Thursday September 28, 2023

Knicks Owner Settles Lawsuits Related to MSG Sphere

  • Investors in MSG Networks alleged that Dolan purposely misled them about Sphere's rising costs.
  • MSG Sphere in Las Vegas is on track to cost $2.2 billion.
New York Knicks owner James Dolan sitting courtside at a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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New York Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan is reportedly in the process of settling the second of two lawsuits against him related to the construction of the increasingly expensive MSG Sphere in Las Vegas.

Investors in MSG Networks alleged that Dolan purposely misled them about the rising costs of MSG Sphere by spying on employees and destroying evidence, according to the New York Post.

The lawsuit states that Dolan downplayed the expenses — by shredding documents and firing executives who wanted to disclose the rising costs — so that he could inflate the purchase price and dilute shares when MSG Entertainment purchased the Networks division for $922 million in March 2021.

Dolan reportedly settled with the MSGE shareholders for $85 million over the same issue last month.

New York Knicks and New York Rangers executive chairman, James Dolan, at Madison Square Garden.

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While that settlement was paid for via insurance, it’s unclear how Dolan will pay for the MSG Network settlement and what the price will be — though the Post suggests he could personally be responsible for $200 million.

Since the cost of the Vegas MSG Sphere — which will primarily host concerts but also plans to host fighting events — ballooned to $2.2 billion in December, Dolan has fired at least two executives related to the project: president Lucas Watson and senior manager of business operations Jenna Wolfenson.

MSG Sphere is scheduled to open this fall with a performance from legendary rock group U2.

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