Marquee franchises New York Knicks (NBA) and the New York Rangers (NHL) may be seeing mixed results in the standings, but parent Madison Square Garden Company earnings were solid in its most recent quarterly report.
MSG owns and operates Madison Square Garden and various concert/theater venues. including Radio City Music Hall and the Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles. The firm is also building what are billed as state-of-the-art venues in Las Vegas and London. Although the Knicks are a mess and the Rangers are treading water, team performances really don’t matter in New York City when it comes to the bottom line, per Quartz:
Overall revenue was $632 million, up 18% from the same period last year. Revenue for the company’s sports arm, which controls the NHL’s New York Rangers in addition to the Knicks and the renowned Manhattan arena that they both play in, was up 19% to $315 million. MSG’s share price has stayed level around $278 during Feb. 1 trading….
Still, on its earnings call today, the company attributed its solid growth to an increase in both tickets sold and the price of tickets, for the lucrative concerts it hosts at Madison Square Garden, including the always popular “Christmas Spectacular” featuring the Rockettes.
While the Knicks languish in the cellar (yes, the team is rebuilding once again), MSG thrives. Part of the success is timing: we live in an experiential age, and the company offers great experiences at high-profile venues in large markets. The other part has been the willingness to play across a wide range of venues: MSG is known for its aforementioned high-profile venues, but it also manages several other strong, smaller theaters, such as The Beacon in New York City, Boston’s Wang Theatre and the Chicago Theatre. Matching an act to the appropriate venue in large markets is one of MSG’s strengths as of now.