Facing public outcry over an attorney exclusion policy, Jim Dolan, the controversial owner of Madison Square Garden Entertainment has blinked, at least a little.
He appears to have rescinded an attorney exclusion policy for firms involved in litigation against the Tao Group Hospitality, where MSG Entertainment is the majority owner. But it apparently remains in effect for most of the other 90s firms that are involved in litigation against the parent company, Madison Square Garden Entertainment.
”He blinked in regard to one law firm because he wants to sell one of his businesses,” said NYS Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal. “It does beg the question,” said Hoylman, “but he has seen that there are reprecussions for this type of heavy handedness.”
Hoylman-Sigal’s senate district includes Madison Square Garden, and he had recently introduced legislation to try to curb Dolan’s use of facial recognition technology to exclude attorneys whose firms are involved in litigation from MSG from entering the Garden or Radio City Music Hall.
“As a result of MSG Entertainment’s exploration of a potential sale of its majority interest in Tao Group Hospitality, effective immediately, the Company has lifted the adverse attorney policy for any litigation currently pending with Tao entities,” MSG Entertainment said in a statement released on Feb. 6.
“Accordingly, all attorneys employed at the firms involved may attend events at MSG Entertainment’s venues, and those firms will all be notified. The policy remains in place for all other firms pursing active litigation against the Company,” the added in its statement.
At least four attorneys in recent months had been barred from entering events at MSG Entertainment owned events because the company was using facial recognition software in its effort to block any attorneys working for firms with litigation from gaining entre to events at Madison Square Garden--including Knicks and Rangers games, concerts--and events at the MSG-owned Radio City Music Hall.
One attorney, Kelly Conlin was barred from entering Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes and the Christmas Spectacular with her 9 year old daughter and her Girl Scout Troop in December. She was forced to cool her heels outside while waiting for the show to end so she could be reunited with her daughter and her friends.
Chelsea News broke the story that Brooklyn-born attorney Benjamin Pinczewski was blocked from entering a Rangers game with his friends because he had been flagged by facial recognition technology as he was passing through MSG metal detector last month.
But Pinczewski told Straus News that he has no intention of going back to watch any Knicks or Rangers games--as long as Dolan still owns the company, even if he does fully lift the ban.
“I am not going back as long as he is the owner of Madison Square Garden and the Knicks and the Rangers,” Pinczewski said. “He hasn’t stopped acting like a petulant child. He’s just bowing to public pressure. Hopefully, he’ll sell.“
I won’t go back as long as he [Jim Dolan] owns Madison Square Garden and the Knicks and Rangers. Hopefully he’ll sell.” Benjamin Pinczewski, one of the attorneys who had been stopped from entering MSG because his firm was involved in litigation the Garden