Our first impression of the first phase of the Madison Square Garden renovation — or transformation, if you insist on using the Garden's preferred terminology — is that, once you found your seat last season, things didn't seem terribly different. The most noticeable changes to a spectator watching a game would have been new 300-level sections in the end zones and the neat West Balcony all the way the hell up above the 400 level on one side of the arena. But much of the famous seating bowl — stretching from the playing surface up to the start of the 400 level, with only an aisle or two breaking it up — remained intact last year. That will change next season, though, when a ring of suites above the lower bowl divides the arena into two distinct levels. You can read all about the new suites and changes to the slope of the seating bowl from any of the reporters on yesterday's tour of the construction site, but if you're curious about what's been going on inside the building over the past couple of months, we direct your attention to the time-lapse video that went up on the official MSG transformation site yesterday. The seating bowl as we knew it is no more.
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