Madison Square Garden formally opens with NHL game

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On December 15, 1925, the New York Americans lose to the Montreal Canadiens, 3-1, in the formal opening of New York’s Madison Square Garden, which becomes one of the world’s most famous sporting venues. The game, played before 17,000 fans, is also the first NHL game played at the arena. “Garden Is Opened in a Blaze of Color,” read the headline for a story about the debut in the New York Times.

Madison Square Garden’s owner, Tex Rickard, a boxing promoter, wanted the arena’s first big sports event to be important. He insisted the Americans play host to the Canadiens,  the second-best team in the league that season.



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