Madison Square Garden Bag Policy 2024: What You Need to Know

Dubbed the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” you can expect a strict bag policy when stepping into Madison Square Garden (MSG). Whether you’re attending a Knicks game or a Billy Joel concert, security runs tight in the 19,500-seat arena!

When you’re about to experience an evening of unforgettable entertainment, you don’t want the wrong bag size to spoil your night. Use this article to guide you through MSG’s bag policy.

Madison Square Garden Bag Policy

As a heavy packer, I like to bring multiple items with me to most events. I love recording my experiences and staying prepped with all essentials, including my camera, charger, chapstick, tissues, and wipes, among other necessities.

Unfortunately, some of these items aren’t allowed in MSG’s bag policy. If you pack heavy like me, then you need to know what to expect when entering MSG.

While bag policies could differ based on the artist performing or the sport’s event, they usually align in terms of bag size and items allowed.

As a general rule, your bag shouldn’t be larger than 22″ x 14″ x 9″. It should fit below your seat. Besides that, you can choose between various bag types, including:

  • Laptop bags
  • Tote bags
  • Fanny packs
  • Diaper bags
  • Clear plastic bags
  • Drawstring bag
  • ADA bags

madison square garden bag policy

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What Can You Bring With You to Madison Square Garden?

If you’re still unsure about the items you can bring to MSG, here’s a clear list below:

  • Specified Bags: As long as it doesn’t exceed 22″ x 14″ x 9″, you can bring it.
  • Small Umbrellas: The umbrella should fit in your bag when closed. Larger umbrellas could be confiscated.
  • ADA Items: If you have a disability, you can bring assistive items like a wheelchair or walker. Service animals are also allowed.
  • Medical Items: You can enter MSG with medical necessities like EpiPens and inhalers. If you’re bringing medication, I suggest getting the prescription, just in case security asks for it.
  • Strollers: You can bring strollers to MSG as long as they’re collapsible and fit comfortably under your seat.
  • Nursing Items: Guests can bring breast pumps and other similar equipment. You’re also allowed to carry breast milk to the venue. Nursing facilities are available at the Guest Services Office on the Infosys Concourse (sixth floor) outside section 117.
  • Personal Items: It can include your wallet, keys, and mobile phone.

What Is Prohibited from Entering Madison Square Garden?

When it comes to prohibited items in MSG, the venue is exceptionally strict. The place recommends avoiding getting a bag if possible. There’s even a No-Bag express line for those who don’t get anything with them to lessen waiting times.

Here’s what you should avoid packing for your next MSG visit.

  • Professional Cameras: Monopods, selfie sticks, tripods, audio recording devices, video cameras, and professional cameras, including telephoto or zoom lenses, aren’t allowed in MSG.
  • Weapons: Any sort of weapons will be confiscated, such as pepper spray, mace, knives, and firearms.
  • Outside Food and Drinks: If you need food and drinks, you’ll have to purchase them at the venue. You can get clear, empty, soft plastic bottles with you. MSG also has several water fountains dotted around.
  • Other Items: Laser pens, skateboards, hoverboards, airhorns, cowbells, alarm devices, cans, and glass bottles are not permitted in MSG.

madison square garden bag policy 2022

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Device Free Venues

Some events will specify a “device-free” policy upon entrance. In this case, these items aren’t allowed:

  • Cellphones​
  • Smartwatches​
  • Fitbits​
  • Cameras​
  • Laptops​
  • Tablets​
  • Bluetooth-Enabled Headphones​

You can bring these devices, but they’ll be locked in a Yondr pouch during the event.

The pouch will be in your possession and can be unlocked at one of the Yondr unlocking stations. If you bring a laptop or tablet, they’ll be withheld in onsite storage.

It’s also worth noting that, with device-free events, you’ll need to print the event tickets at home since cell phones will be stored.

Madison Square Garden Backpack Policy

Backpacks are prohibited in MSG. They’re too large and take too much time in the security check-up line. You’ll want to stick to purses and other smaller bag options instead.

Madison Square Garden Purse Policy

In my experience attending an MSG event, I brought a clear purse. I’m glad I made that choice because going through security was a breeze. They only needed to look at the bag rather than go through what’s inside.

Now, that doesn’t mean you need to get a clear bag. Other purses are allowed, but they’ll likely take some extra time passing through security.

madison square garden backpack policy

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Bag Inspection Procedure: What to Expect

MSG’s security check-up is an elaborate process. You want to minimize as much time as possible during the inspection procedure by packing light.

Avoid unnecessary baggage, including backpacks. You should only carry essential items, and preferably in a small purse.

MSG doesn’t provide any onsite storage or locker stations where you can keep large belongings. For this reason, you can check out luggage storage services nearby.

Apps and platforms like Stasher and LuggageHero are your best bet in this case.

Interestingly, MSG’s security check involves a facial recognition scan to ensure you’re not part of the “exclusion list.”

Key Takeaways

Overall, MSG’s bag policy involves a lot of details. Being a heavy packer, I had to sacrifice my large backpack when going to the arena.

To keep the policy simple, don’t get a bag larger than the specified maximum size, avoid unnecessary items and devices, and don’t bring outside food and beverages.

Packing light is your main objective. It’ll ease the security check-up process, saving you time. If you can go to the event with nothing but your phone and wallet, I highly recommend doing so. That way, you can go through the express no-bag line and breeze through security.

Keeping these tips in mind will ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience at The Garden.