a celebrity.  I saw many celebrities as well as famous staff members, like James Dolan, owner of the team, and Earl Monroe, a Knicks‘ Hall of Famer, and I also saw famous retired tennis great, John McEnroe.  Although I did not pay for these tickets they retail for $275 a ticket.  It was remarkable to see how the upper class Knicks’ fans enjoy their games.

The game was phenomenal!  The Knicks faced off with the Portland Trail Blazers at 7:30 PM.  The Knicks started off hot.  Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps were hitting baskets left and right to give the Knicks the lead at the end of the first quarter.  As the first quarter came to a close the Blazers started to bite into the Knicks lead.  It was crazy seeing these professional hit great shots and showing how good they are at their craft.  These men are real athletes their stamina and ability was displayed in every shot.  The seat location made me feel like I was part of the game and not just a fan.  The second quarter started and the Blazers star scorer Damian Lillard put on a show and kept hitting crazy three point shots to come back and give the Blazers a lead by half time.  As a Knicks fan it was extremely tough to see them lose the lead after playing so incredibly well in the first quarter.  Half time was an outstanding experience to see all the entertainment they put on such as; the Knicks City Dancers and local kids playing basketball on the court.

The second half started and Damian Lillard couldn’t miss, it was smooth sailing for the Blazers from that point on.  They dominated the game and the Knicks couldn’t touch them.  The Knicks went on to lose the game 104 – 85.  Damian Lillard ended the game with 30 points.  He scored consistently during the third and fourth quarters.  The Blazers steam rolled the Knicks in both the third and fourth quarters.  Even though the Knicks loss was upsetting the experience more than made up for it.  I will probably never experience another Knicks game in such remarkable seats.

Take a look of my slide show from my Knicks MSG experience here: