It looks like The World’s Most Famous Arena is moving out. The New York City Council has voted to make Madison Square Garden-home away from home for many of music move out of its midtown location atop Penn Station sometime in the next ten years. The Council voted—47 to 1—to move the Garden to move in order to make room for improvements at Penn Station.
“Madison Square Garden will have to move, and I think this permit sends the message that that work needs to begin now,” City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn said. “We need to make sure Penn Station becomes what we need it to be—a really 21st century grand entrance into the greatest city in the world.”
MSG has had its home above Penn Station for 45 years. This is the Garden’s fifth home since its opening in 1879. Since it opened in its new location in 1968, the Garden has hosted performances from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, The Who, and the Rolling Stones; it also serves as the home to the New York Knicks and Rangers.
Garden owners and celebrities like Spike Lee and former Knicks stars Earl Monroe and Walt “Clyde” Frazier have been vocal against the move and lobbied the Council to extend MSG’s permit indefinitely.
However, because the City Planning Department already approved the permit, the Council vote sealed the deal. It does not need the OK from Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Madison Square Garden Company had this to say in a statement: “Madison Square Garden has operated at its current site for generations and has been proud to bring New Yorkers some of the greatest and most iconic moments in sports and entertainment. We now look forward to the reopening of the arena in the fall 2013 following the completion of our historic, three-year, nearly billion-dollar transformation, which will ensure our future is as bright as our celebrated past.”