June 26, 2004 NASHVILLE (Billboard) - The world's top-grossing arena could be headed for an extreme makeover.
According to a statement issued by Madison Square Garden spokesman Barry Watkins, the venerable arena "has started the process of a major renovation to create a state-of-the art facility and will do it without taxpayer money."
Cablevision, which owns the Garden, has sent out formal Requests for Proposals (RFP) in its search for a design firm to spearhead the renovation of the 20,697-capacity arena. The project is estimated in some published reports to cost as much as $370 million.
A source who has seen the RFP tells Billboard that the plan calls for work on the project to begin in October 2006 and conclude in time for the 2008-09 basketball and hockey seasons. The plan also stipulates that the building be open for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons of primary Garden tenants, basketball's New York Knicks and hockey's New York Rangers. That means most of the heavy lifting will take place in the summer months.
Most agents questioned believe that music tours will be routed to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., or Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., if the Garden is not available. Superstar acts have sometimes played all three venues on a tour.
The project would include new seating and luxury suites, as well as a new box office and a new entrance.
The Garden opened at its current location in 1968 and was last remodeled in 1989, when suites and the 5,610-seat Theater at Madison Square Garden were added.
The Garden is the No. 1 arena in the world, at least in terms of generating box-office revenue. MSG has topped the Billboard Boxscore list of top-grossing arenas for four years running, last year reporting $57.8 million from 106 events. The Theater was the fourth-ranked venue of its size at more than $18 million from 120 shows.
But the competitive dynamic of the market could change considerably down the road if proposed new arena projects in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Newark, N.J., come to fruition.
Some tour producers may appreciate an option. MSG, with its pricey stagehand bills and facility fee of more than $4 per ticket, is probably the most expensive arena in the country for producing shows, according to one agent. Still, the Garden remains a prestigious arena and is a milestone booking for any act.
December 14, 1996 - "This is a rare, high-strung kind of city," Buck Williams said. "But it's really electrifying playing in the Garden. The fans are phenomenal. They're loud, they're quite knowledgeable of the game. You don't really have to hype yourself up too much as a player to be focused and ready to play the game. It sort of jump-starts you."
Take the A,B,C,D,E,F,1 OR 2 train to 34th St.
Meter parking is available on 31st & 34th Streets.
No cameras or recording devices are allowed. No beverages allowed into the facility. No smoking in the arena.
Children under 2 do not need a ticket.
Directions to Madison Square Garden
(From Kennedy Airport) Take the Belt Parkway West to Grand Central Parkway West From there, take the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and proceed to Queens Midtown Tunnel and directly to midtown Manhattan. Madison Square Garden is located between 30th and 33rd Streets and 7th and 8th Avenues.
(From LaGuardia Airport) Take Grand Central Parkway West to Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Proceed to Queens Midtown Tunnel and directly to midtown Manhattan. Madison Square Garden is located between 30th and 34th Streets and 7th and 8th Avenues.
(From Newark Airport) Take New Jersey Turnpike North to Exit 16. Follow signs for the Lincoln Tunnel and once you get through, head south to 34th Street and east to 7th Avenue.
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
March 5, 2000 & March 17, 2002 - "Welcome to the magic world of Madison Square Garden, the world's most famous arena."
|Madison Square Garden Ranking by USRT|
|Fan Support|| 8|
|Concourses/Fan Comfort|| 6|
|Bonus: Spike Lee|| 3|
|Bonus: Knishes|| 2|
|Bonus: Pete's Beloved Knicks|| 5|
|Total Score|| 69|
Sitting atop Penn Station in the heart of Midtown Manhattan just a few blocks south of Times Square. Madison Square Garden embodies the flashiness and electricity that defines the Big Apple.
Opened for business in 1968, this is the fourth arena to be named Madison Square Garden, the first opening in 1874. Along with being the home of the NBA Knicks and NHL Rangers, this arena is also home to such world renowned events as the Westminster Dog Show and the Millrose Indoor Track and Field Championships. Of couse being the Garden this place is also a hallowed boxing arena where many great bouts have taken place, most notably Ali-Frazier in 1971.
Getting to the Venue
Best advice ... take the subway or a train! Traffic is your typical Manhattan mess, and getting around this city is a chore. Parking can be had for $20-$25 right near the arena, and as cheap as $10 if you want to walk a few blocks. Free spaces are around but hard to find and you have to watch the restrictions on the free parking spots or you could find your car gone when you return.
Outside the Arena
Two major marquees dominate the exterior of the building with one overlooking 8th Avenue and one above the 7th Avenue entrance where one can access Penn Station. On the 8th Avenue side sits the entrance to the Madison Square Garden Theatre. Once known as the Felt Forum, this 4,000 seat auditorium is the site of many plays. The main entrance to the arena is at 7th Avenue where once inside you have the option of stepping inside one of many shops and places to eat before heading up to the arena entrance.
At the foot of the arena you will see an illustrious display of murals dedicated to the main tenants of the building while the floor is tiled with the names of many of the great performers who have graced the Garden floor. At the right is an escalator that takes people with preferred seating to their seat location. Get past the ticket windows and head to the many levels of escalators that will take you to your seating level. The Garden is unique in that the floor of the main arena is several stories above ground level, unlike other places where it is either at ground level or below.
Generally these are somewhat narrower than in most buildings we have seen, however this building contains more concourses than what we are used to seeing, so getting around the building is not really all that difficult and there are quite a few nooks to explore.. Concessions are grouped into two "Center Food Courts", where knishes are added to the pizzas burgers and other typical ballpark dreck. Yet at the same time unsurprising since New York seems to be a no-frills, traditional sports crowd. Also, two team stores can be found at opposite baselines with a great selections of Knicks, Rangers and Liberty (wheeee!) merchandise..
Skyboxes ring the roof of the building, while a three level of suite configuration can be found in one end zone. Being an older building, there is no club level per se, but seat levels are clearly delineated by an aisle which rings the top of each level. It is the lowest level of seats that are most expensive. For premium seat holders there is a private facility called the Play by Play Sports Restaurant, offering a continental menu, games such as bubble hockey and foul shot and HDTV monitors to watch the games,
This is a single level bowl with red seats in lower sections and blue seats up high as fans enter into the bowl from four different levels. Above it, all suites ring most of the arena and in some spots they are double decked. An eight sided jumbotron hangs above center court and dot matrix boards sit atop the seating area at each baseline showing out of town scores, ads, and being New York the occasional stock ticker. With New York being the center of the world, one can ignore the game and watch the celebs that sit courtside here. Our personal favorite being Spike Lee, the only one who dresses and behaves as if he is sitting next to Joe Sixpack with his unbridled enthusiasm for his(and Peter's) beloved Knicks.
Retired Numbers and Banners
With the Knicks dating back to 1946 and the Rangers celebrating their 75th anniversary season these are two of the storied franchises in sports. Hanging proudly for the Knicks are banners for their two NBA titles in 1970 and 73 along with Division and Conference title banners. Seven Knick players have their number raised to the roof here as well as the number 613 for Coach Red Holzman. Opposite these banners are the Ranger Stanley Cup, Conference, Division, and President's Trophy banners as well as the names of Rod Gilbert and Ed Giacomin. With the Rangers most recent Stanley Cup, no longer will they hear the chant of "1940" when they hit the road. We don't mean to sound sexist, but we could really do without the Liberty banners...
This was Peter's first time ever at the Garden to see his beloved Knicks and on this day they went down to defeat at the hands of the Jazz...the multiple concourses reminded us of Buffalo's old Memorial Auditorium...Knicks seating capacity is 19,763 and every ticket has been sold since February 1993...Post Office building sits opposite the Garden at 8th Avenue(Peter's other hallowed ground)....
March 17, 2002 update...Ultimate Sports Road Trip karma??? Try jinx instead! We are now 0 for 3 in 2002 as the Detroit Red Wings scored a late goal and added an empty netter to beat the Rangers, 5-3. Pavel Bure, the Rangers need you fast!!! (hahahah). Maybe we'll have better luck on our next trip in the midwest.
Yes, this building has aged and it is not complete with every last new amenity found in newer facilities. However, let's face it this is THE Garden, a place someone with the initials MJ referred to as "The Mecca of Basketball", where Willis limped onto the court in game 7, one of the famous moments in NBA history. This is one of the oldest NBA and NHL arenas in North America, yet retains an aura and elegance that is unmatched and can not be duplicated, and here you are in the center of the greatest city on the planet. There is nothing shabby, dog-eared or negative one can find here - it is truly one of sports' hallowed grounds and a venue to be experienced again and again.
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN RENOVATION DELAYED
June 4, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
New York - A planned $500 million upgrade to Madison Square Garden has been delayed until
2012 by owner Cablevision to allow more time for planning and to see how fans react to new
venues built for the Giants Mets and Yankees.
Plans call for the lower bowl of the Garden to be fully renovated with 20 new event-level suites
and 58 new lower-level suites in time for the 2011-12 Rangers and Knicks seasons. The upper bowl
will be completed prior to the 2012-13 season. Last year, Garden executives had said the entire
project, which will be done during the offseasons of the Knicks and Rangers, would be completed
in time for the 2011-12 season.
The project will include a 300-person super luxury suite. No decisions have been made on
pricing the 5,000-square-foot space. The Garden abandoned plans for 19 "ledge suites" on the
higher levels and combined 10 luxury suites to create the one supersuite since it introduced the
plans a year ago.
CABLEVISION TO SPIN OFF MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
July 30, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
New York - Madison Square Garden, the NHL Rangers and NBA Knicks will move into a
separate company under a plan approved by the Cablevision Systems Corp. board of directors. The
new firm will be owned by existing shareholders and the action will take place before the end of
The new company will be called Madison Square Garden and will include Radio City Music
Hall, Investors will get one share of the new firm for every share they hold in Cablevision.
Splitting off Madison Square Garden will allow Cablevision to focus on its more profitable
cable- television business and could lure potential buyers for the company, such as Time Warner
Cable or Comcast, Bloomberg News reported, citing comments made by Pali Capital analyst Rich
Greenfield earlier this month.
NEW MSG GETS KICK FROM CHRISTMAS SHOW, CABLEVISION
August 13, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
New York - New filings with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission show that the
new Madison Square Garden LLC will start life with a $190 million payment from previous owner
Cablevision to add to its $62 million in cash.
The filings also reportedly show that 12 percent of the firm's revenue last year - $120 million -
came from the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.
Also this week, the firm acknowledged that it is scouting the Washington, D.C. area for a place
to build a 6,000-seat concert venue. The company is in the preliminary stages of exploring where a venue might be located. No deadlines have been announced.
The firm's financial filing shows that MSG is a wildly volatile business that's highly dependent
on the economy and the fortunes of its sports teams.
In the last six years, the unit has swung between being highly profitable to getting deeply in
red ink. In 2004, for example, MSG posted a profit of $50 million, but is on track to record a loss this year, if the $5.8 million in losses for the first six months of this year is any indication.
Known primarily for the New York Knicks and New York Rangers sports franchises, the biggest
economic driver for MSG is its media segment, which houses the MSG and Fuse cable networks. It accounts for around 40 percent of the company's overall revenue. The balance is split between its
sports and entertainment divisions.
The media operation is also the only division posting growth, with revenue through June 30
growing by $18 million to $232 million. By contrast, the entertainment segment saw revenue fall by $11 million to $79 million during the period, and the sports segment slipped $1.6 million to $210 million.
The decline in sports-segment revenue stems in part from a charge of $23.5 million "associated
with transactions relating to players on our sports teams for career-ending injuries and for waivers and termination of players and other team personnel, including team executives."
The filing also outlines the company's view on the planned renovation of Madison Square
"The renovation is an example of our strategic commitment to invest in our core assets and
continue to provide the kind of historic, unforgettable experiences that have long been a key
component of our business. ... The current renovation plan, which is designed to ensure that
attending an event at The Garden is unlike anywhere else, will be specifically highlighted by:
* A dramatically redesigned Seventh Avenue entrance
* New, more comfortable seats, with better sightlines that put patrons closer to the action
New, wider and more spacious public concourses with spectacular views of the city
* Unique "bridges" suspended above each side of The Garden, providing seating for fans
that doesn't exist in any arena today
* State-of-the-art lighting, sound and LED video systems in HDTV
* New food, beverage and bar options
* A new suite configuration that includes: 58 new lower-level suites that are 50 percent
larger than our current suites and half the distance to events - 20 new event level
suites, which include the best seats in the house - One super suite, which is the size of
10 traditional suites.
* Improved dressing rooms, locker rooms, star dressing rooms and production offices for
athletes and performers
* A new upper level with a party deck with bars and buffets
* Additional new restrooms
* Restoration of The Garden's famous ceiling
"We continue to review all aspects of this complex project with our consultants in order to
improve the renovation plans, mitigate project risks and identify efficiencies in all aspects of costs, planning and project-phasing. We also continue to develop our cost and capital investment
estimates to ensure that the planned renovation meets our overall expectations and objectives.
"While the pre-construction planning and cost estimates of this renovation are not yet final, we
currently expect that the project's cost will be materially higher than our original estimate of $500 million. We expect that the estimated costs associated with the project will be met from cash on hand, receipt of repayments of advances made to a subsidiary of Cablevision and cash flow from our operations.
"To the extent that management determines that outside financing is required or desirable, we
intend to raise that financing. In order to most efficiently and effectively complete the renovation, it will be a year-round project. Our goal into minimize disruption to current operations and to achieve this, The Garden will remain open for the New York Knicks' and New York Rangers' seasons while we sequence the construction to ensure that we maximize our construction efforts when we close the arena during summer months. Our current expectation is that the renovated lower bowl will be open for the 2011-12 seasons and that the renovated upper bowl will be open for the 2012-13 seasons."
January 14, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Cablevision Systems Corp. said its board has approved the spinoff of its Madison Square Garden Group. The unit, which has been a drag on Cablevision earnings, includes the famous sports arena, Radio City Music Hall and the New York Knicks and Rangers. On Feb. 9, Cablevision plans to distribute one Madison Square Garden Class A share for every four shares of Cablevision Class A stock held as of Jan. 25. Cablevision's Class B shareholders will get the same distribution in Madison Square Garden Class B shares.
March 25, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines have become “Signature Partners” for the renovated Madison Square Garden in New York. MSG is signing up sponsors for the project which is expected to cost up to $850 million when completed in 2012. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
WORK TO SLOW EVENTS AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
May 6, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
New York - The three year project to upgrade Madison Square Garden begins this summer and
will reduce the number of events that will be held at the venue.
Turner Construction is renovating the arena and needs about 20 consecutive weeks from the
end of play.
The renovation will cost $775 million to $850 million, much higher than the $500 million
estimate made by Garden officials when they first unveiled plans in April 2008. Hank J. Ratner, the Garden's president and chief executive, said that the lower figure was based on a design concept that had not been fully fleshed out. The current estimate is based on elaborate drawings of every element of the construction plan.
The Garden is financing the renovation with cash on hand and operating cash flow, Ratner said.
The Garden spent $60 million to start the renovation in areas not visible to the public through the end of 2009. Ratner declined to say how much has been spent since or how much the Garden, which hosts about 300 events a year, is giving up in revenue for events that cannot be booked during the closures.
One of its properties, the Liberty of the WNBA, will have to play home games elsewhere beginning in 2011. A possibility is the Prudential Center in Newark, where the Nets will play for two seasons before moving to their new home in Brooklyn.
The MSG Network has begun moving across Seventh Avenue to a new space at 11 Penn Plaza. After the NBA. draft on June 24, the Theater at Madison Square Garden will be closed to support the work that is needed to support the construction of the upper floors. The Theater does not need renovation and is expected to reopen in the fall.
In October 2011, the Garden plans to reopen with its lower bowl seats refurbished and the 20 event-level suites, which are at or near the ice or the basketball court, ready to be occupied at rents of about $1 million each. Ratner said nearly all of the swank suites were spoken for.
New locker rooms, dressing rooms for entertainers and the news media area will be ready, as will the new sixth-floor concourse, which will be widened to include windows but will have a temporary ceiling and floor.
About 1,500 seats in the upper bowl will be covered at the start of the 2011-12 season, but Ratner said they should be finished early in the season. Most of those seats are not committed to season-ticket holders, but those who have seats will be temporarily relocated.
When the arena reopens after the summer of 2012, Ratner said, the upper bowl seating is expected to be done, with all seats moved closer to the action. Twenty-two lower-level suites, some as close as 23 rows from the floor or the ice, will be ready to start the season, with 36 more finished by the end of the year. Construction will take place when games are not being played.
Also opening in October 2012 will be a partly finished upper-level concourse, a party deck and the Super Club, an area the size of 10 suites. The Delta Club, which will serve patrons of the elite event-level suites, will also open, with a television studio and a glass wall that will look into the tunnel where players can be seen as they walk from the locker rooms to the court or ice.
In October 2013, the final phase - the open-air, two-level Seventh Avenue lobby - will open with large projection screens and a television studio. On the ninth floor, 18 revamped suites will open and a new scoreboard will be installed.
And one of the signature design elements of the renovated Garden - two bridges that will span the arena lengthwise, and serve the concourses and seating areas - will open.
EFFORT STARTED TO MOVE MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
May 27, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
New York - A developer hopes to convince Madison Square Garden officials to abandon their
plans for an $850 renovation of the current arena and instead build a new facility one block west. The renovation project is scheduled to begin this summer and take three years.
Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado Realty Trust, has been talking with Garden and city officials. Garden executives insist that they are moving full speed ahead on their renovation. They moved their television network to 11 Penn Plaza last week in preparation for the first stage of construction and will temporarily close the Garden's 5,600-seat theater at the end of June.
Reports say the developer's pitch to the Garden suggested that renovation of the 42-year-old arena could be more expensive and more disruptive for the Knicks, the Rangers and the Liberty than anticipated and that the finished product may be inferior to the new arena for the New Jersey Nets that is under construction in Brooklyn.
Instead, Roth has reportedly proposed a stripped-down version of a $14 billion proposal that collapsed in 2008. Civic and business groups had embraced the idea of moving the Garden to transform Penn Station into a grand transit hub for the 550,000 daily commuters who already use it.
But the 2008 proposal also involved the creation of a special zoning district that would have allowed development rights to be sprinkled around the neighborhood, enabling Vornado to build a forest of new skyscrapers.
Now, Roth is proposing to scrap the zoning district and the development rights transfer. He would simply move the Garden into a new arena that would be built within the walls of the James A. Farley Post Office, which sits across from the Garden. The post office would also become an adjunct for an expanded Penn Station, which would be renamed Moynihan Station. The postal operations, which occupy the Eighth Avenue lobby of the block-long building, would remain.
The old arena, in turn, would be razed to make way for a huge retail mall and improvements to the train halls and corridors below.
Roth is reportedly motivated by both his investment in the neighborhood and a desire to enliven the planned renovation of the post office. He and his partner, Stephen Ross of the Related Companies, are renegotiating their 2005 deal with the state to turn the post office into Moynihan Station.
SKYBRIDGES PLANNED FOR MSG RENOVATION
June 3, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
New York - A pair of sky bridges are planned to span the playing floor of the renovated
Madison Square Garden. The bridges will be five floors above the playing surface.
"This is our signature element. It will be a unique experience in sports and entertainment,"
Hank Ratner, CEO of Madison Square Garden, said.
Rather than merely renovate the Garden, the project calls for building an entirely new arena in
the shell of the 1968 building, he said.
"This gives us the best of both worlds. We keep what's iconic - the exterior and the famous
ceiling - and create a whole new building," Ratner said.
Construction will start in earnest on June 14 and go through several phases over the next four
years, moving from the bottom up. The work, which will not disrupt the Knicks or Ranger season, will occur mostly in summer.
After conducting focus groups with fans, MSG officials found that the biggest complaints were over the arena's lobby, its narrow concourses, the limited food choices, the lack of bathrooms and the poor sightlines at the higher levels, Ratner said.
One longtime complaint about the Garden is that the building gives no sense of its location in the heart of Manhattan.
By moving out most of the office space, the revamp will turn the lower concourse into a wide thoroughfare with city views, shopping and a slew of high-end dining options.
Also, as part of the first phase, to be completed for the 2011-12 season, is the addition of 20 event-level suites. Located below courtside and featuring kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces and dining rooms, the suites lead right up to the best seats in the house.
The following year, the arena's upper bowl will be redone.
The new seats will all be more plush, and the angle of the bowl's incline will be increased 17 degrees to bring fans closer to the action.
This phase will include the addition of 58 lower-level suites, which would be larger and closer to the action than the ones in the current Garden.
The sky bridges and new lobby are set to be completed for the 2013-14 season, along with a party deck on the 10th floor and remodeled upper-level suites.
Sky bridge pricing has not been set, but the courtside suites reportedly sold for up to $1 million.
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN REPORTS HIGHER REVENUES
August 12, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
New York - Madison Square Garden, one of the few public sports owners, reported a 9.5
percent increase in revenues in the second quarter. The company owns the New York arena that bears its name along with the NHL Rangers, AHL Hartford Wolf Pack, NBA Knicks and WNBA Liberty.
Other venues include Radio City Music Hall, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, the Chicago Theatre and the Wang Theatre.
Second quarter revenues totaled $227.1 million. The firm said the increase came primarily from its media and entertainment segments.
"Adjusted operating cash flow increased 303.7 percent to $42.4 million and operating income increased $34.5 million to $25.7 million, as compared to the second quarter of 2009," the company reported. "On an overall basis, AOCF and operating income growth were primarily driven by higher MSG Media revenue and lower operating expenses in the MSG Sports segment."
MSG Sports revenues for the second quarter 2010 decreased 6.9 percent to $63.9 million. The company said the decrease in revenues was primarily attributable to a decline in sports team playoff revenues and the absence of a marquee arena boxing event such as the one held in the second quarter of 2009, partially offset by higher broadcast rights revenue and regular season sports team ticket revenue.
AOCF for the sports segment improved by $19.4 million to $3.5 million while the segment's operating income improved by $19.9 million to $0.6 million. The improvement in AOCF and operating income mainly reflects lower sports team operating costs and lower selling, general and administrative expense.
MSG, JPMORGAN CHASE FORM ARENA PARTNERSHIP
September 23, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
New York - JPMorgan Chase has signed on with Madison Square Garden for a new
sponsorship in the renovated arena, the companies say. Terms were not disclosed.
JPMorgan Chase will become a Marquee Partner in a deal that includes exposure at the arena, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, Chicago Theatre,
the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and with the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Liberty. The agreement includes regional television networks and digital platforms.
"With this new partnership, JPMorgan Chase customers across many of the firm's lines of business will receive exclusive access to events and unique experiences across Madison Square Garden's venues and sports and entertainment franchises," the companies said in a press release. "From access to sold out concerts and events to behind the scenes experiences with athletes and performers, JPMorgan Chase will be able to provide its customers with one-of-a-kind, can't buy opportunities at the over 1,200 live entertainment and sports events at MSG's New York and Chicago venues annually."
At the arena, the new 7th Avenue entrance will become the Chase Square and feature interactive kiosks, new retail locations and a broadcast area. Inside the Arena the two Chase Bridges will be suspended above the floor, the firms said.
"The 1879 Club presented by J.P. Morgan will be an exclusive new space that provides event attendees with a casual and intimate environment to relax before or after an event. New Madison Square Garden 7th and 8th Avenue marquees will also feature permanent JPMorgan Chase branding," the release said.
November 4, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
Madison Square Garden will reopen Friday evening after concerns about asbestos after debris
fell from the attic of the building earlier in the week. Tests conducted by New York's Department of Environmental Protection and by independent contractors concluded that no asbestos had been released into the arena, the New York Times reported. Garden officials postponed Tuesday night's game between the Knicks and the Orlando Magic so the tests could be run.
MSG SETTLES LAWSUIT OVER DRUNK DRIVING
November 11, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures
New York - Madison Square Garden has settled a multimillion-dollar lawsuit accusing it of
continuing to serve alcohol to drunk Jersey City cop who was then in a crash on the Pulaski Skyway that killed a toddler and left the boy's mother with massive brain trauma, the New York Post reported.
The Garden settled with Carlos Zelaya, whose 2-year-old son, Jose Carlos, died a few days after the Jan. 23, 2007, collision with the speeding Jeep Cherokee driven by off-duty officer Kevin Freibott, 42, of Red Bank, the newspaper said.
Ruth Zelaya, 40, of Jersey City, and San Pedro Sula, Honduras, died on March 24 as a result of "complications from the motor vehicle collision," prosecutors said at the time.
The amount of the settlement was not disclosed but is estimated to be about $8 million, the sum the Zelaya family still owed for Ruth Zelaya's medical care during the three years she was in a near vegetative state, the Post said.
Freibott pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2008 to 11 years in prison.
VALUE OF MSG STOCK MAY HAVE INCREASED
April 14, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
New York - Madison Square Garden Inc. shares could be worth more than $50 apiece, 81
percent above where they currently trade, helped by renovations to its namesake arena and improved performance by the New York Knicks professional basketball team, Barron's said in its April 11 edition.
According to the financial newspaper, the nearly $1 billion, two-year make-over of the aging Garden arena, home to the Knicks and New York Rangers hockey team, will considerably improve cash flow by expanding luxury suites and concession space, and installing billboards that display ads based on audience demographics.
The Knicks are also performing better, having made the National Basketball Association playoffs for the first time in seven years.
According to Barron's, close to half of MSG's revenue and all of its operating profit in 2010 came from its media unit, which largely includes the cable networks MSG Networks and MSG Plus.
Barron's said some of MSG's value could be unlocked if the Dolan family, its controlling shareholder, tries to take the company private, as some investors expect.
It cautioned, though, that some analysts believe MSG shares could fall to $20 if the home teams stumble, its entertainment unit continues to lose money, or NBA players go on strike after their contract runs out following this season.
MSG shares closed last week at $27.61 on the NASDAQ.
WORK CONTINUING ON RENOVATED MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
June 2, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
New York - The Bergen Record says the upper-bowl renovation of Madison Square Garden is to
be completed by the autumn of 2012, while bridges across the width of the arena - a new element - are to be completed for the 2013-14 seasons.
A key element of the transformation will be a remodeling of the main entrance on Seventh Avenue, which MSG Sports president Scott O'Neil told the newspaper currently is "uninspiring, to say the least."
Still, O'Neil said that he wants to preserve some of the same feel of the traditional Garden. He said that as "magnificent" as the new Yankee Stadium is, he recalls growing up watching first baseman Don Mattingly, and the new version "is not that park anymore."
A key project this summer will be the 20 premium "event level suites" that O'Neil described as being sold for more than $1 million, with only one such suite still unsold.
There are 50 "Madison level suites," which O'Neil said are 75 percent sold at a price of $600,000 to $950,000. Five of the 16 upper-level suites, O'Neil added, will be reserved for single-game sales because of the level of interest in such offerings.
The Record said O'Neil downplayed an expected rivalry with the Nets' Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which is scheduled to open in September 2012.
"The five boroughs and Connecticut and New Jersey are Knicks country," O'Neil said. "We wouldn't single out a certain borough."
September 8, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
Sporting, media and entertainment company The Madison Square Garden Co. said its
second-quarter earnings sank 39 percent, as a renovation project that closed its famous arena and theater for much of the quarter affected revenue. The company earned $8.5 million, or 11 cents per share, in the three months that ended June 30. That compares to net income of $14 million, or 18 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue grew three percent to $233.8 million. The company's MSG Entertainment revenue dropped 23 percent to $36 million in the quarter, mainly due to lower event-related revenue from Madison Square Garden and the Theater at Madison Square Garden. The Manhattan arena is getting an $850 million upgrade that includes gutting its interior from the ground up. MSG Media revenue climbed four percent to $139.6 million, and MSG Sports revenue rose 18 percent to $75.4 million, mainly due to higher playoff-related revenue. MSG Sports owns and operates the Knicks, Rangers, the WNBA's New York Liberty and the Connecticut Whale minor league hockey team.
MSG REVENUES UP
November 10, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures
New York - Madison Square Garden Co. reported revenues of $46.1 million in its first fiscal
quarter, up nine percent from the same period a year earlier. The company recently changed its fiscal year to end on June 30.
Operating income of $26.4 million increased 0.4 percent and net income of $21.3 million increased 10.5 percent, both as compared to the prior year period. Cash and cash equivalents as of September 30, 2011 totaled $228.6 million.
President and CEO Hank Ratner said: "We generated solid AOCF (adjusted operating cash flow) growth in the first quarter of our new fiscal year, as we successfully managed our business through the offseason shutdown of The Garden and the Theater at Madison Square Garden. We re-opened The Garden on schedule in late October and are pleased with the progress we have made on all fronts with respect to the transformation project. We remain focused on our company's business objectives and are confident in our ability to drive long-term growth."
For the fiscal 2012 first quarter, MSG Media revenues of $138.6 million rose 3.9 percent, as compared to the prior year period. Affiliate fee revenue increased $4.5 million, as compared to the prior year period, primarily attributable to higher affiliation rates, with the overall increase being significantly offset by the impact of the previously disclosed expiration of certain affiliation agreements. Advertising revenue increased $1.2 million, as compared to the prior year quarter. AOCF of $63.8 million increased 14.6 percent and operating income of $57.2 million increased 13.7 percent, both as compared to the prior year period. The increase in AOCF and operating income primarily reflects higher affiliate fee and advertising revenues and, to a lesser extent, lower selling, general and administrative expenses, the company said.
For the fiscal 2012 first quarter, MSG Entertainment revenues of $27.6 million decreased 27.7 percent, as compared to the prior year period. The company said the decrease in revenues was primarily attributable to lower event-related revenues at The Garden, reflecting the scheduled offseason shutdown of The Garden, and the absence of a co-production, with the overall decrease partially offset by higher revenues at Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre. AOCF loss of $13.8 million increased by 26.2 percent and operating loss of $17.2 million increased by 23.5 percent, both as compared to the prior year quarter. The increase in AOCF loss and operating loss primarily reflects lower event-related results at The Garden, partially offset by improved results at Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre.
For the fiscal 2012 first quarter, MSG Sports revenues of $28.8 million decreased 21.9 percent, as compared to the prior year period. The decrease in revenues was primarily attributable to the offseason shutdown of The Garden, including lower professional sports team pre/regular season ticket related revenue, event-related revenues from other sporting events and suite rental fee revenue. AOCF decreased by $2.0 million to a loss of $0.5 million and operating loss increased by $2.4 million to a loss of $4.1 million, both as compared to the prior year quarter. The decrease in AOCF and increase in operating loss primarily reflects the decline in revenues, partially offset by lower direct operating and selling, general and administrative expenses, the company reported.
GARDEN TO ADD PREMIUM MADISON CLUB SEATS
March 1, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures
New York - Madison Garden will open the Madison Club and a new wave of 176 luxury seats
next season as part of the second round of renovations for the arena. Ticket holders will get access to not only every Knicks game, but every New York Rangers game and all other sporting events at the Garden. Dog shows are not included.
Fox Sports said individual tickets for the Madison Club start at $42,500 a year and will be sold in packs of two and four.
But unlike most traditional season tickets, the package comes with access to a club roughly the size of 10 corporate suites. The club offers free gourmet food, a private bar and private restrooms.
For fans wanting to go to every Knicks and Rangers home game next season, the Madison Club tickets are the only option left without paying for a private suite. Individual season tickets for both teams have already sold out for next season.
Scott O'Neil, president of MSG Sports, said tickets have been on sale for about three weeks and have been selling "at a good clip."
But for now, the Madison Club is still a work in progress. That portion of the arena is under construction and will not be ready until the start of the next season.
The Garden wrapped up the first phase of its $980 million top-to-bottom overhaul last summer, adding new court-side suites, two clubs for elite season ticket holders called the 1879 Club and the Delta Club and revamping the locker rooms for the Knicks and Rangers.
The bulk of the work has been taking place during the summer months. MSG officials plan for the entire makeover to be complete by the 2013-14 season.
MSG SHOWS STRONG THIRD-QUARTER PROFIT
May 10, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures
New York - Madison Square Garden Co.'s (MSG) fiscal third-quarter profit gained 63 percent
as the surprise sensation of the New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin helped offset a contentious programming spat that cut into affiliate fee revenue for around half of the quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The sports and entertainment company has posted profits since going public early last year, and is using excess cash to modernize its arena in renovations dubbed "the transformation."
MSG's sports division posted its most profitable quarter since the company went public, as ticket sales and other game-related revenue was helped by the first phase of the transformation and the emergence of Knicks' point guard Lin. The delayed start to the NBA season, which cut into ticket sale revenue in the prior quarter, also helped sports revenue grow 37 percent.
Revenue at MSG Media, which includes MSG Networks, rose 13 percent despite lower affiliate revenue from Time Warner Cable Inc.. MSG and the New York-based cable operator were deadlocked for much of the quarter in a dispute over programming costs, blacking out MSG Network games for Time Warner Cable subscribers for seven weeks when Lin's popularity was soaring.
The company's entertainment business saw revenue decrease 20 percent, and its operating profit fell 64 percent due in part to changes in the NBA game season which made it harder to schedule events at its flagship arena.
MSG said it would begin the second phase of the transformation after the NBA playoffs.
For the quarter ended March 31, MSG reported a profit of $31.1 million, or 40 cents a share, up from $19.1 million, or 25 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 21 percent to $400.5 million.
Operating margin widened to 13.3 percent from 9.2 percent.