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Hulu Theater could become a door to Penn Station, if MTA gets its way

Depeche Mode at Madison Square Garden
MSG in 2017 (more by Ester Segretto)

It’s only been a few months since Hulu signed a deal to rename MSG’s theater the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, and now it looks like that theater could be in trouble, if the MTA gets its way. Sources tell the NY Times that there have been talks to remake Penn Station into “a site that is better for travelers” and one of the options is removing the 5,500-seat Hulu Theater to make room for a “grand entrance” to Penn from 8th Ave. From the article:

MSG Networks hired Mr. Lhota as a board member in 2016 and The Madison Square Garden Company hired him to its board last December. He had previously worked as the executive vice president for The Madison Square Garden Company. The two posts are expected to pay about $300,000 combined annually.

The December hire, which was first reported by Politico, stunned transit activists because of the Garden’s reliance on the M.T.A. — Penn Station has six subway lines and houses the Long Island Rail Road, which is also operated by the authority.

Talks have been going on for years about remaking Penn Station into a site that is better for travelers and also takes advantage of the opportunity for development in a thriving real estate market. But negotiations started heating up again late last fall, according to three sources familiar with the process who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

One of the options, the sources said, is the removal of the 5,500-seat Hulu Theater to make room for a grand entrance to Penn Station from Eighth Avenue. That would require compensating the Garden, and the size of the compensation is a major point of contention.

The Garden’s top executive, James L. Dolan, is a longtime donor to Mr. Cuomo, but advocates said it could not hurt to hire Mr. Lhota during the talks.

Mr. Lhota said he had recused himself from any discussions about the overhaul of Penn Station. A Madison Square Garden spokeswoman said in a statement, “We believe Joe is a valued, independent member of our board who acts with the highest integrity.”

You can read more here and stay tuned for more updates to this story.

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