MANHATTAN (PIX11) — Mayor Eric Adams wants Madison Square Garden to stay where it is, he said Tuesday.
The City Council permit for MSG to remain at the Manhattan location expires on July 31, 2023. Adam’s Tuesday comments are a change from statements he made back in September when he noted the spot could work for housing or “real investment.”
“And if that fits into Madison Square Garden moving to another location, maybe it will help the Knicks win,” Adams said back in September. “So we should be willing to speak with Mr. Dolan and see how it fits into the overall scheme.”
Adams on Tuesday said MSG’s spot is key for visitors.
“People don’t have to drive in. They could use public transportation. You have the 7 line, the A line,” he said. “ It’s just a good place for it to be. I’m happy with it being there.”
An MSG Entertainment spokesperson said they appreciate Adams’ support. MSG Entertainment is looking forward to “participating in the special permit process to ensure the Penn Station area is a more welcoming environment.”
“To date, there have been no substantial conversations about moving The Garden since the City granted the last permit 10 years ago,” the spokesperson said. “In fact, no realistic proposal or financial model for moving The Garden has ever been presented and, according to Empire State Development, any plan to relocate The Garden would cost an estimated $8.5 billion in public funding — an unfathomable figure better used for the City’s many other priorities.”
Mayor Adams said the arena is essential in allowing New York City to host many large-scale events. Still, he said, he’s going to negotiate to get the best deal for New Yorkers.
“Any use of city resources, we’re going to be a hard negotiator, but it’s not going to be based on the win-loss record of the New York Knicks. It’s going to be based on what’s the best deal for the city,” he said.
Some, including State Sen. Brad Hoylman, have said they want MSG to move to open up more space for Penn Station.
“They haven’t paid taxes, property taxes, in 40 years, saving over $800 million for themselves,” Hoylman told PIX11 about Madison Square Garden in September. “And they’re the beneficiary of a special permit at the City Council level too. So the city and state have leverage here in convincing MSG to move to a new location so we can open up Penn Station for the millions of commuters who use the station every day.”