A New York City Council voted for Madison Square Garden to secure a five-year permit this week — which did not align with the permanent permit MSG sought after.

According to The City, Council member Erik Bottcher (D-Manhattan) spoke-up during the Zoning and Franchising Subcommittee meeting, noting that the loading setup for concerts interferes with transit activity at Penn Station, located underneath MSG.

“Because of this use conflict, at this time the Council cannot determine the long-term viability of an arena at this location,” Bottcher said. “Therefore five years is an appropriate term for this special permit.”

Now, the permit will head to the full Council, where Mayor Eric Adams can veto the permit, if he chooses.

MSG expressed its disappointment in the decision, as MSG CEO James Dolan had applied for a new special permit to fill its 22,000 seats, as well as the 10-year permit sought by the City Planning Commission. The City noted that Dolan called-out the fact that MSG is being treated differently than other sporting venues in the city that do not need to continuously apply for permits.

MSG released the following statement after the vote:

“A short-term special permit is not in anyone’s best interest and undermines the ability to immediately revamp Penn Station and the surrounding area. The committees have done a grave disservice to New Yorkers today, in a shortsighted move that will further contribute to the erosion of the City – that’s true now and will be true five years from now.”

For years, MSG has not only been a top destination for sporting and entertainment events in New York City, but across the country. The legendary venue, which opened in the late ’60s, is the second-busiest music venue in the world in terms of ticket sales, Pollstar reports. It has hosted big-name acts like Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, George Harrison, and The Grateful Dead.

Last Updated on August 30, 2023