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How about a Baltimore Square Garden, too?

Cirque du Soleil is in town and setting up at Royal Farms Arena. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

If Baltimore is ever to have a new arena, one that seats about 21,000 fans and could attract NBA and NHL teams, and if that arena won’t fit on West Pratt Street near the Convention Center (“New arena ‘not recommended,’ but second hotel endorsed as part of Baltimore Convention Center expansion,” July 6), then it’s time to look again at Madison Square Garden, in New York City.

That world famous arena is built on the air rights above what is now Amtrak’s train rails, thus hiding those sad-looking tracks from public view while capitalizing on some extremely valuable real estate.

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Baltimore has some sad-looking railroad tracks, and we can do an arena above them, too, if some of the city’s more brainy ladies and gentlemen want badly enough to apply public resources (a municipal bond issue), private capital, and a driving desire to make it a priority. The “Monument City Arena” that I envision would be built on steel and concrete platforms along either the eastern or the western side of Penn Station. A bonus effect would be the needed upgrading of some blighted neighborhoods abutting our new coliseum.

Imagining it is fun; making it happen will be a huge challenge. But it will be well worth that effort when the NCAA Basketball Final Four shows up in our new arena. That will occur on the weekend after Baltimore hosts a Beyonce concert there, and just prior to our cagers winning the NBA finals while the Acela stops below.

Alan Shecter, Baltimore

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