If Madison Square Garden Sells The Liberty, The place Are They Going To Play
The owners of the new York Liberty, one of the WNBA’s three remaining unique franchises still in the identical city they began off in, are placing the workforce up for sale. That’s of curiosity if you’re a WNBA fan — I’m truly a former Liberty season ticket holder, so I qualify as one of the few and the proud even when I haven’t been to see a recreation within the last couple of years — but in addition for readers of this site generally, because of what it says in regards to the area industry.
In brief: The Liberty are owned by James Dolan’s Madison Sq. Garden Co.which additionally owns the Knicks, the Rangers, and its namesake arena. The crew, and the WNBA generally, was launched in 1997 for a bunch of overlapping reasons: to take advantage of pleasure over the 1996 U.S. women’s Olympic basketball crew, to fill dates within the in any other case-sluggish summer time months (which is why the league plays outdoors of the traditional wintertime schedule for basketball), to make the NBA look girls-friendly and provide a extra affordable product to rope in fans priced out or alienated by the men’s sport, and to beat down an attempt by the unbiased American Basketball League to horn in on the NBA’s professional hoops monopoly. The ABL was gone inside a year and a half, and the Olympians were soon forgotten, but the WNBA has burbled on for another two many years, with modest attendance and revenues but exceptional longevity for a startup league, in no small due to the NBA’s monetary backing.
That’s beginning to alter, although: While originally all of the WNBA groups were fully owned offshoots of NBA siblings — right down to groups getting sister names, like the Sacramento Monarchs to complement the Kings and the execrably named Detroit Shock to go alongside the equally-terribly-named-if-you-assume-about-it Pistons — that’s starting to alter, with more and more groups independently owned and operated. And the Liberty would be the most important independent staff of all once reduce loose from MSG, which clearly has determined that it will quite get out of the women’s basketball game and follow its core business of crappy men’s teams and plenty and lots of live shows.
The massive query for a future Liberty owner, in the meantime, is: The place are they going to play Renting out MSG is a risk, after all, but unless there’s some sweetheart lease deal baked into the sale settlement, it might doubtless be prohibitively expensive, since you’d be bidding in opposition to all these live shows. The Barclays Heart in Brooklyn is another choice which may come barely cheaper, but again it’s fairly busy with felpa stone island prezzo concert events, even in the summer. (One downside with a basketball schedule is that it critically restricts your flexibility for internet hosting concert events, which are usually booked long after a team’s dwelling video games are set in stone.) When MSG was getting renovated within the summers a number of seasons back the Liberty performed in Newark’s Prudential Heart, but attendance was pretty dangerous (I picked up Stubhub seats ten rows from the courtroom for one recreation for $three apiece); Nassau Coliseum desperately needs something to fill dates, but it’s means out on Lengthy Island.
I suppose a brand new Liberty proprietor could try to demand a brand new enviornment of their own, but that’s not going to go far when your fan base is the scale of a WNBA team’s. Possibly this could all be a part of the plan to build a new area for the Islanders out by Belmont Park, one thing that Dolan is a component-investor in, so … I dunno, we’re deep into the tea leaves right here. It’s an interesting moment, although, one that could find yourself revealing lots about not solely the way forward for women’s pro sports activities, however how area managers are considering about the relative value of sports activities vs. other occasions. I’ll have extra on this soon, I hope.
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