Madison Square Garden Receives Eviction Notice from New York City Council

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2013

Madison Square Garden has played host to some of the greatest moments in sports and entertainment history ever since the venue opened in 1879. It has endured a few moves since then, and it appears as though another one is in order in 10 years' time.

According to Charles V. Bagli of The New York Times, the New York City Council decided by a vote of 47 to 1 that MSG's operating permit would be extended for just 10 years. That means the powers that be will either have to relocate the Garden or reapply within a decade.   

The main reason behind the New York City Council's desire to move MSG relates to Penn Station. There have been plans to renovate and expand Penn Station for quite some time, but Madison Square Garden has been viewed as a major obstacle in doing so.

Forcing MSG to relocate should set the wheels in motion when it comes to modernizing Penn Station. From Christine C. Quinn, City Council speaker (via Bagli):

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. This is an opportunity to re-imagine and redevelop Penn Station as a world-class transportation destination.

Not only would moving be inconvenient for MSG controller and New York Knicks owner James Dolan, but it would also put the recent Garden renovations to waste, as ESPN's J.A. Adande points out.

To be specific, a $968 million overhaul of the facility is scheduled to be completed by the fall. According to Bagli, Dolan's company didn't even acknowledge the 10-year timetable in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.

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. We now look forward to the reopening of the arena in the fall of 2013.

Moving is old hat for Madison Square Garden as the current building at 4 Pennsylvania Plaza is MSG's fourth different location. It officially opened in 1968, and it has served as the stage for a bevy of incredible events. The Knicks and New York Rangers have won championships, countless prize fights have occurred there, and even three editions of WWE's WrestleMania have rocked the Garden.

Despite all of that history and worldwide acclaim, Madison Square Garden will have to pack up and move yet again if the New York City Council ultimately gets its way.


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