NEW YORK – Madison Square Garden CEO James Dolan, the majority shareholder of the New York Knicks, is overpaid for what amounts to a part-time job, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of a shareholder. The suit contends Dolan spends more time playing with his band, JD & the Straight Shot, than he does on the job.
Sports Illustrated reported that Dolan has made more than $75 million over the past three years and that CEOs of comparable companies have earned an average of $17 million during that time.
MSG also owns the WNBA’s New York Liberty, the NHL’s New York Rangers and Radio City Music Hall.
“This lawsuit amounts to nothing more than corporate harassment. The company stands by its policies and practices,” MSG said in a statement to Agenda, which was the first to report the lawsuit.
According to MSG, the sole shareholder responded to a press release seeking clients.
“These (law) firms represent the worst in our legal system,” the statement added. “They manufacture complaints and then advertise for clients, also known as trolling. Members of these firms tried to the same tactic at Cablevision. They lost and will lose again.”
Dolan previously was the CEO at Cablevision.
The lawsuit prominently mentioned the time Dolan spends with his band.
“In 2017, for example, the band performed 50 times in six countries and 41 U.S. cities, an increase from the 32 shows it performed in 2016. In late 2017, the band released its sixth album, and is in the process of recording a seventh,” the lawsuit said.
Dolan, 63, is a divisive figure in New York, with Knicks fans lobbying for him to sell the team.
Forbes valued the Knicks at $4 billion in February, an increase of 11 percent from last year.
An MSG spokesperson said that since Dolan became CEO in November 2017, the company’s value to shareholders has risen by approximately 37 percent, or $2 billion.
–Field Level Media