The New York City Council signaled Monday that Madison Square Garden will receive a five-year extension on its permit atop one of the nation’s busiest transit hubs; it’s a move to put the pressure on owner James Dolan to cooperate with the long-held plan to rebuild Penn Station below it.
The permit would be the shortest ever granted to the “World’s Most Famous Arena.”
“This will give us the opportunity to come up with a lasting solution for Penn Station,” said Councilman Erik Bottcher (D-Manhattan) after the proposal survived the council’s Zoning Committee.
“It’ll give us the space and the time to come up with an answer to solve this puzzle — but not too much space and time,” Bottcher told reporters.
The Dolan family has argued that it should have an operating permit with no expiration date, and the owners have some public support for this idea, but Bottcher said this short leash would force Dolan to finally sit down with the Metropolitan Transit Authority to come to a deal over Penn Station.
The proposal will now head to the full City Council for a vote in September, when the panel is expected to approve it. Mayor Adams would then have to either approve or veto it.