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Another First for The Garden: Hockey in 3D

Tonight’s New York Rangers vs New York Islanders matchup at Madison Square Garden will be unlike any other in the long-standing rivalry. While the “Potvin sucks” chants, a look back in time, will be prevalent for the Isles visit,  the theater at Madison Square Garden will hold a special eye into the first ever 3D NHL hockey broadcast. The game will be shown live at the theater and broadcast on MSG Network.

The telecast will be the first live live 3D sports event delivered to the home. While the 3D viewing experience is the NHL’s first foray into the extra-dimension, it hints what is to come as 3D sports is on course to be the hottest new trend in game viewing. This 3D game nips at the heels of ESPN ‘s January announcement about the launch of a new 3D channel to be released in June, which has a minimum of 85 3D events planned.

While definitely straight-up cool, especially for a sport like hockey filled with hits, flying pucks and dropping gloves, there are some new challenges that surface.

When the puck drops in New York at 7:00 ET, the voices of Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti will be calling the game, except this time the addition of the five special 3D cameras create a new dilemma: they will be capturing different angles than the regular cameras. There will be a different set of announcers down the hall for fans in the theater, where the Rangers radio team of Kenny Albert and Dave Maloney will call the 3D game simultaneously.

Anyone who saw Avatar, just a few of you, knows that any 3D viewing experience involves some form of weird glasses. The New York Rangers official Twitter account @thenyrangers posted a sneak peek at the 3D goggles fans attending the screening will be given in a Tweet on Tuesday.

The team behind the @thenyrangers did an excellent job of building excitement in the Twitterverse, posting pictures, reminders and giveaways around the 3D viewing experience in the days leading up to Wednesday’s 3D premier.

Jim Cerny (@jimcerny) beat reporter for, says the experience is all about the fans.

“We’re seeing a lot of buzz and feedback from the fans on their excitement. It’s not gimmicky in the way the Fox glowing puck was. This will bring fans closer to the speed and intensity of the game,” said Jim.

“The coolest part will be when players get thrown into the glass and you can really feel the impact of that,” he added.

The Rangers players don’t seem to really even know the 3D viewing is going on, according to Cerny. However, one former player in the booth, Joe Micheletti, is looking forward to his time in front of the new 3D cameras.

Micheletti will be shooting the game opener with Maloney and Albert on the ice to show off the 3D camera technology.   Micheletti revealed to Jim Cerny that he is planning to egg Maloney on, in hopes of getting him to throw a stick, or maybe even drop a glove.

Now that would be a priceless moment in 3D.


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