Spitzer proposes another $1.2B in public money for MSG, Penn Station

With plans for a new Madison Square Garden and Penn Station faltering, the New York Times’ Charles Bagli reports, Gov. Eliot Spitzer has come up with a new plan to save the multi-billion-dollar project. Spitzer’s plan would require an additional $600 million apiece in city and state funds, while private developers Related Companies and Vornado Realty would put up “more than” the $550 million they had promised (Bagli doesn’t say how much more) – but get back additional development rights to erect office towers in the area.

Even then, it would leave an estimated funding of $650 million, which would presumably be filled by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which would take over control of the project from the state of New York. New York assemblymember Richard Brodsky, who heads the assembly’s committee on authorities, condemned the move, saying it would be allowing developers to “cherry pick” the agency offering the best deal.

If the Spitzer plan doesn’t go anywhere, MSG’s owners are moving ahead with a $350 million plan to renovate the 40-year-old arena, writes Bagli, adding luxury suites and restaurants and rebuilding “the arena’s seating bowel.” That would certainly explain the Knicks‘ play this season…

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7 comments on “Spitzer proposes another $1.2B in public money for MSG, Penn Station

  1. Rebuilding the seating bowl and adding more suites = the elimination of the blue seats for once and all.

    F U Dolan.

  2. Do we know for sure that’s what they have in mind? I certainly wouldn’t put it past them, but the trend these days is for “court-level” suites, which would take out one of the lower levels.

    (For non-New Yorkers who have no idea what I’m talking about: The “blue seats” are the local name for the 400 level at MSG, traditionally the cheap seats where the diehard fans sit. They haven’t been blue in about 20 years – I think they’re teal now – but then, we’re talking about fans whose favorite chant demeans an Islanders player who retired in 1988.)

  3. Somehow, after today, Spitzer may have a little less pull in getting something like this done.

  4. If spitzer leaves as governor it doesn’t matter the project will still get done anyway. Look at the new jersey giants and new jersey jets they got a stadium deal with acting governor codey.

  5. Neil, remember the last garden rennovation in 1990? Half the blueseats were ripped out to make way for boxes, and yes our beloved blue seats were dephiled with teal. :(

    Been trying to find the NYT article about that, but no luck.

  6. I remember it well, and no way it was half the blue seats. Maybe 20%, tops.

    That was the renovation that was financed with the property tax break that NYC is currently trying to take away from Cablevision, incidentally.

  7. Neil, have you been able to locate a picture of what the blueseats looked like pre-rennovation? I can’t seem to find any at all. I’d like to see a comparitive photo of the blueseats then and now.

    I wonder what the new Gov. will do with this plan?

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