New York Rangers fans could be barred from being served alcohol in Madison Square Garden for an upcoming game if James Dolan gets his way.
Dolan, the executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Sports Corporation, issued the warning during a Thursday morning interview with Fox 5 after coming under fire for his use of facial recognition software to block certain people from entering the famous New York. City location.
The practice, which Dolan says is strictly intended to prevent entry by attorneys currently suing his company, has drawn ire from New York Attorney General Letitia James, who released a letter saying her office believes that “attempts to dissuade individuals from filing discrimination claims or encourage those in active litigation to drop their lawsuits so that they can access popular entertainment events on the Company’s sites may violate state laws and cities prohibiting retaliation.
After not speaking to the media for nearly four years, Dolan was forced to appear publicly, so the Knicks and Rangers owner took to Fox 5 to defend his use of the technology. The interview quickly descended into chaos before Dolan explained a plan to defend Madison Square Garden by banning alcohol from an upcoming Rangers game.
When Fox 5 anchor Rosanna Scotto insisted that Dolan was “threatened” by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) for the improper use of facial recognition software, he said, “this group is way above his skis… They’re extremely aggressive, and they say, ‘We’re going to take your liquor license away. So I have a little surprise for them.
Dolan then held up a handmade flyer which featured the photo and contact details of Sharirf Kabir, the chief executive of SLA.
“They’re doing this for publicity, so we’re going to publicize them,” Dolan said. “What we’re going to do is we’re going to pick a night, maybe a Rangers game, and we’re going to shut down all booze and booze in the building.”
After explaining that he wouldn’t mind since he’s been 29 years sober and doesn’t “need alcohol,” Dolan went on to say that “where we serve alcohol, we go put one of these (flyers) and say, “If you want to drink at a game, please call Sharif Kabir Sharirf Kabir, the general manager or write him an email…and tell him to stick to his knitting and what it is supposed to do.
While Dolan may not “need the booze,” deciding to shut down liquor sales due to a personal feud with the local government may upset the Rangers fans in attendance. Moreover, giving out the contact details of the CEO of SLA and attempting to mobilize MSG fans would undoubtedly be considered an act of aggression.
There’s also the fact that Dolan is trying to bring Knicks and Rangers fans into a personal vendetta.
“In the United States, there is a thing called the Bill of Rights. In the Bill of Rights, you are entitled to freedom of religion, you are allowed to own property, etc. “said Dolan. “It’s just about owning it. You know, a bakery or a restaurant, you can say who you serve. For whatever reason. If there is someone you don’t want to serve, you can say, “I don’t want to serve you.”
Now, fans could be drawn into this personal conflict because Dolan thinks “The Garden needs to fight back.”
While discussing his use of facial recognition to bar some fans from entering, he admitted that “there is no way of knowing which lawyers are working on the case and which are not. But, look, these are lawyers. They say, ‘You’re too sensitive. It’s just business. But it’s not just business. You know, if you got sued, it’s a personal matter.
Instead of focusing on entertaining the fans during a match, the plan seems to be to pressure the fans into fighting for him.
“What really needs to happen is the public needs to tell these politicians and ALS to start working on the things that matter to use like law enforcement, making it safe on our streets, getting aligned our taxes, stopping people from leaving New York and ruining our city,” Dolan said. “Stop paying attention to the ticket peddlers and start paying attention to the criminals who are on a revolving door that’s keeping, you know, coming back and, you know, destroying our city.”
Still, when Scotto asked if Dolan was going to back down, he replied, “Not at all.” He doubled down later in the interview, prompting SLA to “take away my liquor license”.
“People are always going to come to the games,” he boasted.
We have contacted ALS for a statement and will update this ongoing story.