Knicks ticket prices to rise average of 49 percent

New York Knicks fans will pay a heavy price to see a contending team at an improved Madison Square Garden.

Knicks season ticket prices will increase an average of 49 percent next season, MSG announced Friday. Rangers tickets will go up an average of 23 percent.

Knicks tickets have risen only once in the last 10 years, remaining flat the last six during the team’s postseason absence that appears likely to end behind the combination of Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.

Madison Square Garden is in the early stages of a renovation expected to cost more than $800 million, with extensive work slated for the next two summers. The seating configuration in the lower bowl will change beginning next season, with the upper bowl to follow in 2012-13.