The new Madison Square Garden Training Center was officially unveiled on Thursday, September 19, 2002 with the Rangers holding their first organized practice of the 2002-03 season in their new, state-of-the-art facility. The facility, which will serve as the training ground for all three MSG sports teams - the Rangers, Knicks (NBA) and Liberty (WNBA) - is just another proactive element of the organizations' commitment towards supplying New York sports fans with the most competitive teams possible.
"I think there's going to be interaction between the organizations," said Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather. "I'm sure we're a mystery to them and they're a mystery to us. We'll get to know them. It translates into a lot. The players are going to spend more time here, work harder, be happier at their job. The conditions are terrific here to get better and to improve. I think it's going to have a big impact on the team."
The MSG Training Center offers the teams the opportunity to utilize the best equipment, the best training regimen, the best diets, the best environment to elevate their performances both on the ice and on the court.
The 105,000 square foot facility, set on 16 acres of private land in Tarrytown, New York (Westchester County), is equipped with well-appointed private areas and office space, exercise rooms with dedicated equipment for each team, the latest technology and first-class amenities.
The facility features one NHL regulation-sized hockey rink and two basketball courts. Each team's area within the Madison Square Garden Training Center includes:
- 1,800 square foot complete cardiovascular and weight room
- Steam rooms, whirlpool and cold plunge
- Players' lounges with leather sofas, lounge chairs, 42" High Definition Television, pool and ping pong tables and refreshment center
- Gated parking lots located adjacent to a private entrance into the players' lounge
- Tiered classrooms with high-back theatre style seating
- State-of-the-art video editing rooms
- Coach's lounge and offices
The Training Center also features amenities to be shared by all three teams, including a Hydro Worx 1000 aquatic therapy pool and a fully-equipped kitchen that will employ a nutritionist/chef along with a dining room with seating for 40 people.
"If I was a rookie, I'd just set up a bunk in here and forget about finding a place to live," joked former Blueshirt goalie Mike Richter.
Media accommodations include dedicated media rooms with 33 workstations, pre-wired for phone and internet access, an interview room for one-on-one or small group interviews, as well as 13 cabled locations for remote broadcast.
Rangers legend Mark Messier summed up the facility perfectly back when it opened: "Being comfortable, having your own facility, having the schedule to do what you want, when you want is part of it," he said. "The workout facility is state-of-the-art, the whirlpools, the dressing rooms. It can lend itself to a successful season."