Celebrities at Madison Square Garden: Inside the perks they receive at Knicks’ games

Celebrities at Madison Square Garden: Inside the perks they receive at Knicks’ games

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Interesting story this week in the New York Times about how the New York Knicks cater to celebrities who attend games at Madison Square Garden.

Among the tidbits about celebrities at Madison Square Garden:

  • Six tickets on what’s called “Celebrity Row”—the front row—are reserved for those determined to be the top three celebs to attend any given game (plus their guests). “Celebrity Row” is “based on the A-level nature” of the celebrities (meaning Ben Stiller and Drake’s attendance, above, might have—on that night—trumped a visit by someone along the likes of actor/comedian Anthony Anderson).
  • The Garden has an in-house team that determines who is a celebrity, and where they rank. The story states that “lower level personalities who wish they were celebrities but in fact are not” are ignored. You hear that, Real Housewives?
  • Some celebrities are “friends of the Garden,” which gets them special perks like a private entrance to the arena; a separate  elevator that keeps them away from the common folks;  access to a VIP suite that has free alcohol and free food (including a buffet and frozen yogurt); and a special escort to get you to your seat.

How much does that cost the celebs? Often, the tickets and perks are free.

Rosie Perez, Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell and Brooke Sheilds sitting courside while shooting a movie

Rosie Perez, Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell and Brooke Shields sitting courtside while shooting a movie (Tracey Morgan, a MSG regular, just happened to be there)

What does the Garden ask for, in return? That celebs work with the MSG charity that helps  disadvantaged youth; make themselves available for promotional spots and interviews; attend Garden employee parties; and shoot projects they’re working on at The Garden.

The most interesting item from the story: that producer Woody Allen, a long-time Knicks season ticket holder, is banned from the VIP with the free booze and food because he refused to shoot a promo for one of his movies that was being aired on the Madison Square Garden television network.

Allen’s reason? One of his reps told the New York Times that he doesn’t promote his own work.