As with any New York Rangers home game, Madison Square Garden was sold out, with 18,000-plus fans taking in their 5-0 drubbing of the New York Islanders. Down inside the Theatre at MSG, a crowd of more than 2000 fans and celebrities watched the MSG Network's broadcast of the first game to ever be televised in 3D.
Among those in the crowd included former Rangers Mark Messier, Adam Graves, Mike Richter and Ron Duguay, D'Brickashaw Ferguson of the New York Jets, "Big Love" actress Chloe Sevigny, and former KISS drummer Peter Criss.
Fanhouse's Chris Botta was on the scene and gave the event a thumbs up:
"Oh, there were some mild complaints that there wasn't a "wow" factor, that the 3D telecast crew didn't show off enough, instead opting to make sure the 2,000 ticketholders, VIPs (Chloe Sevigny!) and guests saw the puck at all times. Other than an opening segment in which announcers Dave Maloney and Joe Micheletti appeared to reach through the screen with hockey sticks, the show was gimmick-free. To its credit, MSG Network -- which shows more than 300 hockey games a season between the Rangers, Islanders, Devils and Sabres -- went for a broadcast to satisfy the techies and the hockey purists. By that measure, they succeeded."
Steve Chernoski, a filmmaker, did a guest post at Puck the Media detailing his experience last night:
"During the 1st intermission, fans in attendance were even treated to highlights from the Winter Classic in Boston and during the 2nd, a short aerial movie shot over a Hawaiian island was shown. The 3D depth was apparent much of the time, but not all. The low cameras provided the best viewing experience. As mentioned before, the hitting against the glass truly benefited most from the technology., but it would have been nice to see a goal scored from that low vantage point.
The producers do need to figure out how to get the camera higher and avoid the glass. But even with that drawback, it was somewhat interesting to see fans at the actual game, walking to their seats with cotton candy. They looked like they could have been in the theater itself."
With the popularity of "Avatar" and the universal appeal of hockey in high-definition, the next step would be translating hockey into 3D for everyone. Some electronics giants like Samsung, Panasonic and LG are unveiling 3D televisions this year, but like we saw when HD first became available, those sets will likely be expensive and the technology will need a few years to mature to meet a more affordable price point for the average consumer.
If you were also there last night, let us know about your experience in the comments.