Madison Square Garden, the world's most famous arena, sits directly atop New York's Penn Station--NYC's biggest transportation hub, indisputable urban eyesore, and location of some of the city's most underrated gyro vendors. In order to occupy the space above Penn Station, the NYC Council needed to vote on the length of a renewed permit. While the previous permit was for 50 years, the city council voted last month (with a final vote to happen this month) to evict the Garden within 10 years--meaning that after that time is up, the Knicks and Rangers will need to relocate--whether it be somewhere in the city or--dare we say it--the good old Long Island.
The New York Post of all places has laid out a logical and plausible scenario in which we could see the Rangers and Knicks hitting up the bagel places and doctor-filled neighborhoods of Nassau County:
Just last week, the Garden, which owns the New York Knicks and Rangers, became one of two finalists competing to rebuild and run the Nassau Coliseum. The Garden proposes to move one of three teams to Nassau: the New York Liberty (women’s basketball), a minor-league hockey team or a team from the National Basketball Association’s D-League.
Now, the company won’t say if it would contemplate relocating the Knicks or Rangers. But consider this:
* The New York Islanders are ditching Nassau for Brooklyn in 2015, giving the city two pro hockey and two pro basketball teams and leaving Nassau with none.
* City Hall is itching to oust the Garden from its current site. The city claims that the Garden is blocking a Penn Station makeover. What makes this so ludicrous is that none of the key players — Amtrak, NJ Transit and the MTA — has a plan, much less the funding, for a redo.
* In June, a City Council committee voted to evict the Garden within 10 years. (A final vote is expected this month.)
Never mind that the company owns the property. Never mind that the Garden is a major boon to the city’s economy — and to its cultural vitality. And never mind that no one can think of another place for the Garden within the city.
Will this happen? Probably not. Like a lot of articles people read, this was simply an attempt to get people slightly outraged/talking. If the Rangers and Knicks end up being forced to leave their current spot, I'd guess that the Garden will find some area way uptown to develop a build a new arena/go HAM on gentrification/ensure that the rent is too damn high. Nobody's evil enough to have two heartbeats of the American sports world leave their roots. Though it seems that a good deal of people are, and will continue, trying to be.
[H/T: Bob's Blitz]