Silicon Valley Wants a Piece of the Rangers, Knicks

How will this affect Dolan's reign?

Silicon Valley Interest in Knicks and Rangers
(Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)
By Tanner Garrity / November 4, 2019 1:56 pm

According to an article by The New York Post, Silicon Valley-based private equity firm Silver Lake Partners is acquire significant stakes in the New York Knicks and New York Rangers. Silver Lake is an absolute behemoth. It manages $43 billion in assets, with holdings in Alibaba, Broadcom, and Skype (to name a few), and already owns 10% of each New York team’s owner — The Madison Square Garden Company.

Silver Lake doesn’t want to increase its stake in MSG, though, which also owns properties like the Beacon Theater, Radio City Music Hall, and James Dolan’s planned music and entertainment venues in Las Vegas and London, tentatively called “MSG Spheres.” It’s primarily looking for an increased cut of New York’s two iconic, yet recently beleaguered franchises. The Knicks are off to a 1-6 start, probably playing the LaMelo Ball sweepstakes, and have fans beyond their collective wits’ end over Dolan’s incompetence. The Rangers, meanwhile, have had a far more respectable decade, but are currently rebuilding.

In the past, Silicon Valley has not shied from attributing the success of its sports teams to superior management style, and a more creative displacement of resources. A few years ago, Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob credited himself and fellow venture capitalists with jump-starting the franchise’s dynasty. That might be the dream for the powers that be over at Silver Lake, eager to bring banners back to The Garden’s rafters. For now, Dolan is still in charge. But before stakes are sold off to MSG shareholders (it’s coming, in early 2020), Silver Lake wants to make sure it increases its stake, and is the first in line for a potential sale down the line.

That sale, by the way, would be enormous. The Knicks and Rangers are valued at $4 billion and $1.55 billion, respectively, according to Forbes.

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