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MSG Wants To Stay Above Penn Station Forever

The future of Penn Station and Madison Square Garden have been a priority for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and her predecessor.

Madison Square Garden has asked the city to extend its permit that is set to run out this summer to allow it to stay on the property permanently.

MSG's presence above Penn Station was extended back in 2013 until this July, Crain’s New York Business reports, but it has now asked to see if it can stay there forever. The 10-year extension was to enable MSG to find a new place, but it will now lobby the city to avoid having to move.

MSG said in a statement to Crain's that “no realistic proposal or financial model for moving the Garden has ever been presented.”

But the cost to keep the arena above the station is significant. Upgrading the Long Island Rail Road corridor in Penn Station cost $600M because of the need to support trucks entering the stadium, per the publication. The beams that support MSG mean it is harder to make passenger improvements.

“We’re going to be a hard negotiator for the people of the city, to get the best deal for the people of the city,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.

In 2021, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a plan for Penn Station’s redevelopment  that would involve a new concourse inside the station, 8 acres of open space, bicycle parking and benches. It would also see the construction of 10 new mixed-use skyscrapers, which would be exempt from city zoning laws.

The plan received state government approval in July. MSG networks are under financial pressure, and announced it would consider selling stakes in the Knicks and the Rangers in order to raise funds.

MSG Sports owns the Knicks and Rangers, and MSG Entertainment owns the arena and other venues in the city. James Dolan runs both businesses, and has said for some time he wants to keep the companies family-owned.

Related reportedly approached MSG with a design to build a new stadium at Hudson Yards, but MSG didn’t like the plan and deemed it “unworkable.” Hochul herself put the talks on ice, a city official source told Crain’s last year, because she didn’t want disputes between companies while she was shepherding her plans for Penn Station through various authorities.