After weighing several options as to whether to renovate or rebuild, it appears Madison Square Garden owners Cablevision Systems Corp. have decided to move the celebrated New York arena from its current location to a new site across the street as part of the James A. Farley Post Office project.
A source close to the situation told Billboard.biz that the new Garden is targeted to be completed by 2011, at a cost expected to be in the $800 million range. Given the tendency for such massive venue projects to exceed budget projections, this could be the world’s first $1 billion arena project.
Since 1879, the Garden has had four incarnations, moving to its current site atop Penn Station in 1968. The new arena deal would include the demolition of the current Garden arena. Cablevision had been considering possible renovation plans that would have cost about $350 million (Billboard, Dec. 17, 2005).
Madison Square Garden is the top-grossing arena in the world, hosting about 60 concerts in 2005.
Moving the arena to such a nearby location raises some intriguing possibilities to celebrate the current Garden’s final date and the new Garden’s grand opening.