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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Knicks, Rangers Caught Between MSG-Penn Station Conflict

  • Some NYC officials believe Madison Square Garden should relocate to accommodate Penn Station’s $7 billion reconstruction plan.
  • MSG is “disappointed” by the city’s five-year permit extension as James Dolan wants to operate above Penn Station permanently.
James Dolan's wish for a permanent permit to run Madison Square Garden over Penn Station was not met.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

A New York City council committee has approved a five-year permit to let Madison Square Garden continue operating above Penn Station. The midtown Manhattan train station will undergo a $7 billion reconstruction, which some city officials think could require the relocation of MSG.

MSG owner James Dolan hoped to secure a permanent permit to operate above Penn Station, while the city previously proposed a 10-year extension as The Garden’s current permit expired this year. 

NYC mayor Eric Adams has said he’d talk to Dolan about moving Madison Square Garden to accommodate Penn Station’s planned expansion. Still, the Knicks and Rangers owner has thus far been reluctant to pursue relocation plans. The World’s Most Famous Arena has been at its current home since 1968, while Penn Station is the country’s busiest passenger train station, and some officials believe MSG will need to relocate for proper upgrades to be completed.

“We are disappointed,” MSG Entertainment said in a statement. “The committees have done a grave disservice to New Yorkers today in a shortsighted move that will further contribute to the erosion of the city – that’s true now and will be true five years from now.”

MSG tallied a record revenue of $887 million for fiscal 2023 as both the Knicks and Rangers made the playoffs. The five-year permit allows city officials a window to coordinate Penn Station’s reconstruction plan with Dolan, who has a tense relationship with the city and threatened to stop selling alcohol at MSG in response to lawmakers taking issue with his use of facial recognition technology to ban his adversaries from the arena.

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