through, the Railroad sold the air rights to the Garden Corporation. Ab ove-ground demolition of Penn Station began on Oct. 28, 1963, with new concrete poured starting on May 1, 1964. Garden IV opened as a glittering sports and entertainment showplace, with its distinctive circular, cablesuspended roof above the 19,000-seat arena, its 5,000-seat Felt Forum, 48-lane Bowling Center, 500- seat cinema, Hall of Fame Club, National Art Museum of Sport, 50,000-square foot Exposition Rotunda and 29-story office building (Two Penn Plaza) attached by a ped estrian mall. The first element of the New Garden complex to open its doors w as the Bowling Center, on Oct. 30, 1967. On Nov. 26, 1967, the Felt Forum opened with a performance of the Welsh and Scot s Guards. The “New Garden” itself officially opened on Feb. 11, 1968, when Bob Hope and Bing Crosby hosted “The Night of the Century,” a star-studded salute to the USO. One week later – Feb. 18, 1968 – the Rangers played their first game in their new home, a 3-1 victory over a Philadelphia Flyers team that had entered the NHL that season in what signaled the end of the NHL’s Original Six era. Odds ‘n ends • Cost for design and construction of the present Garden was $43 million. • Garden IV was built by Turner Construction and the Del E. Webb Corporation. The building was designed by Charles Luckman, the fabled entrepreneur and architect who died in 1999. Luckman also designed the Great Western Forum, the Los Angeles Convention Center, CBS Television City, the Prudential Center in Boston and the Johnson Space Center in Houston. • The Garden arena is 425 feet in diameter, 13 stories high, and occupies 820,000-square feet of real estate. • Each of the four entrance/exit towers is over 100 feet high and contains at least 10 escalators. • Seating capacity for Rangers hockey is 18,006.
2016-17 New York Rangers Yearbook
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