Madison Square Garden Controversy Forces $2 Billion Rich Knicks Owner to Hire Private Investigator to Deal with Government Woes

Published 03/21/2023, 6:10 AM EDT

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New York Knicks owner James Dolan has been swimming in the pool of controversies for the past few months. The controversial businessman found himself under public scrutiny when he imposed a facial-recognition system at Madison Square Garden to bar certain individuals from entry. Since then, Dolan has been in a dispute with state authorities prompting both parties to take action on the matter. Consequently, the billionaire owner has now resorted to new tactics to counter the legal authorities’ latest move.

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James Dolan is the majority stakes owner of the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers. Apart from that, he also serves as the CEO of MSG Entertainment which oversees the events taking place at MSG. The changes inflicted on the Garden and other venues controlled by Dolan have led to an ongoing feud with the New York authorities.

The Knicks owner hires a private investigator

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As per reports by Front Office Sports, New York Knicks owner James Dolan has hired a private investigator to tail State Liquor Authority Investigator Charles Stravalle. The authorities launched the investigation to probe the new facial recognition policy implemented by Dolan. When confronted about Dolan’s new move, MSG Entertainment acknowledged it by saying that it was ‘a common and lawful practice’.

Apparently, the New York State Attorney General issued a letter to MSG Entertainment in January, mentioning the possible violation of civil rights due to the new policy. The purpose of the investigation is to determine if the barred entry of certain people could be a major reason to cancel the arena’s liquor license.

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The ongoing investigation could affect Dolan’s plans of selling the Tao Group to financially support the construction of the MSG sphere.

Dolan’s controversial facial recognition technology

James Dolan implemented the use of a facial recognition system to prevent certain people from entering company-owned venues. The list includes lawyers who have worked on the litigation against Dolan’s companies. Moreover, Dolan has also made sure to prevent people, including celebrities who spoke out against the Knicks owner, from getting access to the arena. The magnate’s actions caused an uproar causing citizens to brutally slam him for the new rules.

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Despite all the negative responses, Dolan defended his move by saying, “It’s not only business. If you’ve been sued you know that it’s a personal thing. At Madison Square Garden, if you’re suing us, we’re just asking you: ‘Please don’t come until you’re done with your argument’. And yes, we’re using facial recognition to enforce that.”

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Written by:

Siyari Debbarma

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Siyari Debbarma is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. She is currently pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering and previously interned at the Y-East Organization as a content writer. Siyari has played quite a bit of basketball throughout her school years, and started following the NBA last year.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra

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