Madison Square Garden may spin off sports business

The Madison Square Garden Company is moving to split up its sports and entertainment businesses. 

Madison Square Garden, or MSG, on Wednesday said its board of directors gave the green light to explore a possible spin off that would create a separately-traded public entity comprised of its sports businesses, including the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers.

“We are exploring the opportunity to further create value by separating our businesses into two distinct companies,” James Dolan, MSG’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “We believe this proposed transaction would provide each company with enhanced strategic flexibility, its own defined business focus and clear investment characteristics.”

One company, dubbed MSG Sphere, would be focused on live entertainment and music events, while the other would be a sports company, “driven by the strong financial performance of the storied Knicks and Rangers franchises,” noted Dolan, expected to be executive chairman and CEO of both companies.

The proposed sports entity would include the New York Knicks NBA basketball team and the New York Rangers NHL hockey team. MSG is exploring a sale of the New York Liberty professional WNBA sports franchise. 

MSG Sphere would oversee a collection of iconic venues that include New York’s Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, as well as the Forum in Inglewood, California, the Chicago Theatre and the Wang Theater in Boston. 

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