Knicks’ owner Dolan willing to sell franchise

FILE PHOTO: New York Knicks owner James Dolan looks on during a news conference announcing Phil Jackson as the team president of the New York Knicks basketball team at Madison Square Garden in New York March 18, 2014.
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

James Dolan is selling the New York Liberty and the owner of the New York Knicks and Rangers would listen if bidders wanted to make a run at his NBA and NHL franchises.

Dolan, 63, serves as chairman of Madison Square Garden and told ESPN of recent feelers from suitors for the Knicks’ franchise exceeded $5 billion.

“No one has come through with a bona fide offer,” Dolan said.

Dolan has been chairman of MSG since 1999 but backed away from day-to-day operations of the Knicks when he hired Phil Jackson in 2014.

“I think people have sent feelers out, but never any that were pursued. Yeah, [the feelers are] around that number [$5 billion], but those things, it’s like a stock price. It’s only important if you’re going to buy or sell,” Dolan said.

Should that certified offer arrive, Dolan said he owes it to shareholders to vet the opportunity.

“You have a responsibility as the guy who runs the place to deliver on that for them, that’s being open and transparent. And so in that position, I could never say that I wouldn’t consider selling the Knicks. Now, my family is not in that position, and they are the majority shareholders. They hold the majority of the vote. … As a majority owner, I don’t want to sell, either. As the head of the public company, you can’t say you can’t sell, because then you’re telling your shareholders that your own personal feelings about your assets are more important than their money. And they won’t invest with you if you do that.”

—Field Level Media

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