Can I bring photography equipment to a Ranger game at Madison Square Garden?


TPF Noob!
Dec 26, 2008
Reaction score
Nesconset, NY (Long Island)
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I want to bring my Olympus e-520 with a couple lenses (small 14-42mm and a larger 40-150mm) in a camera bag to the game tomorrow night. I thought nothing of it until I mentioned it to a friend and they told me cameras weren't allowed at the garden. I don't believe it because if you watch hockey on TV, there's always flashes coming from the crowd, but it's easy to put a point and shoot in your pocket and walk in. Carrying a DSLR in is a little more conspicuous. Does anyone know if I'm allowed to do this or how I can find out?

OR -- do you have any ideas on how I can smuggle it in? I'm going with a friend so maybe he could carry the lenses, or something like that... :)
I think the answer is no telephoto or zoom lenses (whatever that means -- which is likely up to the particular security guard), but that you can bring in regular cameras.

This is the language from the FAQ:
Video cameras, monopods, tripods, audio recording devices and cameras with telephoto or zoom lenses are not permitted inside Madison Square Garden at any time. This policy will be strictly enforced. You may bring in a disposable or 35mm camera (with no zoom or telephoto lens), however, for some events, cameras of any type and/or flash photography may be prohibited."

The easiest thing to do is probably just to call the box office and ask -- they may know (or may not...but it's worth a shot).
When i went to an event, they tried to confiscate my Canon 450D and sigma 70-300mm lens, i said to them i would go and drop it back in my car, so i walked away and came back to a different ticket person and got in fine with my camera in my bag. Although when i sat at my seat and pulled my 450D out to take some pre-event shots the security guard said that i would have to put it away, even if i was to use my 18-50mm lens. I ended up having to use the camera on my phone
What is the reasoning behind this rule? Why can you not use an expensive camera, yet you can bring along a cheap disposable and they let you use it?
I think it is because they don't want professional photographers paying normal ticket price for them to snap off probably hundreds of shots to then sell to newspapers and such, well thats my understanding of it. I think it is ridiculous, I'm looking to get into sports photography and yet i can't even go to a game to practice my skills, it's not like i would know where to start to sell my pictures to magazines and newspapers.
Wow, I'll just stuff mine down my pants when I go. XD You should try something like a little league game or something for some practice.
I think I have a game plan: I hope this works - I'm going to sort of disguise my small camera bag as a purse by putting a wallet, tissues, glasses case, etc. in it along with the camera body with the small lens under the snotty tissues, and give the bag to my friend to walk in with. That shouldn't be a problem unless the guard looks around and finds the lens, and decides it's a telephoto lens. Although I doubt they would be poking around too much, with crowds of 1000s of people trying to enter around the same time. The guards probably aren't after you looking for camera lenses, just guns and bombs and stuff like that. They probably won't search every crevice of every bag...

As for the 40-150mm lens I'm going to bring a backpack with 3 pouches (front, middle, back). In the back pouch, the largest one, I'm going to toss in a sweatshirt and a Ranger jersey and leave the other two "empty." I'm going to squeeze my lens into a black sock (less visible than white) and stuff it at the bottom on the backpack in the middle pouch. It will be very hard to see unless the guard actually feels around inside.

Anyways I think it could work. Thanks for all the responses so far, btw.
That could work until they put a hand-held metal detector up to it, it goes off, and they search your bag. Then you are liable to have it confiscated/get tossed out/have to go back to your car and put it away.
Yeah, and I'd look like a complete retard if I stood there trying to remove a lens from a black sock when I had no camera attached to it. They usually don't use metal detectors on bags though.
Yea, I havnt been to a Rangers game in a few years, but at the Giants games people in line dont appreciate having to wait on someone who tried sneaking something in. Just be careful, I havnt been to MSG in a while, so idk how stict their security is.
I'm taking a train in but if I get caught, which I don't think I will, I'll probably just go to a fed ex shipping center and mail it back to me or something like that.
More than likely its the NHL that is the issue with the cameras not the arena itself. As with any other sport they dont want people using images of games without their consent. Lets face it the quality of the image you get off a disposable camera just isnt going to be an issue. Now put someone in the stands with a telephoto lens and they can get good shots. The only reason an arena may have an issue with the camera and lenses would be because they dont want you swinging your camera around and blocking others views
What is the reasoning behind this rule? Why can you not use an expensive camera, yet you can bring along a cheap disposable and they let you use it?

Same reason that you have silly rules in your house, and I have silly rules in my house. It's their house, their venue, their property and they make the rules. They don't have to have a reason.

But as others have said, a lot of it has to do with the entertainment that is playing. When you purchase a ticket for some form of entertainment that ticket is to watch the show, be it a concert, play, movie or sporting event. Not for the privilege of coming in to record the event.

There are others that have that have been granted that right usually for commercial purposes. The venue solves the problem with others trying to take commercial grade photos by not allowing the kinds of equipment that will do the job. It's their right.

So if you do try to sneak your camera in, keep in mind when you violate the rights of others it makes it hard to try and defend your own rights as a photographer later on.
I know I'm bumping an old thread but after reading this, I thought I'd help out anyone else who is going to be going to a Rangers game in the future...MSG has rules posted about cameras that you can bring in but I have openly shown the guards my slr body, 50mm, 85mm and 100-300 lenses all in a bag and they let me go in.

This is not to say that you'll get in with it too, but theyve never given me flack for it. I went to over 25 games at the Garden last year, and about 11 this year.
At the Dodgers games I went to over the summer they just seemed to glance in my bag. I didn't have the camera I have now. I wonder if I could take it..

Isn't it going to be cold? Where a trench cost and have the camera to your side, or over your arm like a woman holds her purse with the coat covering it.

Good luck!! Report back!

Most reactions