MSG takes a page from Times Square’s neon lights

February 11, 2013 12:30PM

A new deal with the city could turn Madison Square Garden into a Times Square-like neon playground. According to DNAinfo, MSG representatives are seeking permission to waive existing rules and allow them to install four 77-foot LED display panels on the stadium’s exterior — almost double the size of the current 40-foot signage.

The request came at a Community Board 5 land use committee meeting last week as part of a $1 billion plan to renovate the arena’s facade and to improve its surrounding spaces. The plan calls for a massive lit sign on each of the structure’s exterior escalator towers, displaying information regarding events, sponsorships and advertisements.

“We want to create a pedestrian-friendly experience, enhance presence as an iconic destination, and bring excitement of the interior into the exterior of the area,” Sidney Nielson, an urban designer, said during the MSG presentation to the board.

However, the plan has not been enthusiastically received by some, who believe the new signage would be out of character with the neighborhood.

“It isn’t Times Square,” Raju Mann, acting chair of Community Board 5’s land use committee, said. “I don’t see how it will fit into the surrounding neighborhood, with residential neighborhoods nearby and a landmarked building across the street.” [DNAInfo]Christopher Cameron