Eighteen thousand. That is about the maximum capacity for a little establishment in New York City called Madison Square Garden. Seventy-two thousand is the amount of people you can fit within the NYC institution in four days.
Four days is the average number of days in a Phish New Year's run.
Ten minutes. That is the average amount of time it takes Phish to sell all 72,000 tickets, every year for the past four years. And four is the number of years Phish has held a contract with Madison Square Garden to ensure a steady home for such a massive tradition.
The band has played the Garden more than 30 times, thanks to the famed New Year's run, with a few breaks in between to explore some other locales, including the American Airlines Arena (which holds 19,600 capacity with similar sellout times to the Garden) in 2003 and in 2009. Phish's brief encounters with the Miami kind went over like glow sticks at Ultra Music Festival and has left the rumor mill churning, "NYE in MIA?"
After hearing this multiple times this year on the road, I've dug up the top five reasons why phans are right to be buzzing with Miami lust.
5. Contract fulfillment with Madison Square Garden.
The idea of this contract was stuff of legends before Jim James of My Morning Jacket spoke to Andy Greene at Rolling Stone in 2012. James reported that they were putting together a New Year's show in Boston because Phish "booked, like, the next four years" at the Garden.
Now, four years from 2012, obviously wouldn't mean much to us in 2014, but when Phish returned to MSG for the 2010/2011 NYE run, rumors of a signed four-year contract spread like wildfire, prompting phans to already anticipate what would happen after the four-year contract was up.
At the time Jim James spoke, he paused, interjected a speculative "like," and added the magic number buzzing around, which leads a lot of phans to believe that James really just means the band has dibs on the venue for a duration of four years, not four years on top of the two previous NYE stands at MSG.
For the record and for your consideration, Phish has recently played MSG on New Year's Eve during the following years: 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14.