City Council to decide whether MSG's permit to reside over Penn Station should be extended

Darla Miles Image
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
City Council to decide whether MSG's permit to reside over Penn Station should be extended
The debate about Madison Square Garden's placement above Penn Station was brought to New York City Council Tuesday.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Another day means another debate about Madison Square Garden's placement.

"(Madison Square Garden) belongs in the heart of the city because it is the heart of the city," said Steve Schirripa, an actor known for his role in 'The Sopranos.'

"We strongly believe that the preferred alternative to address the many issues surrounding Penn Station is for the arena to relocate," said Layla Law-Gisiko of the Community Board Five.

On Tuesday, City Council heard testimony regarding MSG's request to continue getting special permission to operate above Penn Station.

Last week, the planning department recommended a 10-year special permit. State and local elected officials from that area are looking at three to five years.

"The special permit gives us leverage to ensure MSG accommodates changes in rail operations there," said Mark Levine, Manhattan borough president.

The one thing most people seem to agree on- the country's busiest passenger train station needs to be upgraded.

In today's testimony, many people argued that the existing configuration impedes safe and efficient movement of passenger's and restricts efforts to implement improvements.

But renovation and expansion are not the only concerns people have about MSG.

"Do you think it's fair that such a profitable enterprise should not pay property taxes to the people of New York?," asked Erik Bottcher, a democrat on City Council.

This hearing is just the first wave of impassioned testimony. City council will make its final decision on the permit extension after a month of public hearings.

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