For the first time in the past four seasons, the New York Knicks will not be in the NBA playoffs. The Knicks are one of the most profitable teams in the NBA, as they had the average ticket price on the secondary market this season. With the amount of revenue even two playoff games would have created, Madison Square Garden is likely losing out without the Knicks in the playoffs.
According to a 2011 report from Crain's New York, the Garden brings in $6.5 million from ticket prices across four home playoff games. Also estimated was another $1.5 million from concessions and $5 million from television and advertising revenue. With both the Knicks and New York Rangers in their respected playoffs, MSG would have hosted four games at minimum during the first round. Without the Knicks, that minimum will get cut in half with MSG losing out on $6.5 million at the least.
If the Knicks had snuck in as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, they would be playing either the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers. With the NBA's 2-2-1-1-1 format for home and away games in the playoffs, Madison Square Garden would likely host two games during the first round with the Knicks as the lower seed. The Garden would host three games only if the Knicks could force a six game series. Factoring in New York's performance against those two teams in the regular season, that would be unlikely. The Knicks were 1-3 in four games against the Heat in the regular season and 1-2 in two games against the Pacers, causing the $6.5 million worth for only two games at the Garden to be the most likely scenario.
While the sum may not seem like significant amount on the grand scale, it could represent a lost opportunity cost of around two cents per share for The Madison Square Garden Company. Adjusted for the amount of shares, that loss becomes a much bigger amount. It's also another hit this year against the mecca of basketball. After a disappointing turnout for the first year of the new Big East Tournament in college basketball and the rise of the Barclays Center the Brooklyn Nets in the playoffs and a new deal to host the ACC basketball tournament every other year, the Garden finds itself in new company of competition.
The difference could be made up by the Rangers advancing far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Rangers have the most expensive ticket prices on the secondary market for all playoff bound teams in the NHL, according to TiqIQ. The Rangers will play the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with home-ice advantage. With the NHL also following a playoff format of 2-2-1-1-1 for a best-of-seven series, Madison Square Garden could expect to host at least three home games in anticipation of a five- or six-game series.
The Rangers are favored to win the series against Philadelphia, making any games the Rangers could host in the next round possibly a make up for the loss of the Knicks. The total amount lost isn't eye opening, but the Rangers would have to do a lot of work to make up for what the Knicks would bring even even by getting swept in the first round.
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