NY bill would stop MSG from kicking out enemy lawyers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York City’s Madison Square Garden and other sports venues would be barred from refusing entry to perceived enemies of their owners under a bill

introduced to the state Legislature Monday. The proposed legislation comes after the company that owns the famed Garden and other notable venues, including Radio City Music

Hall, instituted a policy of preventing ticket holders from entering if they work for any law firm involved in litigation against the company. It has enforced the rule by

revoking tickets and using facial-recognition technology to identify, and then bounce, people who try to attend events. In November, the company used the technology to stop

a New Jersey mom from accompanying her daughter on a Girl Scouts field trip to see a Rockettes holiday show at Radio City Music Hall. An attorney who has owned New York

Knicks season tickets for nearly 50 years sued MSG Entertainment in October, saying he and nearly 60 lawyers from his firm were barred from the company’s properties. The

bill would amend a long-standing state law by adding “sporting events” to the list of public places of entertainment that cannot refuse entry to people that arrive with a valid

ticket. The law was originally intended to stop Broadway venues from barring theater critics they didn't like. The proposal does not directly address the issue of using

facial-recognition technology to screen patrons, but bill sponsors said the practice was out of bounds. “It’s ridiculous that a corporate boss can use this technology to

discriminate,” said Assembly member Tony Simone, a Manhattan Democrat.