Madison Square Garden will stay at its current home above Penn Station for another 10 years after the City Council voted Wednesday to approve a limited permit with an expiration date for MSG, which may be forced to relocate after the permit expires. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
Ten years. That's the permit the City Council is giving, allowing the owners of Madison Square Garden to stay in their current location.
However, in that time frame, the Council wants to figure out a plan to move the iconic arena and build an expanded Penn Station. The Garden's owners don't want it to go anywhere.
People at the Garden Thursday had two very different, distinct opinions.
"They could move Madison Square Garden somewhere else," said one person.
"Maybe move Penn Station away from the Garden, but the Garden's got to stay," said another.
The Garden's owners are just completing a nearly $1 billion renovation of the current building. In response to the vote, they didn't indicate their future plans, only saying they're looking forward to reopening at their current location this fall.
"I think they should leave the Garden where it is," said one person. "It's an icon for the city. It's been here for eons. We have tons of events and concerts here. Don't move the Garden."
Right now, many regional planners and commuters say what's under the Garden needs to be upgraded. Hundreds of thousands of commuters come through Penn Station every day, making for a crowded transit hub.
"It is really needed to enlarge this place," said one person. "It's so difficult. I live on Long Island, and as you can see, in the afternoon, it is so crowded. At my size, it's so very, very difficult to even get down there."
"They need to update, better access," said another. "New Jersey Transit access is shoddy. Just needs to improve, and if this hub helps that process, then that would be a great plan."
Even though the City Council voted 47-1 in favor of the 10 year permit, many say moving the Garden is a terrible idea. It's been home to some of the city's most memorable moments, like the Rangers' curse-busting Stanley Cup win in 1994.
"This is historic," said one person. "The Garden, Madison Square Garden. You can't move it."
"Madison Square Garden is an institution right here in the city, and if people move it, it's not going to be good," said another.
The Garden has moved before. It used to be on 26th Street and 50th Street before opening at its current location in 1968. The clock is now ticking to figure out what happens next.