>My friend called me to tell me his daughter had given him tickets to Dave Matthews Band at Madison Square Garden, did I want to come with him? So I said yes.

Before I go on, I should tell you I am not a fan of Dave Matthews. In fact I don’t think I have even listened to one song of his. I was just thinking it would be a nice evening out. So this is not a review of the concert. Rather it is a rant against Madison Square Garden.

First of all, the website Madison Square Garden states that it is “The World’s Most Famous Arena” and it is located in Manhattan. Last time I checked, Manhattan is in New York State. As such, it is subject to New York State law, the law that concerns me is “New York State Clean Indoor Air Act”, see the website here. On this website it mentions indoor areas where smoking is prohibited, the exact wording is “The Act states that smoking shall not be permitted and that no person shall smoke in the following indoor areas:”, one of those places is (drumroll please) “All indoor arenas”

In addition to that, on Madison Square Garden’s own website, under “Code of Conduct” it says, and I quote “As required by the City of New York, guests shall not smoke anywhere in our facilities.” and “In compliance with New York City regulations, there is no smoking permitted anywhere in Madison Square Garden. This policy is strictly enforced. Violation of this regulation is grounds for ejection. Furthermore, all exits are final and MSG does not allow for smoking passes.”

I am here to tell you that this is a lie. Like the cake is a lie. The smoke in our section (cigarette and other stuff) was so thick, the following wasn’t necessary:

Guests are encouraged to report inappropriate or offensive behavior to an Usher, Security Officer or Guest Services Representative.

All one had to do was walk inside the seating area and they would have known. Not only that, when we left, (early because for one thing I couldn’t breathe) there were no Ushers, Security Officers in sight, the only person I saw was a vendor, selling crappy beer.

The reason I’m so pissed off about this, I’ve been to Yankee Stadium, which holds 50,000 people and there is no smoking in Yankee Stadium. Its enforced. So if Yankee Stadium can enforce this policy with a lot more people, why can’t Madison Square Garden? Not only that, but Yankee Stadium gives you a number where you can “Text any concerns you have.” Also, our seats were $75 (granted I didn’t pay for it but still) and we were almost touching the ceiling, so you know the seats lower down cost more, on the floor probably a lot more. You would think at those prices they would hire enough people to enforce the non-smoking policy, or at least have a text system like Yankee Stadium does.

This is the end of my rant. It is also the only time I will be at Madison Square Garden.

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