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The N.Y. City Planning Commission yesterday "denied Madison Square Garden's request to operate indefinitely on its current site, reopening questions about moving the arena and shifting a hot-button political issue" to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, according to Laura Kusisto of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The commission "voted unanimously Wednesday to give the 45-year-old arena a 15-year operating permit, creating a political countdown for a deal to move the arena from 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue and clear the way to rebuild Pennsylvania Station, which sits below the complex." The commission typically grants such permits "indefinitely, but in the case of the Garden, the seemingly routine process has been complicated by long-standing issues around improving Penn Station" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/23). Commission Chair Amanda Burden said, "I don't think anyone would disagree that the best outcome for New York City would be a relocated Madison Square Garden and a rebuilt Penn Station." In N.Y., Matt Chaban noted one person who "may well disagree and could rule in the Garden's favor" is Quinn, a "mayoral hopeful who will have the final say on the plan in the next two months." Quinn so far has "declined to take a position," but was "an ally of the Garden's owners when they worked together to defeat Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal for a new football stadium on the West Side." MSG "remains defiant in its rights to the site," and the "possibility of a lawsuit against the city remains" (CRAINSNEWYORK.com, 5/22).
In Las Vegas, Paul Takahashi reports a tax-increment financing plan "may no longer be part of the UNLV stadium bill." Assembly Bill 335 was "intended to create a special tax district that would partially fund a proposed new stadium at UNLV's Maryland Parkway campus." UNLV College of Hotel Administration Dean and UNLV Now project head Don Snyder said that while the bill "may still outline the boundaries of a potential new tax district, it's now unlikely it will have any language pertaining to the actual collection of these taxes" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 5/23).
ONE-MAN WOLF PACK: In Reno, Chris Gabel notes Nevada's football field "will be named after longtime coach Chris Ault." Ault was the Nevada QB in the '60s and compiled a 233-109-1 record as a coach. AD Doug Knuth said that plans to "honor his time at Nevada were in the works" since '02. Chris Ault Field at Mackay Stadium "officially will be christened" Sept. 7 before Nevada's home opener (RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL, 5/23).
REDHAWKS' NEST: In Cincinnati, Rory Glynn noted Miami of Ohio's football program will "have a full-length practice field with a new FieldTurf surface this fall and an inflatable bubble by winter, upgrades that represent the first wave of an ambitious master facilities plan spearheaded by" new AD David Sayler. The plan, which is "being shared with donors now and will be made public in January, also includes improvements for facilities for basketball and ice hockey." Funding for the first three projects "already has been secured," as donors have "embraced the plan" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 5/19).
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Cal AD Sandy Barbour said of renovations to Memorial Stadium, "I think the concourses -- the width of the concourses -- and the availability of concession stands and restrooms have been a big boost to all of our fans." She added, "We're doing some things on the east rim for the 2013 season that have to do with concessions and restrooms and making those things a little more fan-friendly, but ultimately we would love to do a complete renovation of the east side, but it's gonna depend on funding, just like Phases One and Two did and our ability to take that on" (SBNATION.com, 5/22).
BOTTLE ROCKETS? Toledo AD Mike O'Brien said that the school is "taking steps to sell alcohol at its home football and basketball games." The TOLEDO BLADE noted school officials will "meet in the coming weeks to discuss joining a growing trend in college athletics." If approved, the Glass Bowl will "become the 12th on-campus major college football stadium to furnish alcohol and the 23rd stadium overall" (TOLEDOBLADE.com, 5/21).