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Dolans Say They Want to Stay Put

msg madison square garden front

Yesterday, the New York Sun received the following statement from a MSG spokesman when asked about Schumer’s call for the Port Authority to take over the project:

“Madison Square Garden has decided to move forward with our renovation previously announced in 2004. After exploring several alternatives, it has become clear that the only viable option is a renovation. Details will be available in the coming days. Madison Square Garden supports West Side redevelopment and applauds Senator Schumer’s involvement.”

This set off a flurry of media coverage, which we have listed below along with a few quotes from MAS president Kent Barwick.

From The New York Times:

“Kent Barwick, president of the Municipal Art Society, which has been supportive of the project but critical of the design for the new arena, said the Dolans had chosen an “extremely peculiar” moment to make their announcement, just when it appeared that the project’s financial problems were getting resolved.”

“‘It’s insulting to everybody,’ Mr. Barwick said of the Garden announcement. ‘This is the most significant project on the horizon for the city of New York. There’s no other transportation project that has so much promise to not only strengthen the transportation system but to spark development in a new section of town.'”

From the New York Sun:

“‘I don’t know if it’s a well-considered move on their part or a negotiating strategy, but it seems like peculiar timing,’ said the president of the Municipal Art Society, Kent Barwick who called the Moynihan Station project the most important project in New York City. Mr. Barwick said there is no reason why the entire plan should die even if Madison Square Garden backs out, as the required funds necessary to start work on the west end of the project are already in place.”

“‘The Garden doesn’t have the power to kill rail travel in New York, but they are not negotiating in good faith or respecting the integrity of the building they want to move into. It really is troublesome and they should be giving as much attention to this as they are to the selection of their next basketball coach,’ he said.”