A new report details what’s in store for Madison Square Garden amidst controversy surrounding the venue.
Madison Square Garden is one of the most iconic venues in wrestling history, but the future of its existence has been the subject of recent debate. With the New York City Planning Commission renovating the nearby Penn Station, some have been calling for the venue to be torn down and relocated, while others want it to remain intact.
Now, a report from Fox 5 reveals that the Planning Commission is now recommending a special ten-year permit for the venue to continue to operate above Penn Station. The report notes that the Planning Commission will hold MSG accountable to working with the redevelopment efforts in the area.
Planning Commission Chair Dan Garodnick says that MSG owner James Dolan has made major concessions, agreeing to work with the MTA, Amtrak, and New Jersey Transit in their plans to renovate Penn Station. He had this to say:
“We hope and expect that the rail agencies will deliver a great plan for Penn Station, and MSG has committed to collaborating with them.”
“We won’t just take them at their word. We are requiring MSG to come back to the Commission once those plans are 30% complete to ensure that the arena remains appropriately compatible.”
However, there are some who believe the ten-year permit is too long, such as Layla Law-Gisiko, Chair of the Land Use and Zoning Committee with Manhattan’s Community Board 5. The Board instead recommends a three-year permit with the ultimate goal of relocating the venue to allow full renovation of the transit hub. Law-Gisiko said:
“We need the railroads to be able to negotiate. We need Penn Station to be renovated and improved and with MSG crouching above Penn Station that is not going to happen.”
The Regional Plan Association, however, supports the ten-year permit, with representative Brian Fritsch believing Madison Square Garden can work with redevelopment efforts to create a state-of-the-art hub. Fritsch said:
“I think it makes a lot of sense. There are some really good plans to renovate the existing part of the station that we need to take very seriously.”
WWE SmackDown was held inside Madison Square Garden on July 7th, and the show set the record for the highest grossing WWE event in the venue’s history.