The Garden Experience

I had a conversation with a long-time season ticket holder who went to his first game last night vs. the Nets since the trade and he brought up a great point on the Garden crowd. I’m not a season ticket holder and I’ve been lucky enough to have attended 7-8 games this season, but the spectacle that is put on has been a source for debate.

Obviously, it’s entertainment and with the money being shelled out for tickets, organizations feel the need to turn your experience from a game into an event. But, do we really need guys in orange shirts patrolling the aisles chanting “defense?” And, guys walking up to you mid-possession asking if you want your photo taken?

Bill Simmons has written on the select few crowds that know how to truly have an influence on the game, with the Spurs and Blazers crowds being the best at it in his opinion. But, in the 90′s, the Garden crowd did the same, they (as my friend puts it) “knew when to pick the team up, and knew when to put the other team down.”

The Knicks organization spent an entire decade trying to bring back fans that were sick of losing with all of the “fan experience” antics, but do we still need it?

I think the fans are into the game now because we’re respectable again, not because they are getting t-shirts fired at them.

What are everyone’s thoughts on the fan experience that MSG attempts to provide?

Personally, I feel they are alienating the fans they want to keep, and luring in the fans they don’t want to have.

(Hat tip to Dan Silver)