The Washington Times - October 14, 2007, 03:41PM
ManhattanCaps SEE RELATED:


\ I have to say up front that one of my good friends in this business has been to Madison Square Garden for college basketball games and came away unimpressed, so I wasn’t sure if I would buy into the aura of the place.\

\ The first thing that hit me when I walked into the actual arena (after roaming around the rest of the massive building aimlessly for about 20 minutes) was how small it seemed. The seats go out instead of up like the modern arenas, and there are far fewer aisles, so the seats are much more condensed. When empty during the morning skate, it really looked like there couldn\0x2019t be more than 12 or 13,000 seats in the place.\

\ That changed when the people started showing up. The print media guys actually sit down on the ice in the corner, right above where the Caps entered and exited the ice. It was a vastly different view than from above. It was fabulous when the puck was at our end and not so much when it wasn’t.\

\ I will certainly admit that the atmosphere hooked me. I was out by our seats about two hours before the game when the anthem singer was warming up, and let’s just say the anthem is a little different experience in that building. Then the place started filling up, it was rocking from start to finish.\

\ “Just by atmosphere alone, it has to be in the top five,” Caps captain Chris Clark said. “It is an older building, but it has everything you need, but the atmosphere and just being in the building in the nicest part.”\

\ Throw in the banners, the ceiling, the Rangers intro which is kicked off by Howard Cosell’s opus on the city - it all makes for a pretty awesome hockey experience. Maybe it is different for basketball, and I am sure it is if there aren’t 18,000 people rooting for the same team, but consider me hooked on the World’s Most Famous Arena.\ — Corey Masisak