MIDTOWN — He's moving in.
"Playing the Garden is an experience that never gets old," Joel said at a press event with MSG brass and Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the arena Tuesday, promising "a unique and memorable show every night we play."
Joel has played 46 shows at Madison Square Garden, which earlier had retired the number 12 in honor of his having played a dozen straight shows there in 2006. At the end of Tuesday's press event, the arena unveiled a new banner displaying Joel's name alongside the venue's three other franchises: The Rangers, Knicks and Liberty.
The concert series, which begins with four previously announced shows on Jan. 27, Feb. 3, March 23 and April 18, will run "for as long as his fans want him to come, which we expect will be a very long time," Madison Square Garden Company president Hank Ratner said.
The latest show was scheduled for May 9, and future concerts will be announced at a later date, added Melissa Orman, president of Madison Square Garden entertainment.
"Really, having you as our music franchise feels a little bit like having the pope as your parish priest," Madison Square Garden executive chairman James Dolan said, turning toward Joel. "I am thrilled to death."
Gov. Cuomo also lauded the announcement.
"How fitting it is that a New York icon joins another New York icon?" Cuomo said. "It is the perfect match."