Billy Joel, Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, and other monsters of rock and pop regularly fill this 20,000-seat arena, which is also home to pro sports teams the Knicks, the Rangers, and the Liberty. A cavernous concrete hulk, it’s better suited to sports than to concerts, or in-the-round events such as the Ice Capades, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, or the Westminster Dog Show. If you end up with seats in the back, bring binoculars.
The better sightlines are at the Theater at Madison Square Garden (www.theateratmsg.com) on the Seventh Avenue side of the block. This amphitheater-style auditorium with 5,605 seats that has also played host to some major pop stars, from Bob Dylan to Cher to Ozzy Osbourne. Watch for annual stagings of Sesame Street Live, Cirque du Soleil, and other family shows. Smaller events such as comedy shows, the NFL and NBA drafts, and family musicals also round out programming at the busy venue.
You can purchase tickets through Ticketmaster (tel. 212/307-7171; www.ticketmaster.com).