The Times has a pretty extensive timeline of the upcoming renovations to Madison Square Garden — or should we say, the ongoing renovations, since they’ve already spent $60 million on areas not visible to the public. The major work, however, will be done during the summers of 2011, 2012, and 2013. Some of the more interesting details, after the jump.
• Turner Construction needs twenty consecutive weeks to work during the summer, beginning when the Knicks’ and Rangers’ seasons end. A deep postseason run by either team — and we understand the Knicks have plans to try for one of those in the next couple of years — would mean the Rangers, whose schedule begins first, could be forced to start their season in October with an extended road trip.
• The Liberty will have to play their games elsewhere during the renovation. The Times suggests the Prudential Center in Newark as an alternative home, though the last time the Liberty were booted from the Garden — because of the 2004 Republican National Convention — they played games at Radio City Music Hall.
• The Play by Play sports bar will soon shut down for good.
• When the arena opens in October 2011, about 1,500 seats in the upper bowl will be covered, though Hank Ratner, the president and chief executive of the Garden, said they should be ready early in the season. Most of these seats won’t belong to season-ticket holders, though some season subscribers will be temporarily relocated.
• The final phase in the renovation — though the Garden would prefer not to call it a renovation, since it’s a new building within the existing shell, or something — will include, among other things, a new open-air lobby on Seventh Avenue and two bridges spanning the arena lengthwise that will hover over the seating bowl.
• Oh, and the cost — once estimated to be $500 million — has ballooned to between $775 million and $850 million.