The self-proclaimed "World's Most Famous Arena" may have to find a new address by 2023.
The New York City Council voted 47-1 Wednesday to extend Madison Square Garden's operating permit at its current spot above Penn Station by only 10 years, as opposed to the 15 years recommended by New York City's planning commission. The Madison Square Garden Company, the owners of the building, had wanted to operate at the site in perpetuity.
The vote was cheered by civic organizations who have wanted the Garden moved so that the city could focus on renovating Penn Station, the present incarnation of which was built in 1964, four years before the arena.
Alliance for a New Penn Station said the council "has made clear that now is time to get to work and build the Penn Station that New York City and the region desperately need in order to improve transit access and spur economic growth in the city and throughout the region."
Kim Kerns, a spokeswoman for the Madison Square Garden Co., noted that the arena is in the midst of a three-year renovation costing nearly $1 billion.
"Madison Square Garden has operated at its current site for generations and has been proud to bring New Yorkers some of the greatest and most iconic moments in sports and entertainment," Kerns told the Associated Press.
A building called Madison Square Garden has been a part of New York's sporting and entertainment scenes since 1879. The name comes from Madison Square Park at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 23rd Street, where the first two Madison Square Gardens were sited. The third Garden opened in 1925 and was located on 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets. The current arena, the home of the NBA's Knicks and NHL's Rangers, is the fourth incarnation.
Last month, Council Speaker Christine Quinn told Garden officials in a letter that finding a new location for the arena is the only way to address the development of a new Penn Station and the surrounding area.
Vin Cipolla, president of the Municipal Art Society, called the rebuilt train station "the key infrastructure and development project of our time and an essential investment in the future of our city." He added to the AP, "Now is the time to make it happen."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.