It's just as we suspected yesterday. Capital New York reports that the city granted Madison Square Garden a permit to operate for another 15 years. And, just as the arena wanted, there's the option to extend it in perpetuity if MSG agrees to cooperate with the railroad lines in its belly on certain vital measures to improve Penn Station. After months of bouts, the decision is a severe blow to those who believe the whole venue should just be relocated to make way for a transit hub that not only functions below ground but looks attractive at the street level, too.
The saga over renewing MSG's expired permit divided New Yorkers into two camps. The first wanted to limit the arena's permit so that that it could ultimately get razed in the name of a newly redesigned Penn. On the other side, of course, stood the hulking sports and concert venue, run by the Dolan family, which told the world in no uncertain terms that it really wasn't going anywhere and downright could not be forced to move. So far it's MSG: 1; Archicritics, Community Board Members, and Preservationists: 0. But let's see what kinds of concessions the city wants to extract from the Garden over the next decade and a half before the final score is settled.
· City Gives Madison Square Garden 15 More Years, But With A Huge Loophole Intact [Capital New York]
· How To Fix Penn Without Tearing Down MSG, In Free Verse [Curbed]
· All Madison Square Garden coverage [Curbed]