A couple of weeks ago, John Scott — then a member of the Chicago Blackhawks — took in a Knicks game with teammates Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp. While Kane was impressed with New York point guard Jeremy Lin (“He definitely dished,” Kane said), the 6-foot-8, 270-pound enforcer was less enthralled.
“Not very impressed — I think D-Rose can take him,” Scott told reporters, pledging his Windy City allegiance to Bulls PG Derrick Rose. (He also said Lin needed to work on his defense.)
Little did Scott know that comment would eventually haunt him.
See, Scott’s now a member of the New York Rangers, having been acquired at the trade deadline. That means he now works in the heart of Linsanity — Madison Square Garden — and, as such, was asked on Wednesday if he’d like to clarify his earlier Lin-alysis.
“No, it’s O.K.,” Scott said. “You can’t kill a guy for offering his opinion. I was just saying he had one weakness to work on. Most of us have a lot more than that. Look at me. No one thought I could make it to the N.H.L., and there are a lot of people who still don’t think I belong.
“I haven’t come close to reaching his level, and I never will, but I can relate to Jeremy. I hope I get to meet him soon at the Garden or the practice facility. For what I said, he can even punch me in the hallway if he wants to.”
Call it workplace vioLINce.
/I’ll show my way out.
With all the talk of new stadiums and arenas in sports, it’s not often that teams and/or cities put up the money to make an old venue viable. The word “relocate” is thrown around far more often than the word “renovate.”
Then again, there aren’t many venues – in sports and beyond – that carry Madison Square Garden’s prestige. The arena is undergoing some renovations during the next few summers, with modern nods to corporate suites ranking among the highest priorities. (Check out the bottom of this post for a nifty time lapse video of the construction via the New York Post.)
The most interesting alteration might be the “Delta SKY360 Club,” though. Darren Rovell reports that 800 deep-pocketed Rangers fans will be able to watch Rangers players leave the locker room to go onto the ice with this deal. Rovell compared the feature to Cowboys’ Stadium’s Miller Lite Club, which allowed Dallas fans to sneak a peek at the Cowboys before they set foot on Jerry World’s field.
There are some differences between the two plans, though. The biggest is that there will be a glass divider between fans and players, which might not be a bad idea considering all the times hockey and/or basketball players mixed it up with fans. Differences aside, it sounds like a thrilling opportunity for people with fat wallets to heckle sweatier people with even fatter wallets.
“We obviously gutted the whole place so we had an opportunity to do what we wanted,” said Hank Ratner, president and CEO of Madison Square Garden. “We did surveys and fans, not surprisingly, told us they wanted to get closer. So we did this.”
The area in the arena is called the Delta SKY360 Club and fans can watch the Knicks and Rangers go from their locker rooms onto the court and ice before they go to their seats. Those fans can also watch through the glass to see what is going on in the MSG studio.
There are 800 season ticket holders (sold separately for Knicks and Rangers fans) that have access to the club and they pay an undisclosed amount for the all-inclusive tickets, which include a seat just above the floor, food and non-alcoholic drinks.
Here’s that time lapse video from the New York Post.
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(H/T to Deadspin. Pro Basketball talk also took a look at this story. Main image via Madison Square Garden.)