Governor Kathy Hochul is preparing to relocate Madison Square Garden to a permanent new home on the site of Dewitt Clinton Park, a 5.8 acre city park in a trendy section of Manhattan, overlooking the Hudson River between 52nd and 54th Streets. The relocation of the nearly 20,000-seat multi-use arena event center is intended to accelerate Hochul’s sweeping improvement plan for Penn Station, which sits under the 60s-era venue that critics have always lamented as congested and misplaced.
The Governor believes that the new arena’s construction could be completed in as little as three years, and she wants to hire a ‘star architect’ with deep ties to New York to begin designing the facility as soon as possible. Hochul envisions that the arena will ‘sit on-top’ of glassy television studios at street level, which she hopes that businessman James Dolan will populate with nationally-broadcasted sports and entertainment programming on MSG’s television network.
Many of the studio spaces will include in-studio audiences and others will overlook the Hudson River. Hochul believes that national programing will help improve the city’s image, believing that New York City’s waterfront has gone under-appreciated in the national consciousness.
“The new arena is expected to be a super-modern, super-comfortable venue in a corner of Manhattan that is very centrally located but doesn’t feel as hyper-congested and gritty as the 33rd Street location,” an official with Empire State Development explains. “The new arena’s construction cost is expected to cost New York State taxpayers $800 million, which is the estimated fair market cost of using eminent domain to acquire MSG’s interests in the property.”
Dolan, the longtime CEO of MSG, prefers to collaborate with the Hochul administration, and is likely to ink a public-private partnership deal in order to avoid a costly drawn-out litigation with the State.
Hochul is willing to use eminent domain to acquire the park from the City, but believes she will have the endorsement of Mayor Eric Adams — who shares her goal of expediting transit and public space improvements at Penn Station. While Adams is concerned about the loss of public space in the neighborhood, Hochul plans to replace the 5.8 acres of public space by acquiring and redeveloping additional piers as park space along the Hudson River in the immediate vicinity of the facility.
The facility will accommodate boxing, mixed martial arts, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, and national concert tours.
The old Madison Square Garden will be demolished and it’s 250,000-square-foot site between 33rd 31st Streets will be repurposed as a large public square that will sit above Penn Station’s loading platforms and in front of a glassy new entrance atrium that was announced by the Governor last month.
this story is literal fake news — a badly-done satire claiming that Madison Square Garden will be relocated to DeWitt Clinton Park in Hell's Kitchen — but it has all of the neighborhood Facebook groups in a total frenzy.— Nick Garber (@nick_garber) January 13, 2022
not great https://t.co/PjjcEJtzvj