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Madison Square Garden Company confirms entertainment business spin-off

The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) will be broken up into two separate businesses from next month after its board voted to approve the plan.

The separate entertainment and sport businesses will now be known as Madison Square Garden Sports Corporation and the newly formed Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation.

James Dolan, MSG’s chairman and chief executive, will serve as executive chairman of both entities, as well as holding the chief executive role of MSG Entertainment. Andrew Lustgarten will serve as president and chief executive of MSG Sports and president of MSG Entertainment.

Dolan said in a statement: “While our industry is currently going through a difficult period, we are confident in the enduring strength and value of our businesses. Today’s approved spinoff is the result of many months of preparation, and we believe it will set the stage for long-term success for both MSG Sports and MSG Entertainment.”

The completion of the spin-off is subject to certain conditions, and approvals and consents, including final league approvals for MSG-owned teams such as New York Knicks and New York Rangers. MSG also owns the Forum in Inglewood, California, New York’s Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater.

Meanwhile, MSG has also announced a temporary suspension of construction on its Las Vegas venue MSG Sphere due to concerns surrounding Covid-19.

All work is coming to an end over approximately the next two weeks and as a result of the delay, it does not expect to achieve its goal of opening the venue in 2021.

Elsewhere, plans from Oak View Group (OVG) for a new arena in Manchester have been published today (Wednesday), marking the latest step in the effort to deliver a facility that would rival the existing Manchester Arena.

The planning submission for the proposed venue has been validated and uploaded to Manchester City Council’s planning portal, with OVG remaining adamant that the English city has the capacity, and demand, to merit a second major arena.

Located on land adjacent to Etihad Stadium, home of Premier League football club Manchester City, the project will be OVG’s first outside its US homeland and the largest privately financed venue in the UK, with £350m (€395.4m/$432.7m) direct investment going into the city.

The maximum capacity of the proposed arena is 23,500, significantly larger than the regular operating capacity of the existing Manchester Arena.

In February, OVG confirmed it was bringing forward a planning application, maintaining that Manchester has the capacity for two major venues. US global venue development, advisory and investment company OVG has been working in partnership with City Football Group (CFG), parent company of Manchester City, on the proposed project. In August, OVG confirmed it was working with CFG on the potential development of a new arena on land close to the Etihad Stadium.

Subject to successful planning approval, it is envisaged the venue would take three years to build, with the first events planned to be held in 2023. In October, OVG and CFG completed the first phase of public consultation on the project, which saw initial details behind the plan emerge, such as its proposed location and an early artists’ impression.

For more on the OVG story, head over to our sister site, TheStadiumBusiness.

Image: Ajay Suresh

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