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Madison Square Garden Entertainment considers spinoff

Kerry Flynn
Aug 19, 2022
People wearing Rangers jerseys walk past Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2021 in New York City.

New York Rangers fans at Madison Square Garden. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp.'s potential split would create more growth opportunities for its new arenas, MSG Sphere, executives said Friday.

Why it matters: CEO James Dolan is once again looking to create a new publicly traded company after separating MSG Entertainment and MSG Sports (the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers and other sports teams) in 2020.

Driving the news: "We believe this separation would provide both companies with enhanced flexibility to pursue their own distinct business and capital allocation strategies. We also expect the spinoff would provide investors with greater visibility into each company's businesses and growth prospects," EVP and CFO David Byrnes said on today's earnings call.

Details: MSG Entertainment announced Thursday it's considering spinning off some of its properties into a new live entertainment company.

  • The new company could include Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre and the Chicago Theatre, the Radio City Rockettes and the "Christmas Spectacular" production, its sports booking business and its regional sports networks.
  • MSG Entertainment would then include MSG Sphere and Tao Group Hospitality. It also would retain a one-third economic interest in the new company and the majority of the cash on hand.
  • The company did not set a timetable.

Between the lines: Dolan has been prioritizing growing MSG Sphere, with the first venue in Las Vegas scheduled to open next year and plans to open in London. He launched MSG Sphere Studios in Burbank to create content for the venues.

  • Byrnes said that Friday night at the Beacon Theatre, the company will debut a new immersive sound experience, which "was developed and is being further customized and scaled for MSG Sphere Las Vegas, which will be the world's most advanced concert audio system."

Of note: As for the future of the Knicks and the Rangers, Dolan has "no plans to sell either of the teams," MSG senior vice president of communications and marketing Natalie Ravitz told The New York Post on Thursday.

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