March 4, 2024


LeBron James of the Lakers guards Jalen Brunson during a basketball game.

Jalen Brunson, generating offense and revenue.
Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images (Getty Images)

The New York Knicks are hot. The New York Rangers are hot. Both teams are near the top of the standings in their respective leagues, had multiple players named to All-Star squads, and have a really good shot of making their respective playoffs. Madison Square Garden (MSG), the venue where both teams play their games, reported in its quarterly earnings Tuesday (Feb. 6) that all the interest is showing up on the company’s ledgers, which showed $37 million in profit on $327 million in revenue.

“Average per-game revenues for nearly every key revenue category —including tickets, suites, food, beverage and merchandise — exceeded results for the prior year period,” the company reported.

But because of the way that the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League laid out their schedules this year, the Knicks and Rangers together played nine fewer home games than they did during the same quarter last year. Now MSG is blaming the road trips for an 8% dip in revenue, or $27 million.

No butts in seats, no bucks for sports

Knick Jalen Brunson dropped 50 points for a career high? Too bad it happened in Phoenix. MSG ticket sales were down $19 million. Ranger Artemi Panarin pulled off his second three-goal hat trick of the season? Too bad it happened in Tampa Bay. Suite revenues were down $6 million and sponsorship dollars were down another $6 million.

But luckily for MSG, the Knicks are playing five more home games this quarter than they did last year — and the Rangers at home the same amount — so maybe that will allow the Garden to make up for lost ground.

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