City Council unanimously approves new 5-year permit for Madison Square Garden

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, September 15, 2023
NYC Council grants new 5-year permit for Madison Square Garden
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NYC Council approved a new five-year permit for Madison Square Garden to continue to reside over Penn Station.

MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- The City Council unanimously voted to grant Madison Square Garden (MSG) a five-year permit, the shortest extension in the arena's history.

The approval now allows MSG to continue to operate above Penn Station in Manhattan.

"As invested members of our community, we are committed to improving Penn Station and the surrounding area, and we continue to collaborate closely with a wide range of stakeholders to advance this shared goal," an MSG Entertainment spokesperson said in a statement.

The Council said in exchange for the permit, MSG will have to come up with a transit management plan to aid in the overhaul of Penn Station.

"The greatest city in the world deserves the greatest transportation infrastructure in the world - and we should accept nothing less," said Councilmember Erik Bottcher in a statement about the renewal Thursday. "By granting Madison Square Garden a five year special permit, we're setting a clock that will bring all stakeholders to the table to fix Penn Station now."

The decision comes after the New York City Council Committee on Land Use approved a five-year permit for MSG back in August.

The Garden's owners had been pushing for an indefinite permit. However, the council subcommittee cited the ongoing conflict between Penn Station and MSG as reason to prevent the approval of a longer-term permit.

"We cannot wait five years before engaging again on this issue and developing a plan; we need to seize the moment and work now to develop a sustainable strategy for the region, and for the train station beneath it," said NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams at the time of the subcommittee's decision

The city is trying to leave its options open as it presses on with plans for a renovated Penn Station.

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