New York City’s iconic Madison Square Garden completes its $1-billion renovation with an LED lighting system facelift.

Following Manhattan’s most famous concert & sports venue’s unprecedented three-year transformation, executives at Madison Square Garden (MSG) decided to add a connected LED lighting system to the exterior cove channels of the building, as well as the roof ring at the top. The new energy-efficient LED system from Philips replaces its previous lighting with one that can change colors in real time, run customized lighting designs, and include a cloud-based real-time monitoring system for diagnostics.  With this new lighting system, maintenance teams can be alerted instantly regarding any outages with any of the 1,952 fixtures or the more than one mile of cove lighting around the building. In addition, because the system is LED and offers very precise beam angles, the light is focused where it is needed on the building and does not spill into the night sky.

MSG exterior Rangers lighting

“As one of the busiest destinations in New York City, we knew we had an opportunity to create a unique public experience,” says Joel Fisher, Executive VP/Sports Properties at MSG Sports. “Philips’ dynamic lighting system helps bring whatever game, concert, or special event is happening inside the building to the public outside, engaging everyone who walks by the Arena in the excitement of The Garden.”

The finished design was a collaboration between renowned lighting designer Al Borden, founder of Philadelphia-based The Lighting Practice – who also worked on the Empire State Building’s tower lighting replacement – plus Jones Lang LaSalle from the building’s management company, the value-added partner Electric Light Agencies, and LED provider Philips, which was able to deliver a tailored lighting solution that met MSG’s unique lighting goals. 

“Madison Square Garden fans know that the building’s vertical coves and roof ring have been lighted for decades,” Borden states. “The new lighting refreshes the brand with a dynamic rendition of a familiar lighting treatment. The new lighting seems to open gaps in the building from which Madison Square Garden’s vibrant energy radiates.”

The state-of-the-art connected LED lighting system can reflect the home teams’ colors and highlight special events by creating dynamic visual effects on the façade of the Arena. The lights communicate which home teams’ games or events are taking place at The Garden and help create a sense of excitement in the surrounding area.

“We have the industry expertise, partners, and best practices for delivering innovative, turnkey solutions, such as the one at Madison Square Garden, quickly and effectively because we understand that today’s lighting systems go far beyond the light fixture to integrate with other business-critical systems on the network,” says Amy Huntington, CEO of Philips Professional Lighting Solutions.  “The new LED lighting system gives The Garden a unique new way to engage fans and heighten team pride and support by allowing the community to stay connected with the games and events, even from outside its walls.”

Some of the upgrades in the $1-billion renovation are the brand new Chase Square 7th  Avenue entrance; significantly wider concourses; new first-class food and entertainment amenities; improved sightlines; more comfortable seating; a dynamic new scoreboard; interior state-of-the-art lighting, sound, and LED video systems in HD; fiber optic cabling throughout the building; new suites, clubs, and hospitality areas; new one-of-a-kind Chase Bridges, and views of the city from several areas of the building.

Other aspects of the renovation highlight the unique history of MSG and the dynamic details of the venue that patrons, performers, and athletes have long-cherished including the intimacy of the Arena bowl, the restoration of The Garden’s world-famous ceiling, and the building’s more than 130-year storied history celebrated with two unique exhibits – “Garden 366,” a visual retrospective bringing to life one moment in Garden history for every day of the year, and the top 20 “Defining Moments” in Garden history commemorated with special exhibits that feature photos, memorabilia, and additional artifacts. 

Project At a Glance

Project: Madison Square Garden,
New York City

Architect: Brisbin Brook Beynon
(aka BBB Architects) in Toronto

Construction Manager: Turner

Engineering: M-E Engineers in New
York City

Project Manager: Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Project and Development Services, headquartered in Chicago, and led by Raymond Quartararo in the New York office

Lighting Design Firm: The Lighting Practice in Philadelphia, with founder Al Borden as principal lighting designer and Stephen Hoppe as project manager

LED Lighting System Provider: Philips Color Kinetics