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Saturday, December 2, 2023

MSG Entertainment Outlines Its Position On Garden Special Operating Permits And Responds To Misleading Call To Relocate Site | MSG Entertainment


NEW YORK, NY – Madison Square Garden Entertainment (“MSG Entertainment”) has submitted a ULURP application to the New York City Department of City Planning to seek a permanent Special Operating Permit for Madison Square Garden after the current ten-year expiry of July 2023 Licensed on 24th.

Employing thousands of people, Madison Square Garden is an important economic driver, bringing New York City nearly $2 billion in annual economic benefits, and is home to some of the most important sports, entertainment and cultural events. No other major stadium or arena in New York City requires a special permit to operate, and the company believes it is only appropriate that the special permit process in New York City be fair and consistent.

Also, calls from all sides linking the extension of the permit to the opportunity to relocate the garden are wrong. The company believes that continued confusion over The Garden’s ownership has led to attempts to use the special permit process to drive discussions around a wholly impractical effort to relocate The Garden. In fact, MSG Entertainment owns full ownership of the arena, the land it sits on, and the air above it—no public leases of any kind.

Five core points explain why now is the time to grant MSG a special license on a permanent basis:

– According to Empire State Development, any plan to relocate The Garden would cost an estimated $8.5 billion in public funds — an unfathomable sum better suited to many of the city’s other priorities.

— There hasn’t been a substantive conversation about relocating the gardens since the city granted its last permit a decade ago. In fact, no realistic proposal or financial model for relocating the garden was ever presented. This includes that during 2007-2008, through no fault of MSG, discussions of moving MSG to the Farley Building never came close to being feasible due to political and financial considerations.

– As associated with the Penn Station complex, Moynihan Station has undergone landscaping on the west side of 8th Avenue and has begun to substantially improve the east side of Penn Station. None of these jobs require the garden to be moved.

– Our millions of fans and thousands of employees love and depend on our location and proximity to public transportation and don’t want the garden to move.

– We are partners in NYC’s bid to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention, so NYC obviously wants MSG to stay in our location for that event, as well as the many high profile events and occasions that bring positive attention, fans and opportunities New York income.


A public statement in support of Madison Square Garden’s retention in its current location

New York City Mayor Eric Adams

February 7, 2023 – Media availability at an unrelated press conference:

“MSG is a real win for us, it’s very important in our DNC plans and obviously being able to have an arena of this size allows us to do some great things. We have our sport here team, to hold an event here – we will consider the interests of the city in our decisions.”

[When asked if he likes where it is now]: “Madison Square Garden? Yeah, I know… I think it’s a great location – 34th Street, Penn Station, people don’t have to drive in. They can use public transportation. You have 7 Line, Line A. It’s just a good place for it. I’m glad it’s there.

October 4, 2022 – Interview with MSG Network:

“We want the gardens to be here. We love them being here and I look forward to many, many years to come.”

Tom Wright, President and CEO, Regional Planning Association

January 31, 2023 – As quoted in The New York Times about MSG’s special permission:

“My thinking on this has changed a lot. I really believe we can get a really great Penn Station without having to move the garden.”

December 14, 2022 – To speak at Crain’s New York event: The Penn Station Project: What it means for the future of New York City:

“We’ve been pushing to move Madison Square Garden for over 10 years because we didn’t think we could create a station without doing that. I’ve had a few changes in the process over the past two years, so I’m in the current one Different places…gardens have said they want to stay where they are and it makes sense to them… having an arena as close to traffic as possible is actually regional Good point of view. It’s a good thing that people take the bus to these events instead of driving or otherwise getting there and I think gardens are a valuable activity and use in that area so it’s important it’s that area A big part of that. For me, the big change in my thinking is that the MTA, Amtrak, and NJ Transit have been consulting and finding out how to renovate Penn Station without moving the gardens over the last few years… I’m starting to believe that if you can’t move the garden then forcing the garden to move as part of the process is a big mistake because what you’re doing is adding to the cost of the whole project – NY state cost and you’re spending in one area It, frankly, is money that could be better spent on other transportation investments and other things.”

Richard Ravitch, former Lieutenant Governor of New York

December 14, 2022 – To speak at Crain’s New York event: The Penn Station Project: What it means for the future of New York City:

“With all due respect, I have to tell you that I think the political opposition to relocating The Garden will needlessly delay the pace of federal funding needed to rebuild Penn, which should be the highest priority.”

Louis Coletti, President and CEO, Construction Industry Employers Association

December 14, 2022 – To speak at Crain’s New York event: The Penn Station Project: What it means for the future of New York City:

“We need to keep it going…I’m tired of talking about ‘the plan was right, now is the right time to move Madison Square Garden’. It’s not going to happen…”


(C) 2023 M2 Communication, via M2 PressWIRE


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