By virtue of a 47-1 (!) New York City Council vote yesterday, Madison Square Garden has been granted an extension of it's operating permit?for the next 10 years. Mayor Bloomberg had recommended a 15-year extension and the Garden itself was hoping for literally an infinite extension, but the Council decided upon 10. The Garden?has to renew this permit every so often to retain the right to continue existing on top of Penn Station. In 1963, the old Penn Station was demolished to make way for the transit/sports sandwich that now sits on the site, consisting of Penn Station and the Garden, and was given a 50-year operating permit.
The reason this extension is so significant and possibly the beginning of the end for the Garden, is that the City Council seems to have every intention of kicking the Garden out of Penn Station after the 10 years is up. That time frame is the Council's guess as to how long it will take the city to come up with funding and, you know, a plan as to how to rebuild Penn Station.