City Council Voted 47-1 For Extension; MSG Wanted Permit To Last In Perpetuity

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York City Council has voted to limit Madison Square Garden’s permit to operate at its current spot above Penn Station to 10 years.

The Council voted 47-1 on Wednesday on the 10-year limit. Councilman Charles Barron was the lone dissenting vote.

The Garden had requested to operate at the site in perpetuity. The city planning commission recommended a 15-year extension.

“Madison Square Garden will have to move and I think this permit sends a message that that work needs to begin now,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said following the vote.

Civic organizations are campaigning to move Madison Square Garden to another location so that Penn Station can be overhauled.

Quinn said the 10-year plan will eventually help Penn Station rise above ground.

“Not I guess what Sen. [Daniel Patrick] Moynihan or others historically described as a bunch of rat tunnels that lead people in and out of the city every day,” said Quinn. “I believe we will come to a plan moving forward and I think the fact that the permit is going to expire is going to create the urgency to make that a reality.”

Kim Kerns, a spokeswoman for the Garden, noted that the arena is in the midst of a three-year renovation costing nearly $1 billion.

Kerns said Madison Square Garden has operated at its current site “for generations.”

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