Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, has been told that it must move out within 10 years according to the New York Times. The New York City Council voted to limit Madison Square Garden’s permit to 10 years as they plan on renovating and expanding Penn Station, the mass transit station that exists directly below MSG.
“This is the first step in finding a new home for Madison Square Garden and building a new Penn Station that is as great as New York and suitable for the 21st century,” said Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Madison Square Garden is forced to find a new home, as the current arena is the fourth to bear that name. The first ever MSG was built in 1874. That was replaced in 1890 by another building in the same location. In 1925, a third Madison Square Garden was built on Eighth Avenue and 49th Street, housing the Rangers and later the Knicks until it was demolished in 1968 for the MSG that we all know and love today.
James Dolan, the Knicks and Rangers owner who also controls the arena, issued a statement in response to the vote that will force him and his teams out of their long-time home.
“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,” he said Wednesday. “We now look forward to the reopening of the arena in the fall of 2013.”
This news comes at an inopportune time for Dolan as the arena is nearing the finish of a $968 million renovation and overhaul that has taken place over the last few years. The project, which is set to finish in the fall, was a known risk for Dolan as a potential “eviction” was always a possibility.
It seems that both teams could potentially move to a rebuilt Nassau Coliseum if this eviction does come to fruition. However, whatever new home is found will almost certainly keep the legendary name that is “Madison Square Garden.” But chances are that another vote in the coming years gives Dolan an extension and we don’t have to see what is arguably the most famous venue in sports move out any time soon.