The Barclays Center may not be the newest arena in New York City for very long as the City Council voted on Wednesday on a 10-year extension to Madison Square Garden’s lease with an eye on “World’s Most Famous Arena” moving out when that lease runs out.
“Madison Square Garden will have to move, and I think this permit sends the message that that work needs to begin now,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told Erin Durkin of the NY Daily News. “We need to make sure Penn Station becomes what we need it to be, a really 21st century grand entrance into the greatest city in the world, not … what Sen. [Daniel] Moynihan or others historically described as a bunch of rat tunnels that lead people in and out of the city every day.”
City Council members voted 47 to 1 in favor of the limited permit which can still potentially be renewed later on. This comes on the heels of the Knicks and Rangers owner, James Dolan, spending nearly $1 billion to renovate MSG. However, the need for improvements and expansion to Penn Station are becoming too much for the city to continue to ignore.
This doesn’t mean that the Garden is definitely going to be moved. Politics can be fickle and who knows what’s going to happen in 10 years. Aside from politics, the city will actually have to find a way to fund a new Penn Station before they actually force MSG to move and it seems highly unlikely that could get done within 10 years. Perhaps this is a prelude to a move in 20 years. Only time will tell.
In other, somewhat related news, a small group of Brooklyn Nets fans have formed a Facebook group to change the name of the New York Knicks to the Manhattan Knicks. Funny, but unfortunately it will never happen.