Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation (MSG) and its CEO, James Dolan, are taking legal action against the New York State Liquor Authority.
MSG, which owns venues like its namesake and Radio City Music Hall, along with Dolan claims that the agency has colluded with powerful lawyers who are barred from MSG venues after the state liquor authority threatened to revoke MSG’s liquor licenses.
The investigation into MSG’s liquor license began after reports of lawyers being banned from NYC’s Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, and Beacon Theatre among other MSG venues reached the state liquor authority.
These individuals were banned from MSG-operated venues as a result of their association with open court cases against MSG. Now, MSG is petitioning Verizon to obtain cell phone records from a liquor authority investigator in order to prove the collusion.
In a subpoena sent to Verizon on February 28, 2023, MSG said that the phone records of investigator Charles Stravelle will show that the state liquor authority “is acting outside its statutory authority and, worse, is acting on the direction of private attorneys with an axe to grind.”
Dolan also reportedly hired a private investigator to follow Stravelle in an effort to support MSG’s case. The new petition is meant to further enforce the release of the records, as MSG believes that the liquor authority blocked Verizon’s cooperation.
According to Forbes, MSG lost $194 million last year, and they are likely looking to hold onto every penny they can.
Madison Square Garden pulls in about $140,000 dollars in profit from alcohol sales per game, during New York Rangers hockey games alone. Should the license be revoked, MSG would take a hit of about $3 million to their bottom line.
As a result, there are likely to be many more court fillings before the case is closed.
Featured image provided by Madison Square Garden. Credit: jam.bay on Instagram.