NEW YORK CITY-The home of the Knicks and the Rangers is expected to receive an upgrade as Madison Square Garden officials hire Brisbin Brook Beynon for a $300-million renovation effort. The Canadian firm handled a sports feature for Toronto’s 2008 Olympic bid.

Word of the plan comes as city and state officials held a ceremony to send off a bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. A key component to that effort is the New York Sports and Convention Center, which would also be a home base for the New York Jets. The Garden’s owner, Cablevision, has been a vocal opponent of the West Side stadium initiative.

The Garden plan, which was originally announced more than a year ago, includes changes all over the arena to the concourses, suites, locker rooms and staging areas. The effort is expected to begin in 2006. This Garden incarnation–the famed arena has changed locations since 1874–cost $116 million and opened in 1968.

Jones Lang LaSalle was selected as project manager for the effort. Project management services the company provides include developing and managing overall strategic plans, master budgets and schedules, and assembling the professional team that will carry out the work. Raymond Quartararo, managing director, of Jones Lang LaSalle’s New York office will lead the team overseeing the assignment.

In a just released Quinnipiac University poll, by a 64% to 30% margin, New York City voters support the city’s bid to host the 2012 Olympics; however by a 77% to 17% margin, New Yorkers oppose building the West Side stadium unless the stadium generates enough income to pay off the money the city and state would borrow to help build it. Voters disagree 47% to 39% with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s claim that without the stadium the city will not win the 2012 Olympic bid.

“New Yorkers want the Olympics, but there is little love for the proposed West Side stadium. If Mayor Bloomberg wants that stadium, he’ll have to convince voters that we can’t get the Olympics without it and that we won’t have to pay for it,” says Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Yesterday, Gov. George Pataki and Bloomberg participated in a ceremony on the Brooklyn Bridge to help the city send off New York’s final major submission to the International Olympic Committee. The city is competing with four others for the right to host the 2012 Games: London, Madrid, Moscow and Paris. The winner will be selected on July 6, 2005.

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