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Latest News : MSG could lose tax minimize for giving N.Y. Liberty the boot, pol warns
Manhattan Borough president is looking a foul on Madison Sq. Backyard’s choice as well the New York Liberty to the ’burbs.
The staff is owned by MSG, and has performed there for years. However as the corporate seeks to promote the Liberty, it introduced this season’s residence video games might be on the tiny Westchester County Middle.
“In doing so, you may have turned ‘the World’s Most Well-known Area’ into the world’s most well-known stage for unfairly benching girls athletes,” Gale Brewer wrote to MSG honcho James Dolan.
And, she warned, the corporate could possibly be endangering its tax abatement, which saves the corporate $50 million a yr and might be up for renewal in just a few years.
“I and plenty of of my colleagues within the Metropolis Council and State Legislature have by no means been satisfied that this abatement constitutes good coverage,” Brewer wrote.
“Shameful actions like this one, banishing a preferred girls’s skilled sports activities staff the place its fan base can not attain it, don’t assist your case.”
Whereas the WNBA has struggled for broad attraction, Brewer stated the Liberty is a “storied, decades-old (franchise) with a devoted fanbase” — which boosted its attendance in 2017, when about half of the staff’s residence video games drew at the least 10,000 individuals to the Backyard.
Even when the staff have been to maneuver — it performed on the Prudential Middle in Newark when MSG was beneath renovations — the Westchester County Middle is an “insufficient, inappropriate alternative,” she stated — it’s “not a full-featured sports activities enviornment.”
It may possibly seat solely 5,000 individuals, and is situated 30 miles from midtown Manhattan, reachable solely by automotive or Metro-North.
“Although I’m no knowledgeable, it appears simple that transferring the staff’s video games to the Westchester County Middle will make your meant sale of the staff tougher, not simpler,” she wrote.
“And no matter your intent to promote, it’s a stretch to think about you or some other sports activities franchise proprietor making such a choice within the case of a males’s staff.”
In an announcement, the Madison Sq. Backyard Firm famous it was the final authentic proprietor within the WNBA, and referred to as itself “one among girls’s basketball’s most loyal companions.”
“Since saying our intention to promote the staff, we have now been dedicated to discovering the precise new proprietor to steward the franchise into the longer term,” an organization spokesman stated.
“We consider the Westchester County Middle is the precise sized venue to create an thrilling setting for the Liberty and its followers, and the monetary construction to help the staff’s long-term success.”
The staff will play “choose video games” on the Backyard, MSG stated.
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