Madison Square Garden Raising Knicks Season Ticket Prices By 49%

Published on: 12th March, 2011

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jim dolan
Madison Square Garden Raising Knicks Season Ticket Prices By 49%  | read this item

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New York – It was inevitable that Jim Dolan and his merry band of superstar collectors at MSG would decide the huge expenses incurred by bringing players like Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony into the fold would have to be paid for by more than just adding another cent or two to every bill of Cablevision subscribers.

As it turns out, the 49% increase being asked for Knicks season tickets for next season and the 23% increase for Rangers seasons has more to do, MSG execs say, with the nearly billion dollar renovation now under way at The World’s Most Famous Arena. What’s a mere $52 million in new player contracts for next season (including Chauncey Billups’ $14.2 million deal if the Knicks renew it) compared to the modernization of  a building that certainly needs more private boxes for big corporate clients, as well as wider seats for the fat cats and wider walkways for when the fat cats walk side by side.

The reality has become this: The “city game” as penned by old hero, Pete Axthelm, is still the most popular game on the New York City playgrounds because it’s easy and cheap to play. All they need is a ball and some bouncy shoes and kids can transform themselves into their own heroes of the current day. Like those of every generation, kids all want to emulate the pro players they have grown up watching.

There’s just one small paradox in this hero-emulation scenario. Today’s kids have almost zero opportunity to actually watch their favorite athlete play in person. Like most of the middle class and those in lower economic strata than that, the cost of a simple ticket to a simple sports event has effectively eliminated the kids who play the city game from seeing the city game played by the best.

It’s hard to emulate your favorite player when you’ve never seen him play, up close. Oh wait, there’s always television for a kid to catch a game. Let’s see, my last cable bill was over $125. For one month. How many kids from economically struggling homes get to watch Knicks games on the Madison Square Garden Network? I’m guessing, not many.

So much for The City Game.

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