Brad Hoylman 's Blog

Weighing in on Madison Square Garden Special Permit Applications

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Earlier today, I submitted testimony to the New York City Planning Commission on Madison Square Garden’s (MSG) application for two special permits -- one to allow the operation in perpetuity of its 22,000 seat arena in area zoned to allow an arena of only 2,500 seats, and another to allow large LED advertising signs that exceed the surface area and use restrictions of the site’s existing zoning. As you may know, the original special permit expired on January 24, 2013 after a term of 50 years. In my testimony, I stressed the importance of Penn Station as a gateway to New York City and recommended that the special permit for the arena be renewed but limited to ten years to allow for a careful plan to be developed by all stakeholders that ensures the continued viability of both Penn Station and MSG. I firmly opposed the special permit to allow expanded LED signage. Please see my testimony below.