Is there a tradition of using "Garden" to mean stadium?

In other languages the name for a zoo is ‘animal garden’ as in Dierentuin in dutch and Tiergarten in german, altough I believe they use *Zoo *as well.

I stand by my statement. The boldfaced flower shows were in the arena, not the park or the square itself.

It seems that the “garden” in “Madison Square Garden” comes from its original name, “Gilmore’s Garden.” Are you suggesting that Gilmore’s Garden was named “Gilmore’s Garden” because it occasionally housed flower shows, in addition to beauty contests, temperance and revival meetings, and dog shows? Or am I missing something (HINT: Very likely)?

Not sure how much this helps you, but my older relatives referred to establishments that served alcoholic beverages as “beer gardens”. It is possible there are other meanings besides “a plot of land which is used to grow flowers”.

In southern England (and for all I know, in the rest of the UK), a “beer garden” is an outside area of a pub, usually out the back (at least it is in towns), and typically with some seating, parasols/umbrellas, flowers in pots, and possibly a lawn. Obviously how “garden-y” it is depends a lot on what sort of area the pub itself is in, and what effort the landlord puts into keeping it looking nice. The beer garden serves as a nice place to be in good weather, out in the fresh air and sunshine, and away from the gloom and fruit machines of the pub’s interior. A beer garden is also where you would tend to eat pub meals (during the summer, anyway). On the other hand, it could just be a patio with a couple of bench tables and no niceties.

Nowadays the beer garden also functions as an all-year smokers’ area, since it’s now illegal to smoke inside a pub itself.

Also, biergartens are areas in German/Austrian parks and public areas that serve huge mugs of excellent brew, along with inexpensive food during the summertime. These are indeed actually gardens, with landscaping and green space to enjoy the fresh air.

Can’t visit Germany without stopping in a biergarten for a stein or 3…

Let’s not forget Marvin Gardens.

Yeah, I was suggesting it, but that’s all, just suggesting. I don’t know for sure what Gilmore was thinking, but it does seem that “garden” can mean (or used to mean) a lot more than just a home for flowers.