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James Dolan Says He Has 'No Plans' to Sell Knicks, Rangers Despite Speculation

Adam WellsAugust 19, 2022

Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

James Dolan is shutting down any speculation that he's looking to sell the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.

Speaking to TMZ Sports about the rumors, Dolan laughed them off and said "no" about selling the two sports franchises.

The rumors began earlier this week when MSG sports analyst Jonathan Boyar said on CNBC's Closing Time that it's "likely" Dolan would sell the teams after the construction of MSG Sphere, a music and entertainment arena being built in Las Vegas, is completed in 2023.

There have been rumblings in the past that Dolan was looking to sell the iconic New York franchises.

Aaron Elstein of Crain's New York reported in June 2018 that Dolan "may be laying the groundwork" to sell the clubs after announcing he "was exploring a spin-off that would separate the Knicks and the Rangers from the rest of Madison Square Garden."

One analyst told Elstein that Dolan wanted to "be more Elon Musk than George Steinbrenner."

MSG released a statement denying there was any interest in selling:

Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN

Madison Square Garden Company releases statement: “There are no plans to sell the Knicks or the Rangers.”

Dolan is the executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Sports and Madison Square Garden Entertainment. He is also the executive chairman of MSG Networks, which is the main broadcast home for Knicks and Rangers games.

After Cablevision, which Dolan was CEO of from 1995-2016, bought out ITT Corp. in 1997, the Dolan family gained full control of the Knicks. Dolan was named MSG chairman in 1999 after taking over for his father, Charles.

Dolan has been running the Knicks and Rangers since 1999. Madison Square Garden Company also used to be the governor of the WNBA's New York Liberty from 1999 until Jan. 2019 when the franchise was sold to Joseph Tsai.

Per Mike Ozanian of Forbes, the Knicks' $5.8 billion franchise valuation is the highest among all NBA teams. The Rangers are currently the only NHL team with a franchise value of at least $2 billion.

The Knicks have made eight playoff appearances under Dolan's leadership, including an appearance in the 1999 NBA Finals. The franchise's two worst seasons by winning percentage have come in the past eight seasons (.207 in 2014-15 and 2018-19).

The Rangers have made 13 playoff appearances since the 1999-2000 season. They have also won two division titles and reached the Stanley Cup Final after the 2013-14 season, losing to the Los Angeles Kings in five games.

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