By a vote of 47 to 1, the Council voted to extend the Gardenâ€™s special operating permit for merely a decade â€” 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.
â€œThis 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,â€ said Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker. â€œThis is an opportunity to reimagine and redevelop Penn Station as a world-class transportation destination.â€
So let me get this straight, James Dolan spends almost a billion dollars of his own money and then the New York City Council says, “we want this back in 10 years because we seen an opportunity to redevelop Penn Station.” Â Wouldn’t it have been wise to say that before the permits were issued?
To think that one can invest over $2 billion over a site over 50 years, make it into a global icon and then get told to move by New York City Council is pretty shocking. Â Of course Dolan has the upper hand, I am not sure if the New York public would like the idea of the Knicks and Rangers moving out of Manhattan but even the New York market. Â Those are loyal and affluent fan bases that reach far beyond the 20,000 people that watch each game in person. Â I am not a fan of James Dolan but don’t count him out of this yet.