The Nets have begun building a billion dollar arena. The Knicks are about to begin an $850 million renovations to 40-year-old Madison Square Garden, a project that will take three years and force the WNBA's Liberty to move out, possibly to The Prudential Center in Newark, as well as other disruptions at the arena.
Now, one of the biggest developers in the city is telling Jim and Chuck Dolan, the Knicks owners, that no matter what they do with the renovations, "the site would still be inferior to the new arena for the New Jersey Nets that is under construction in Brooklyn", reports the Times. So the developer, Steve Roth, is proposing to build a new Garden within the Farley Post Office across 8th Avenue from the current one and turn the "Mecca of Basketball" into a giant shopping mall and high rise complex. The Knicks and the city are "intrigued by the idea," reports the Times.
Building a new arena across the street would help the Knicks' long-term, but it could also make them less attractive to free agents. The Knicks use the prospect of playing in basketball's "Mecca" as a recruiting tool.
Madison Square Garden Move Is Said to Be Sought - Charles V. Bagli - New York Times