New York City Tells Knicks to Find a New Home Within 10 Years

by July 25, 2013

The battle over Madison Square Garden’s location appears to be a losing one for the New York Knicks. Despite the fact that MSG has recently poured close to $1 billion into renovating “The World’s Most Famous Arena”, the city wants it moved away from Penn Station within a decade. Per the NY Times: “The New York City Council notified the arena that it has 10 years to vacate its 45-year-old premises and find a new home, the Garden’s fifth since it opened in 1879. By a vote of 47 to 1, the Council voted to extend the Garden’s special operating permit for merely a decade — not in perpetuity, as the owners of the Garden had requested, or 15 years, as the Bloomberg administration had intended. Ten years should be enough time, officials said, for the Garden to find a new location and for the city to devise plans for an expanded Pennsylvania Station, which currently sits below the Garden, and the redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood. ‘This is the first step in finding a new home for Madison Square Garden and building a new Penn Station that is as great as New York and suitable for the 21st century,’ said Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker. ‘This is an opportunity to reimagine and redevelop Penn Station as a world-class transportation destination.’ Ms. Quinn renewed her call for the creation of a commission to devise the plans. Civic leaders and some developers have long sought to rebuild Penn Station, a cramped and crowded maze for the more than 500,000 people a day who traverse it. But doing so would be an enormously complicated, multibillion-dollar undertaking that has foiled officials in the past. And anything can happen in the next 10 years, including several elections for mayor and governor. James L. Dolan, who controls the Garden, the Knicks and the Rangers, offered a low-key response to the news that barely acknowledged the 10-year deadline. Mr. Dolan expects to complete this fall a $968 million overhaul of the Garden, which has been closing in its off-seasons to accommodate the work. ‘Madison Square Garden has operated at its current site for generations, and has been proud to bring New Yorkers some of the greatest and most iconic moments in sports and entertainment,’ Mr. Dolan’s company said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon. ‘We now look forward to the reopening of the arena in the fall of 2013.'”