NEW YORK CITY - This has been a fight, in part, between David and Goliath. The community surrounding Madison Square Garden up against MSG Owner James Dolan and in this case, the little guy is winning.
The vote is by City Council's Land Use Committee extending Madison Square Garden's special permit to operate for just 5 years instead of ten.
MSG Owner James Dolan wanted the special permit to last forever.
Community Board 5 has been pushing for just a 3-year extension.
"We're advocating for 3 years, but 5 years is really great. We are very, very satisfied with that, and it rarely happens especially when you're dealing with a very, very powerful stakeholder in the city that, up until now, has always gotten his way," Dolan said.
Community Board 5 and some City Council members say the 5-year extension keeps Dolan on a short leash and forces him to cooperate with plans to update and modernize Penn Station which is located below MSG. MSG would have to work with the MTA, Amtrak and NJ Transit to renovate the transit hub.
"This will give us the opportunity to come up with a lasting solution for Penn Station," Manhattan City Council Member Erik Bottcher said.
"It'll also set a clock to help get everyone to the table to figure this out," Law-Gisiko said. "It is truly a win for New York."
MSG releasing a statement saying, in part, "We are disappointed. 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."
It is "… a grave disservice to New Yorkers."
Now it is up to City Council for a full vote.